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Teaching To The Test Update

Further Excellent News! Lord Adonis of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (National) has hailed the latest Key Stage 2 school test results: "Today's primary school children have achieved the best set of Key Stage 2 results we have ever seen, and I congratulate all pupils and teachers for... Read more...

Council Tax Activist wins crucial vote at USDAW conference

Derrick Frost, a newly registered TaxPayers’ Alliance activist from West Sussex and member of USDAW (the Union of shop, distributive and allied workers), has told us how he recently won a crucial vote at the USDAW conference binding the Union to campaign against council tax.With a massive vote of some... Read more...

The cost of teachers' pensions soars

The Sun reports this morning that the cost of underwriting Teachers' pensions has risen by a quarter, from £143 to £181 billion.  This is a truly astronomical rise.  It can be added to the already massive liability that taxpayers face for public sector pensions in general, £1 trillion according to... Read more...

Shocking bonuses at the BBC

Trust in the BBC is non-existent. Its most popular programmes were recently rumbled, exposing a widespread phone-in scam that fleeced thousands of license-fee payers who thought they were taking part in legitimate competitions. They were even caught out in the Telegraph this morning by digitally generating parts of their ‘factual’... Read more...

Our Not Fit For Purpose Government

League table of incompetence: scores out of ten The table above is taken from a shocking report just published by the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee- Skills for Government (para 27). They say: "No department seems to be exactly “fit for purpose”, although the Home Office is unique... Read more...

Soft A-Levels

"But critics say that there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that examinations are now easier than they were in the 70s and 80s. It comes as the Government prepares to publish the results of tests taken by children aged 11 tomorrow.  Dr Coe analysed the standards achieved... Read more...

Taxpayers funding births abroad

So we hear news about NHS budget deficits and hospitals not having enough money to clean wards properly.  Apparently, however, there’s enough money to pay for treatment abroad rather than spending the money on the NHS at home.Taken from the public purse, 269 women took advantage of the EU scheme... Read more...

Weekly Waste Round-Up 70

That will be £12 grand In the even-sillier-than-usual season news this week-£12k on probing towels hazard- "HEALTH and safety bureaucrats wasted £12,000 — studying BATH TOWELS. Boffins wanted to know if laying them on the bathroom floor makes you more or less likely to slip. But the Government-funded project failed... Read more...

NHS Supercomputer Unfit For Purpose

The £12-20bn NHS Supercomputer - the National Programme for IT - continues to lurch from crisis to crisis. In June the programme's head, Richard Granger, suddenly resigned. Now users are discovering the software is not fit for purpose, and is significantly inferior to their existing systems.A survey of Foundation Hospital... Read more...

Top-end salaries for bottom-end council

The Bromsgrove Advertiser reported this week that Bromsgrove District Council have agreed in secret to spend £40,000 headhunting a new chief officer. The costly move was branded ‘obscene’ by Council opposition leader Peter McDonald, though the council clearly know this decision is an extravagant one, as is implicit in the... Read more...

Sure Start - A Sure Failure

Sure Start, a government program designed to give “children the best possible start in life", is a textbook case of a bureaucratic pet-project gone wrong.  The scheme bears every hallmark of government failure: it is complex and expensive, has undergone mission creep and ultimately failed in its objectives.  The scheme... Read more...

Campaign News

West Midlands TPA LaunchThe West Midlands TaxPayers’ Alliance officially opened for business after a launch event outside the uncompleted 'The Public' art gallery in West Bromwich on Tuesday morning. The day went to plan, with our eye-catching 55ft poster truck stealing the show and providing a great backdrop for the... Read more...

Ministers told to back off from the Beeb

The appointment of Sir Michael Lyons, author of the expensive and ineffective Lyons report into local government finance, to the Chairmanship of the BBC was seen as just another act of cronyism.  The Daily Mail reports today (not online) that the House of Lords communications committee has criticised ministers’ roles... Read more...

Non-Job of the Week

We have often wondered where all those Environmental Science graduates that new universities are so good at producing find employment on graduation.  The answer, it seems, lies in the Guardian Society supplement, which, every week advertises pages of non-jobs in local councils that all seem to require environmental or earth... Read more...

At the West Midlands TPA Launch...

Front row: Chris D. Kelly, Blair Gibbs, Tim Aker, Fiona McEvoy Back row: Matthew Elliott, Paul Biggs, TPA supporters, Peter Roberts, Nigel Hastilow, Cllr Ray Nock, Cllr Bill Archer Read more...

The Folly of "Food Miles"

When terms like “fair trade” and “sustainability” so plague policy discussions over the environment and development, it really is quite an achievement to reach the status of most vacuous phrase. However, “food miles” really is so useless, so meaningless, so damaging a concept that, despite the fierce competition, it truly... Read more...

NHS Pay- A Triumph Of Simple Shopping

The magic beans were even more useless than we imagined Our very first blog about the Simple Shopper was on the new GPs contract (see here). We asked how the Department of Health could possibly have given away such a heavy milking cash cow in exchange for a few magic... Read more...

Support our petition against THE pUBLIC arts centre

The West Midlands TaxPayers' Alliance has announced a new petition - "NO MORE MONEY FOR THE PUBLIC ARTS CENTRE IN WEST BROMWICH".  You can read about The Public here and here.  The text of the petition reads:“We, the named taxpayers listed below, petition Sandwell Council, Advantage West Midlands and the... Read more...

Prolonging The Agony Of School

New designs for the staff room Raise the school leaving age to 18? Teachers think it's a shocking idea. Geraldine Everett, chairman of the Professional Association of Teachers, says:“Here is a Government that has toyed with the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 in order to promote a... Read more...

Quality not quantity is the way to improve education standards

Geraldine Everett, chairman of the Professional Association of Teachers, told the PAT annual conference in Harrogate:“Here is a Government that has toyed with the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 in order to promote a greater sense of citizenship among our young people. Yet it proposes to extend... Read more...

Bonuses for failing flood defence bosses should be paid back

The Telegraph has reported that despite claims that water bills would have to rise to pay for additional flood defences, directors of the Environment Agency received bonuses of an average 10%, with the agencies chairman Baroness Young receiving a generous £24,000 (15%) bonus to add to her already over generous... Read more...

TPA Launches West Midlands Campaign

NEW INDEPENDENT, NON-PARTY CAMPAIGN AGAINST RECKLESS SPENDING AND WASTE IN THE REGION BACKED BY A THOUSAND SUPPORTERS IN THE REGION AND A COUNCIL OF LEADING LOCAL FIGURES CAMPAIGN TO LAUNCH OUTSIDE THE PUBLIC ARTS CENTRE WITH NEW PETITION TO OPPOSE ANY EXTRA MONEY FOR THE FAILING PROJECT The TaxPayers’ Alliance... Read more...

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