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Latest TPA Email Bulletin

Campaign News Visit the new TaxPayers' Alliance website... Launched at the weekend, the new TPA website has a brand new layout and improved design. We listened to feedback on the site and from responses to our website survey and have tried to accommodate the wishes of our existing audience as... Read more...

The Land Of Golden Goodbyes

So long suckers The NHS financial crisis is costing us a fortune. Brown's seven years of plenty may have come to an abrupt halt, but in an organisation legendary for squandering public money, that translates into ever more, and ever crasser wastefulness. This morning we learn of yet another huge... Read more...

So long regional government?

It is now looking increasingly likely that the West Midlands will be bidding adieu to its regional assembly after it seems that the power of the assemblies in the South West and North East could be handed back to elected councils as early as 2010. Jon Walker comments in today’s... Read more...

Further evidence of tax credit failures

In its annual audit of the department, the National Audit Office yesterday refused to sign off HMRC's annual accounts, "due to levels of claimant error and fraud in the tax credits system". The NAO report was full of damning evidence on the failure of tax credits:1. Tax credits overpayment amounted... Read more...

"Beyond the Dome" - coming tomorrow

The TaxPayers' Alliance is putting out a major report tomorrow on the scale of overruns in public sector capital procurement projects. We have examined over 300 projects and calculated the total overrun (which runs into many £billions), the average overrun, how much this costs each household every year (many hundreds... Read more...

Liberal Democrat Tax Proposals

Download Reducing the Burden: Policies for tax reform (PDF) There are some good ideas in the Liberal Democrat tax proposals: Simplification of the tax code and postcard-style returns could ease the administrative burden faced by individuals and companies.  Britain has the most complex tax system in the world, having recently overtaken... Read more...

Fruit Fiasco

Hey kids! Here's a cool way to waste £119m! Nanny's simple-minded attempt to get school children eating more fresh fruit and veg has been a total flop.The idea was that school kids only eat crisps and sweeties because they aren't given the alternative of fresh fruit and veg. Give them... Read more...

Make Bribery and Corruption History

Just give us the money This year we British taxpayers will shell out £4.7bn on the government's international aid programme; that's nearly £200 for every British household.Setting aside the highly contentious issue of whether taxpayers should be forced to contribute to overseas charity in the first place, do we get... Read more...

More affordable housing doesn't translate to lower property taxes

Gordon Brown has announced that housing, and providing housing for first time buyers in particular, will be the main priority of next year’s parliamentary agenda. He claims that "[p] utting affordable housing within the reach not just of the few but the many is vital both to meeting individual aspirations... Read more...

Money spent for no good purpose by those who don't know

An article in the Birmingham Post on Monday reported that Nasim Awan, the chairman of Springfield Neighbourhood Forum has called for an investigation into how £21million of public money is being spent through the Enterprising Communities Programme, an initiative that covers the Sparkbrook, Sparkhill, Saltley and Small Heath areas and... Read more...

Smoke-On-Trent

Whilst smokers around the rest of the country have been banished to outdoor shelters, there is one place the United Kingdom where they can still enjoy a cigarette in the comfort of a bar or pub without fearing the long arm of the law. That’s right, Stoke-On-Trent Council haven’t failed... Read more...

Sandwell spends more money on Tourism Officer

BBC Radio West Midlands reported this morning that Sandwell Council has appointed a new Tourism Officer in order to attract thousands more visitors to the area, and so the one star council continues to spend money on dubious ideas when other local issues should undoubtedly be higher on their agenda.... Read more...

More money wasted on waste at Tower Shamlets

Early this year we released our Town Hall Rich List which showed that Tower Hamlets, one of the poorest boroughs in the country, had 27 employees earning more than £100,000 a year. One of those 27 individuals was a Mr Alex Cosgrave, who earns £148,173.38 as Corporate Director of Environment... Read more...

Are genuine tax cuts coming our way?

Today's Financial Times reports that the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne signalled yesterday that the Conservative Party will be going into the election on a multi-billion pound platform of tax cuts. So a major politicial party is finally recognising the hardship that ever-increasing taxes is causing to so many families and... Read more...

Non-job of the week

Something’s happening at Bradford council.  Usually when we trawl through the Guardian every Wednesday we find a job that shocks and leaves us shaking our heads wondering what fool came up with such an unbelievably pointless job.  But it’s only ever one job from one council here and there.  This... Read more...

Tax Freedom Day in Germany

The German version of the TaxPayers' Alliance - Bund der Steuerzahler - reckons Tax Freedom Day there falls next week on July 13.  This is even later than in Britain!We should be thankful for small mercies!p.s. Thanks to one multi-lingual, Brussels-watching, TPA supporting blogger for drawing this to our attention.... Read more...

Money spent for no good purpose by those who don't know

An article in the Birmingham Post yesterday reported that Nasim Awan, the chairman of Springfield Neighbourhood Forum has called for an investigation into how £21million of public money is being spent through the Enterprising Communities Programme, an initiative that covers the Sparkbrook, Sparkhill, Saltley and Small Heath areas and is... Read more...

Rewards for failure expose hypocrisy of the politicians

The Department for Work and Pensions announced today that there will be a 5% cut in the funding of the Council Tax benefits service. The Local Government Authority is claiming that unless there are “significant increases in council tax”, these cuts would lead to a decline in benefits. "The LGA... Read more...

Cuts imposed by Whitehall will mean council tax increases

The Department for Work and Pensions announced today that there will be a 5% cut in the funding of the Council Tax benefits service.  The Local Government Authority is claiming that unless there are “significant increases in council tax”, these cuts would lead to a decline in benefits. "The LGA... Read more...

Latest criticism of the Olympics by the PAC

It’s already four times over budget and today the Olympics get another a rap on the knuckles, this time from the Commons Public Accounts Committee.Committee Chairman Edward Leigh said to the BBC it was “worrying” that arrangements for monitoring progress and risk weren’t in place.  During the hearing, Mr Leigh... Read more...

Do chips make us healthier?

...not if they are microchips that hold your medical information.  According to new American research reported today, electronic health records - touted by policymakers in Britain and America as a way to improve the quality of health care - failed to improve care delivered in routine doctor visits.  "Of 17... Read more...

Regional Development Agencies face the axe

In an interview with today's Financial Times, Shadow Business Secretary Alan Duncan said that Regional Development Agencies must "justify their existence" to escape being abolished by a Conservative government. He said:"My experience with all RDAs is, after an initial ‘Oh yes, we like them’, people very quickly say in the... Read more...

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