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The Global Warming Industry in Local Government

Yesterday the Sunday Telegraph reported on a TaxPayers' Alliance study of local government's attempts to fight global warming: "Using figures obtained from 25 councils across England and Wales, the Taxpayers' Alliance, a pressure group, calculated that councils on average now employ eight people to work on green issues. If that figure were repeated... Read more...

BBC Brussels Bias

We blogged a while ago about a BBC probe into its own bias.  Last week we had the BBC smear campaign against the Queen.  Now the BBC is probing the Today programme to gauge the extent of its bias in favour of the European Union. In a letter to Sir... Read more...

24/7 Government Delayed Due To Technical Operating Difficulties

Estimated cost* of government websites As regular BOM readers may recall, back in 2001 Tony Blair held a Special Information Age Cabinet (see this blog). He breathlessly announced:"I want the UK to be the world's leading Internet economy... I am bringing forward our target for getting all Government services online... Read more...

Weekly Waste Round-Up 67

Shutting after five years In the news this week:£25m school shut after just five years- "Plans have been made to close a secondary school in Essex built at a cost of £25m five years ago. Bishops Park College in Clacton (pic above) opened in 2002 and was hailed as a... Read more...

Mixed messages from the Tories on regional government

There has been some speculation in recent days that regional assemblies are about to be abolished.     The faux-oversight they were supposed to offer the vast regional development agencies was always a sham, and now it seems that Gordon Brown has had enough of them.  In yesterday’s Times, the move... Read more...

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... 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 India;... 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

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 value for money?As we blogged... 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...

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 said... Read more...

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