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The BBC is stuck in 1986

By Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager “What’s the BBC ever given us for 58 quid!?” mused a bewildered-looking John Cleese...   No, sadly, the British comedy legend hasn’t really voiced such a stinging query - and had he done so, he’d now be £100 shy of the mark. The line... Read more...

Roosevelt’s New Deal: Is no deal better than a bad deal?

By Kieran Neild, grassroots assistant at the TaxPayers’ Alliance   Emulating the former US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression, Boris Johnson has christened the government's post-coronavirus economic plan as a New Deal for Britain. Michael Gove went even further in his much-read Ditchley Lecture, claiming that... Read more...

Channel 4 should be up for sale

by Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance   In a recent interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the chief executive of Channel 4, Alex Mahon revealed that the broadcaster won’t be seeking a taxpayer bailout despite the economic destruction inflicted by coronavirus. At the TPA we very much... Read more...

Logging off: wasteful Whitehall tech gathering dust

by Scott Simmonds, researcher at the TaxPayers’ Alliance   Electronic devices play an essential role in the everyday running of any organisation, whether to check messages, access the internet, or make an old-fashioned phone call. The same goes for Whitehall. Government ministers and mandarins love their mobiles, with laptops facilitating... Read more...

Radio Ga Ga: Has the BBC had its time?

by Philip Miller MBE, Executive Chairman of Radio Essex Like many others, I was angered to learn that the BBC will scrap free TV licences for more than three million over-75s. The corporation’s chairman, David Clementi, claimed it is “under severe financial pressure”, threatening to close several TV and radio... Read more...

Out of date, no debate: What are Estimates Days?

By policy analyst, Jeremy Hutton Today another set of Estimates Day debates has drawn to a close, although if you blinked you might have missed it. Despite being relatively unknown beyond the walls of Westminster, the Estimates Day debates are theoretically one of the most important days of the parliamentary... Read more...

Barmy budgeting: Use it or lose it? They’ll abuse it

By Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager   “Have you ever noticed how all of the roadworks happen around the end of the financial year?” The anecdote is one that will be familiar to many readers, and refers to councils’ last-ditch attempts to use up their budget before it comes under... Read more...

Regal aid: The Royal Yacht shows why 0.7 per cent target must go

By Jeremy Hutton, Policy Analyst Proposals to commission a new royal yacht have been common in recent years, spearheaded by a Daily Telegraph campaign that began in 2016. The proposal has attracted support from a variety of political and public figures, including the likes of William Hague, Michael Gove, Liam... Read more...

New Towns Fund is not the answer to England's forgotten towns

by Kieran Neild, grassroots assistant at the TaxPayers' Alliance Today, ‘Boris the Builder’ gave a major big speech on the future of the economy. As part of the government's commitment to ‘level-up’ parts of the country, a new Towns Fund has been established to invest in local infrastructure, connectivity and... Read more...

An app a day doesn’t keep the doctor away

By Sara Rainwater, operations director    The coronavirus has left a mark on every part of our country, not least the economy and, of course, the NHS. With Nightingale hospitals put up almost overnight and hundreds of thousands of staff drafted onto the healthcare frontline, the health service may have... Read more...

Parking mad: lose the levy

by Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance Coronavirus calls for cars  The coronavirus crisis has profoundly disrupted our day-to-day lives, with daily routines - like commuting - transformed. Many have been able to work from home, but those who can’t were told by the Prime Minister Boris... Read more...

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

By Darwin Friend, policy analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance   A former Pepsi exec is about to become one of the most influential people in Britain. That’s because the BBC has opted for marketing exec, Tim Davie, as its new director general.  As many in the media were pointing out... Read more...

Taxpayers suffer while funding civil service perks

By Sam Packer, media campaign manager The coronavirus emergency has hammered taxpayers. With GDP dropping by 20 per cent in April, millions more on the claimant count, nearly 10 million furloughed and overall pay suffering its biggest fall ever, swathes of the country face massive uncertainty and the real risk... Read more...

10 quangos that can kindle the bonfire

by Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance   As our chief executive John O’Connell noted last month, the quangocracy is out of control. It’s high time we cleaned up the state. But which quangos should be first on the chopping block? Finding a definitive list of these... Read more...

Want to pay more tax? Be our guest

By Kieran Neild-Ali, grassroots assistant Every year, certain sanctimonious millionaires, celebrities and professional activists demand that people should pay more tax. This January, a group of worthies led by Simon Pegg signed an open letter calling for tax increases. Clamouring to pay more tax gives rise to an obvious question:... Read more...

Agriculture, tariffs and food prices

Sir Richard Packer, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, explains the impact of protectionism on food prices Trade is a complex area. All sorts of different industries are impacted by trade policies and will have varied views on what the government ought to prioritise. Normally,... Read more...

Crowding out and the threat of higher debt

By Jeremy Hutton, Policy Analyst With the sun out and BBQs blazing, the country seems relatively relaxed about our rising public debt. This is perhaps surprising, given the urgency with which the debt overhang from the 2008 crisis was treated. Commentators, think-tanks and parliamentarians that might once have been hawkish about... Read more...

Pulling the plug on council energy firms

by Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance An energy company owned by Bristol City Council is up for sale, having cost ratepayers £37.7 million. As a former Bristol resident of nearly 12 years, this is unsurprising to me. Time after time, it was clear that poor council... Read more...

UBI: A shot in foot not a silver bullet

By James Roberts, political director Last week, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey donated millions of dollars to a political campaign. But this dosh wasn't for the presidential election, or any campaign for that matter. It was to push for the creation of a universal basic income.   Calls for a basic income... Read more...

We will continue to hold universities to account

By Kieran Neild- Ali, grassroots assistant The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always held universities to account over eye-watering salaries and expenditure. Higher education is largely funded by students via loans. But, only 30 per cent of students repay their loans in full, and more often than not, taxpayers are expected to... Read more...

Taxpayers set their sights on defence procurement

by Darwin Friend, researcher at the TaxPayers' Alliance   There are apparently two certainties when it comes to defence projects: costs and delivery schedules will overrun. Currently, only 5 of 32 major projects are due to be delivered on time. Successive governments of all colours have failed to get a... Read more...

Doing a 180: What can darts tell us about the economic recovery?

By Sam Packer, media campaign manager The pool stage of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)’s Home Tour concluded this week. It is a sign of our times that “Home” does not refer to a domestic, Britain-based competition but literally to players’ homes. With darts events, like all other live sports,... Read more...

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