Blog

A Viking revolt over indirect taxes?

In 787 AD, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Britain experienced its first ever Viking raid when a group of warriors sailed from Norway to Devon. On arriving in Devon, they were mistaken for merchants by a royal official, and so asked to pay a tax on their goods. The Vikings... Read more...

We're all going to get sent to Climate Camp...

...if we don't sign up to big new taxes on hard-up manufacturing industry and good old family holidays.I saw this flyer at the Prince Charles cinema off London's Leicester Square; at first I thought it was a macabre joke:Looking at the reverse it appears it is a protest against Heathrow... Read more...

Protectionism in Europe is on the rise

The Wall Street Journal reports today yet another example of how continental politicians hope to use  the EU as a means of enforcing their economically disastrous policies across the whole continent. Each individual EU country knows that their statist schemes will retard economic growth, and send investors, entrepreneurs and capital... Read more...

It just gets worse at the BBC

It’s been a very bad week for our state broadcasting station.  As an 'impartial', government run, taxpayer funded outfit, it’s been accused of bias (again) and today’s papers expose another phone-in competition scam at the BBC.  This comes barely days after Blue Peter admitted fixing one of their competitions.  Today... Read more...

More power for quango

Just as the West Midlands breathes a sigh of relief this week following announcements confirming that the undemocratic regional assemblies are to be phased out, we learn that the powers of the money-guzzling, unelected regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands, are to be strengthened to include housing, planning and transport... Read more...

Non-job of the week

Recently we published a report on Green Jobs in town halls exposing just how much taxpayers’ money is being wasted on green bureaucrats.  Islington featured prominently, as well as Tower Shamlets, in taking taxpayers’ money and wasting it on green gesture politics. So, true to form, Islington council yet again... Read more...

"End" Of Targets

The new localism After nine years of tractor factory misery, the government is going to "abandon" its public service targets. According to Andy Burnham, new Chief Secretary to HM Treasury:"A bonfire of government targets to ease red tape affecting schools, hospitals and town halls will be ordered tomorrow as part... Read more...

The causes of political disengagement

To the Centre for Policy Studies for a seminar on “political disengagement”.  Peter Bradley, the ex-Labour MP and author of a new report – Anti-Social Britain: Tackling Political Disengagement – was speaking on the subject of voter apathy, what has caused it and who was to blame.  Not unusually for... Read more...

Ofsted succumbing to Parkinson's Law?

On 1st April this year Ofsted was re-launched as the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills, with an increased remit to inspect children’s homes, adult learning and fostering agencies. There is already concern that that this bureaucratic expansion has only increased Ofsted’s complexity, meaning it is no... Read more...

The 'Recall' - how to hold politicians to account

One problem we face in British politics is the over-centralisation of the political system.  Taxpayers are often financing a system too unfair and iniquitous as to defy belief.  Yet we are too distant from the centre of power, we lack the ability to transform the system that forces us to... Read more...

Metronet Meltdown

Good at PR... less good at doing the job on budget Taxpayers should be very concerned about the parlous state of Metronet. That's the company that has £17bn of Public Private Partnership contracts to maintain, renew, and upgrade nine of London's Underground (LU) lines. And today it's teetering on the... Read more...

More excuses for increasing tax on business

The Times reports that this week the government has proposed to allow local authorities to levy an additional tax on businesses in the form of an infrastructure tax which will be paid by business in the city of London, and will be limited to 4p in the pound. This new... Read more...