Blog

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...

Lessons in incompetence

The revision of the secondary school curriculum for England announced today includes the teaching of basic personal finances: New Schools Secretary Ed Balls wants young people to be equipped with an understanding of finance topics such as debt, tax and pensions… …This will also include lessons about life at work... Read more...

P45 to the taxman

We know him from playing a butcher in Coronation Street but John Savident – who starred as Fred Elliot in the soap – wants to take Elliott’s clever to the British tax code.In an interview with the Times Savident explains how he’d like to “scrap” the tax code, especially inheritance... Read more...

Mistakes in the NHS

Today there have been two stories suggesting that managerial problems in the National Health Service are costing us money, getting people seriously ill and even causing a frightening number of deaths.First, hospitals are facing a massive compensation bill.  As Blair Gibbs, TPA Campaigns Director told the Daily Mail:"Too often some... Read more...

Early thoughts on the Conservatives' tax announcements

The Conservative Party’s Social Justice Policy Group will be presenting its findings tomorrow. It has been widely trailed in the media. Two stories today, in the Financial Times and the Telegraph, will leave taxpayers with mixed feelings.On the positive side, David Cameron said yesterday that he will go into the... Read more...

Weekly Waste Round-Up 66

£2.3m Enviro-Twaddle In the news this week:£2.3m blown on nappies fiasco- "A Government minister has delivered the news that millions of parents have been waiting to hear: traditional nappies are no more environmentally friendly than disposables. After a four-year study the Environment Agency concluded that "there is little or nothing... Read more...

Council Pay

It was reported yesterday that twelve of Cannock Chase Council’s most senior staff are costing the taxpayer £800,000. This is in addition to three new directorial roles, each with a £80,000 annual salary (Lichfield Mercury, 5th July). We are informed, of course, that these three new roles are at no... Read more...

Costing THE pUBLIC

West Bromwich doesn’t have much to boast of these days; it has no cinema, no theatre, no swimming pool and the shopping centre is tumbledown. Sandwell, the local authority, only received one star in the latest CPA Council Ratings (2006) and the area is right at the bottom of the... Read more...

EU tries to raise taxes in Britain...again

Not content with import taxes which raise the price of food and clothing imported from outside the EU, nor with abortive plans to introduce an EU tax, the bureaucrats in Brussels are at it again. This time it's VAT. The European Commission is calling for VAT rates to be harmonised... Read more...

Concerns over Conservative economic policy

Two interesting pieces have appeared in the last few days on Gordon Brown and David Cameron's approaches to taxation and the economy.Firstly, Fraser Nelson wrote in last week's Spectator:"During what passed for Labour’s leadership campaign, Mr Brown was asked why he would not raise the top rate of income tax.... Read more...

Latest Public Administration Disaster

“The reform of the Child Support Agency has been one of the greatest public administration disasters of recent times.The facts speak for themselves. More than one in three non-resident parents fail to pay any of the money they owe, amounting to £3.5 billion in uncollected maintenance. Around 230,000 of the... Read more...