Blog

Clause and effect – how to prevent government contracts from going wrong

Rousseau’s Social Contract may have seen man as being everywhere in chains, but many of the state’s contracts with private companies leave taxpayers’ money chained into poor deals. In light of this, the NAO has today released their investigation into HMRC’s failed contract with Concentrix, a private company it hired... Read more...

Increases in precepts are not the answer

In 15th December last year, the government announced that councils would be allowed to raise the social care precept by more than 2 percent, in response to claims of a crisis in social care funding. But the Times reported this week that the precept increase may bring in £500 million... Read more...

We must all stand up for a free press

The public consultation on the introduction of section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act closes on 10th January. Writers far greater than me have been putting the case forward for a truly free press and the dangers of fettering it in platforms as wide-ranging as the Mirror and the... Read more...

Are rail fares too high?

Rail fares increased this morning, prompting outrage from unions. The average fare will increase by 2.3 per cent with regulated fares, which include season tickets, increasing by 1.9 per cent. A report from “Action for Rail”, a union backed campaign, claims that UK commuters pay up to six times more... Read more...

Whitehall needs to spend more wisely on consultants

From our Thunderer in The Times (Thursday 22 December) - our Chief Executive John O'Connell on the need for Whitehall to spend more wisely on consultants: A report this year from the National Audit Office said that government departments spent up to £1.3 billion of taxpayers’ money on consultants in... Read more...

Aid spending needs to be more transparent

The TPA has long criticised aspects of foreign aid spending and particularly the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI. However for the countless words that are written about this absurd policy nothing demonstrates its poor value for money like a few revealing statistics. Fortunately, that is what has... Read more...

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

Now that we have had some time to drill down into some of the finer points of Philip Hammond’s first public event as Chancellor, we have some thoughts on the more positive aspects of the last ever Autumn Statement: Our research director, Alex Wild, called for an end to the... Read more...

Have we had too much austerity?

A Sky News poll has found that 43 per cent of Britons support “ending austerity and increasing spending” with 24 per cent opposed. After six years of relentless talk from the government about “tough choices”, some weariness is understandable. Unfortunately however, George Osborne’s words were far tougher than his actions.... Read more...

Launch a War on Waste and simplify taxes

The Chancellor will deliver the Autumn Statement this week. Mr Hammond should use the opportunity to root out waste and introduce tax reform which the nation badly needs to put our public finances in order. He should also help secure the recovery by reducing Corporation Tax and restore honesty to... Read more...

TaxPayers' Alliance on the sovereign grant

In response to the news that the sovereign grant will temporarily increase: Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance: "These are clearly huge sums of money and the public are right to cast a sceptical eye when the public finances are still in such a dire state. Large renovation... Read more...

Liverpool: The most important referendum of our time?

If I were running a council which needed to get its finances in order, spending £350,000 on a referendum asking residents’ permission to take more of their money would not be top of my to-do list. Remarkably this is precisely what Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, wants to do. He is proposing... Read more...

Our Local Action Teams are a vital part of what we do

On Wednesday night (26 October) our local team in Hammersmith, which is being coordinated by local resident Mark, held their first get together to discuss campaigning in their area. These meetings are vitally important as we look to take our campaign across the country. The work we do from HQ... Read more...

The World Health Organization's transparency problem

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance in America released a damning report last week looking at the World Health Organization's (WHO) sub-agency that monitors tobacco policy. The report found that it is "failing taxpayers around the world and harming its own effort to reduce tobacco use". Naturally, they found wasteful spending aplenty too -... Read more...

Every NHS waste story reiterates the case for reform

This morning’s papers show what we have known for quite a long time: there are serious problems within the health service. The headlines alone make grim reading: Pointless treatments cost NHS £2bn a year – Times Ambulances wait nine hours outside A&E amid 'epidemic' of delays – Telegraph NHS trust... Read more...

Millions might have been wasted for nothing on Garden Bridge

Today the National Audit Office published its findings from its investigation into the Department for Transport’s grant of £30 million towards the construction of the Garden Bridge. It turns out that more than £20m of public money may have potentially been wasted. The controversial project requires £30m contributions from the... Read more...

Think Tent 2016 at Conservative Party Conference

Heading to Conservative Party Conference this year? Join us, alongside the IEA and the Free Enterprise Group, at our Think Tent for a variety of events with some fantastic speakers and panels. Take a look at the full line-up of events here Read more...

The Greater London Authority should reconsider the Garden Bridge scheme

Today the Mayor of London announced a formal inquiry into the controversial Garden Bridge, which requires £60m of taxpayer’s money to meet its £185m total budget. The project has already had significant problems with questions over the transparency of the procurement process, planning hurdles and the inability to raise the... Read more...

New Commons report shows the need to scrap HS2

Yesterday the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts published the latest report on the preparations for the High Speed 2 rail project. It demonstrates that Parliament and the public are still in the dark about crucial details – not least when the railway will open and how much it... Read more...

People are NOT happy to pay more taxes

Politicians on the left often talk about how happy people are to pay taxes. Half of voters have even said that they would be happy to pay more tax if it went to the NHS. Even after discounting for virtue signalling, figures, suggest this not the case. Today the Times... Read more...

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