Research papers

Raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million

Introduction Inheritance tax is levied on the estate of someone who has died. It applies to the value of the estate above the £325,000 threshold currently in place, and is charged at a single rate of 40 per cent. Exemptions currently in place include transfers between spouses and civil partners,... Read more...

No-deal peace package

Background The TaxPayers’ Alliance does not take a position on whether or not the United Kingdom should leave the European Union. However, it is important that in any possible situation arising from that decision taxpayers’ interests are represented. This note is therefore intended to suggest tax policy changes which, in... Read more...

University Rich List 2019

Introduction Universities are funded by both taxpayers and students (including graduates) directly. Because of this mixed form of funding, it often seems that the university sector is spared the scrutiny usually applied to other public sector institutions. In 2018, however, the Office for National Statistics re-classified student loans so that... Read more...

The Bumper Book of Burdens on Business

Introduction The United Kingdom consistently ranks towards the top of league tables in terms of ease of doing business. Many prime ministers and chancellors have recognised the importance of low taxes and light regulation in order to make the UK a competitive and attractive place to do business. In many... Read more...

Trade Union Rich List 2019

Introduction Membership of trade unions, for both public and private sector workers, has been declining for many years: 23.4 per cent were members in 2018. In the public sector, it is at the lowest level since records began in 1995, down by more than 5 per cent to 11.6 per... Read more...

Cost overruns of major government projects

Key findings In an analysis of 10 recent and in-progress UK major government projects, overruns have grown to a total of 32.7 years and £17.2 billion, or £624 per UK household1. The £17.2 billion accumulated overrun could have paid for seven of the 10 projects at their initial cost estimates,... Read more...

Freedom Factbook

You can download a PDF copy of the "Freedom Factbook" here Freedom works. Lower taxes and limited intervention in the economy don’t just create the space for innovation, growth and prosperity. They also tend to enhance civil liberties and radically improve lives, particularly for people on lower incomes. Free enterprise... Read more...

The Cost of Death

Introduction This research looks at the taxes and charges involved when someone passes away. In 2019-20, the government is projected to receive £5.35 billion from grieving taxpayers via inheritance tax, the highest amount ever. But this is only one of the many ways that the government extracts money from the... Read more...

NHS trusts' spending on settlement agreements

Introduction Settlement agreements are legally binding agreements between an employer and an employee that set out the terms surrounding the termination of employment. The purpose of settlement agreements is to resolve any disputes between the two parties that could not be resolved as part of internal procedures, and prevent future... Read more...

The efficacy of unitary authorities

Unitary authorities have been in place in many parts of the UK for almost 25 years. Whilst savings have been realised since their creation, concerns have also been raised. This includes worries about democratic accountability with these larger authorities, and areas of spending where savings have not materialised as expected.... Read more...

Hollow Highstreets: Empty council-owned commercial properties

Introduction This research looks at the number of commercial properties owned by local authorities that were vacant for either all or some of a 2 year period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. The research includes information on what councils spent insuring, maintaining, refurbishing and providing security for... Read more...