Research papers

Council energy companies

Overview Local authorities’ budgets have changed substantially over the last ten years. Central government funding reductions have coincided with councils, since April 2013, retaining 50 per cent of business rates generated locally.[1][2] Councils have also sought other sources of income, such as investments in commercial property and energy companies. At... Read more...

Central government research funding

Introduction In March 2020, the chancellor announced a record increase in public investment for research and development (R&D) funding. This commitment will see taxpayer funding for R&D reach £22 billion per year by 2024-25, with an aim of public and private R&D spending equivalent to 2.4 per cent of GDP... Read more...

Public Sector Trade Union Rich List 2021

Please note:  The paper originally cited a news source claiming that Tim Roache was to be paid a lump sum of £500,000. The GMB has since contacted us to confirm that this is untrue. We have amended the relevant footnote on the paper accordingly and we apologise to the GMB.... Read more...

Briefing: distributional effects of the health and social care levy

Background: HM Government is planning to raise national insurance contributions (NICs) from April 2022 by 1.25 percentage points for employee, employer and self-employed national insurance. The purpose is two-fold: to meet demand for NHS backlogs (created because of covid-19) and for the provision of social care. In 2021-22, NICs are... Read more...

Stonewall subsidy: Diversity Champions scheme

Introduction Many charities and third sector organisations are reliant on public bodies for at least a portion of their revenue. Receiving taxpayers' money puts these organisations in a privileged position. Stonewall – the LGBTQ+ charity – is one such group. However, it has also received significant scrutiny in recent months,... Read more...

Briefing: Beer duty in Europe

Overview: At £0.53 per pint, the UK has the highest beer duty of any EU member country which England has played in Euro 2020. This is greater than Sweden’s; more than double Italy’s; more than triple Denmark’s; more than quadruple Croatia’s; and six times more than the Czech Republic’s. It... Read more...

Briefing: tapering of the coronavirus job retention scheme

Overview: The coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) has been available since 1 March 2020 and is due to finish at the end of September 2021. The objective of the CJRS is to allow employers to retain and pay staff by furloughing them at 80 per cent of their usual wages.... Read more...

Britain’s council tax burdens

Introduction Council tax is paid by the occupiers of residential property to a local authority. It was introduced in 1993 to replace the community charge –  or ‘poll tax’, which in turn replaced domestic rates –  and has proven to be very unpopular. Domestic rates have not been replaced in... Read more...

Briefing: Stonewall government grants

Overview: Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, Stonewall received at least £2,616,102 in grants from government bodies. The year 2018-19 saw the largest amount, with the organisation receiving £748,295. These figures are an underestimate of the actual total. This is because a significant proportion of Stonewall’s income is from fees (such as... Read more...

Public sector furlough

Introduction From the outset of the covid-19 pandemic, the government has supported employed people through the job retention scheme. This furlough scheme effectively covered the salaries of employees, on the strict condition that they were not able to work while receiving it. Organisations which receive taxpayers’ money for their staffing... Read more...

Flights of fancy

Introduction The UK became the first major economy to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Combined with the United Nations climate change conference to be held in Glasgow this November, this suggests a clear desire by HM Government to reduce emissions, including through air travel.... Read more...

Briefing: 10p plastic bag charge in England

Overview: In England, there has been a charge of 5p for a single use carrier bag (SUCB) since October 2015. This applies only to large retailers with more than 250 employees. From 21 May 2021, this charge will be increased to 10p and apply to all retailers in England. The... Read more...

Local authority printing costs 2021

Key findings: Local authorities across the UK spent £41,610,366 on printing costs between April 2020 and February 2021. This is a decline of £31.9 million from 2019-20, or 43 per cent. The council that spent the most was Aberdeenshire, at £1,248,827. The council that spent the least was Chorley, at... Read more...

Briefing: covid-19 hospitality VAT cut

Overview: While all businesses have been affected to some extent by covid-19, some of the worst hit have been the pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars, and hotels that make up the hospitality industry. When they have been able to open, many have had to implement costly and disruptive practices to mitigate... Read more...

Town Hall Rich List 2021

Introduction Town Hall Rich List 2021 marks the 14th version of this list, first compiled in 2007. For the past 14 years the TaxPayers’ Alliance has assembled the most comprehensive list of council employees in the UK in receipt of over £100,000 in total remuneration. For the average (band D)... Read more...

Fiscal challenges facing an independent Scotland

Introduction   With Scottish independence now back on the table, Scottish taxpayers will be wondering what impact such a move could have on the country’s fiscal position. The Scottish government’s fiscal framework is currently managed in agreement with HM Treasury. This underpins the tax and welfare spending powers that have... Read more...

Briefing: the real national debt

The chancellor recently unveiled his budget for the coming financial year. The figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility showed the national debt will increase to £2.5 trillion next year.[1] Yet this is only part of the picture with regard to the UK’s debt.A fuller picture of the UK government’s... Read more...

Calculating the number of tax changes since 2010

Introduction The Conservative party’s record on tax policy is contested. Previous research found that the Conservative government of Winston Churchill cut the tax burden as a proportion of GDP by more than any other postwar prime minister.[1] The 2019 Conservative manifesto promised that “Conservatives want to give you freedom –... Read more...

Statistical analysis of secondary school spending

Introduction The Department for Education started publishing schools’ spending data for England almost 10 years ago. In that time there have been significant changes in education, not least the conversion of most secondary schools from maintained ones into academies. Over 500 free schools are now open across every region of... Read more...

A recovery budget for Rishi

Executive summary Due to the coronavirus crisis, many businesses have been ordered to close for much of the past year, while many others have had to implement costly and disruptive practices to mitigate the virus. Unemployment has been kept in check by furloughing ten million jobs, while economic output has... Read more...

Briefing: sustained tax burden at highest level since 1951

In 2021-22 the share of GDP extracted in tax, the ‘tax burden’, will reach its highest level in 52 years at 34.2 per cent of GDP. The previous high was a one-year spike in 1969-70. Smoothing out volatility with five-year averages shows the tax burden is now at its highest... Read more...

Briefing: the cost of MPs in 2019-20

Overview: The total cost of members of parliament was £127.6m in the 2019-20 financial year according to figures released today by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). This was a 6.47 per cent increase on the £119.9 million spent in 2018-19. Britain’s most expensive sitting MP was speaker Sir Lindsay... Read more...

Well accommodated: University vice-chancellors’ residences

Introduction University vice-chancellors are handsomely paid for their work, with an average salary of over £250,000. In addition to these bumper salaries, they are sometimes also afforded additional perks, including residences with their own staff. In contrast, many students undertaking courses at their institutions are going on rent strikes because... Read more...

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay