Research papers

Local Authority Facility Time

Facility time is paid time-off taken by trade union representatives to carry out ‘duties’. It has been the focus of major reforms in central and local government, as well as the civil service over the past few years. The TaxPayers’ Alliance has previously revealed how trade unions have received large... Read more...

The business rates revaluation

The recent storm over business rates centres on the upcoming revaluation of commercial properties, which comes into effect on 1st April 2017. It is the first revaluation since 1st April 2010. and the valuation practice itself has changed in the wake of a 2015 judgement by the Supreme Court. Combined... Read more...

How much could HS2 end up costing taxpayers?

Despite the huge financial risks and recurring records of failure and late delivery, large infrastructure projects are much coveted by politicians seeking a legacy. There is too often scant regard for how much it will cost taxpayers.  Bent Flyvbjerg, the Chair of Major Programme Management at Oxford University's Saïd Business... Read more...

Making the taxman work for the taxpayer

To read the research paper, click here In 2010 the former Chancellor, George Osborne, called the tax system a ‘spaghetti bowl’. He was spot on: the UK tax system is hideously complicated, with far too many reliefs and exemptions meaning the Tolley’s tax guides now run to nearly 22,000 pages.... Read more...

Decentralise the tax system to meet future funding challenges

The government is reportedly considering plans to permit English local authorities to increase Council Tax to ease funding pressures on the social care system. Council Tax increases are an insufficient response to the significant demographic pressures facing public services. Of course, a big part of the solution lies in health... Read more...

The sugar tax and the public finances

When introducing the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, the then Chancellor, George Osborne, added that the revenues from the tax would be “tied directly” to funding sport and other activities in schools. This briefing paper looks at the likely effects of the tax and associated spending on the public finances.  Read... Read more...

Working for the taxman

For most people, buying something means working to pay for it. The more expensive something is, the longer we have to work to earn the money to buy it. But how much of the time we spend working to buy something is needed to pay for the purchase itself, and... Read more...

Reforming capital taxes

Taxes on capital income are poorly designed. In particular, the UK corporate tax system is a mess, fundamentally designed for another age. It’s in desperate need of comprehensive reform. Capital gains tax and corporation tax are taxes on income streams which are particularly harmful to economic performance. They should be... Read more...

Welsh Local Authority procurement card spending

­­­­­Government Payment Cards (GPCs) are used in the public sector to purchase a range of goods or services from basic office supplies to the wages of temporary staff. They can simplify high-volume, low-value transactions and provide flexibility. Scrutiny is however important. In 2012 the National Audit office confirmed that while... Read more...