Research papers

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...

Merging Income Tax and National Insurance

National insurance is a tax on labour. Two taxes, in fact. Running three slightly different income tax systems is a century-old relic that should have no place in a modern, transparent tax system. National Insurance should be abolished in three phases: 1. Transparency now. First, at this year’s autumn statement,... Read more...

Scotland's Overspending Problem

Following the EU referendum result, the Scottish government announced that Scottish independence was once again “on the table”. However, most objective analysis shows that Scotland today couldn't afford independence, with the loss of English subsidies entailing a huge and unsustainable fiscal deficit. In short, the country is living beyond its... Read more...

The per person spending factbook

The Government is spending over £770 billion of taxpayers' money this year, more that ever before. The TaxPayers' Alliance's per person spending factbook tells you where your money is going. To read the factbook click here Sources and methodology:  UK population, Households and families Source: Population: Office for National Statistics,... Read more...

Lifetime tax 2016

For many years, politicians have cited the high cost of living in the UK as a major challenge in need of a policy response. However, all too often it is government policy that causes the high cost of living. For example, energy bills rise because of ineffective “green taxes” and... Read more...

Property taxes in the UK and the regions

Property taxes impose a substantial burden on taxpayers across the country, despite frequent claims that property in the United Kingdom is undertaxed. This paper presents data showing how property taxes vary across regions compared to estimates of regional GDP, how their composition between Council Tax, business rates and stamp duty falls, and how... Read more...

The nanny state rich list

The influence of the public health lobby seems to be increasing. Not only do we have several quangos dedicated to the task such as Public Health England, but the Health and Social Care Act returned many associated competencies to local government. There are clearly areas in which guidance must be... Read more...

Rich man’s toy: The case for scrapping HS2

High Speed 2 is part of the Government’s effort to increase rail capacity between the North and South of England and to deliver greater economic growth in the North of England. Phase one, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to begin construction in 2017 (presuming Royal Assent is... Read more...

Taxing tenants: How taxes on landlords end up hitting tenants

The housing crisis has prompted the government to take a number of policy decisions aimed at making it easier for people to buy a home. Together with policies implemented by local authorities, much has changed in property markets for owner-occupying buyers, landlords and tenants. These changes are not sufficient to... Read more...

Britain after Brexit: A positive vision for taxpayers

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union so it is essential that politicians put together a plan for growth that ensures the security and stability of the economy. It should also be seen as an exciting opportunity to demonstrate that the UK is ready to do business... Read more...

Members of the board

In October 2010, the Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude announced that 192 Quasiautonomous Non-Governmental Organisations (quangos) would be abolished and a further 118 merged. What are colloquially referred to as quangos are in fact a combination of nonministerial departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies and others. They have a wide... Read more...

The impact of the sugar tax on different drinks

Announced in the 2016 budget, the soft drinks industry levy (the sugar tax), will be paid by producers and importers of “water-based added sugar soft drinks” from April 2018. It is expected that the levy will have two rates (18 pence and 24 pence) dependent on the drink’s sugar content... Read more...

Defence Acquisition

The efficient procurement of defence equipment has long been a challenge for British governments. It is an extremely complex process that is yet to be mastered with vast sums of money invariably at stake – procurement and support of military equipment consumes around 40 per cent of annual defence cash... Read more...

Keeping Council Tax low in Windsor and Maidenhead

In Windsor and Maidenhead, our approach to Government is to only take in Council Tax what is absolutely necessary to spend to deliver high quality services at a low cost. In many authorities the elected representatives and their officials would say exactly the same thing – but in Windsor and... Read more...

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