Research papers

Councillors' Allowances 2015

New research by the TaxPayers' Alliance reveals the full cost of payments to local councillors - two thirds of a billion pounds over three years. Many councillors receive modest allowances appropriate to the work they do in representing local taxpayers but the variation in what is paid to those in... Read more...

Corporation Tax is fundamentally unsustainable

The recent deluge of headlines about Google’s tax settlement with HMRC has once more demonstrated public anger with the tax system. The consensus that substantial reform of Corporation Tax is required has never been greater. The Treasury Select Committee has realised his and opened an inquiry titled “UK tax policy and... Read more...

Flat rate tax relief on pensions

Successive governments have seen changes to the tax treatment of pensions as a means of increasing revenues. Nigel Lawson introduced a tax on pension fund surpluses, Gordon Brown abolished Advance Corporation Tax and George Osborne has reduced the lifetime and annual allowances by 44 and 84 per cent respectively. Now... Read more...

Compensation claims made against Local Authorities

This research paper looks at compensation claims made against local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales in 2013-14 and 2014-15. It gives details of payments made by the authority or its insurers (including outstanding estimates) as well as details of the claim. Where the authority has paid out or made... Read more...

Sugar Tax Briefing

Last year, the Prime Minister and Health Secretary both ruled out imposing a "sugar tax" on drinks and foods with high sugar contents. A sugar tax would be regressive and ineffective. Nevertheless, public health campaigners have remained persistent in their calls for a sugar tax. Given the enormous administrative and... Read more...

Council Tax since 1996-97

Since 2010, central government has offered grants to local authorities to freeze or cut Council Tax. Additionally, local authorities wishing to increase Council Tax by 2 per cent or more must seek the approval of their residents to do so through a referendum. The effects have been an end to... Read more...

The Public Sector Rich List 2015

The TaxPayers' Alliance's Public Sector Rich List is the largest project of its type ever undertaken. Through the Freedom of Information Act we have obtained details of tens of thousands of public sector workers earning more than £100,000 a year. We reveal the job titles and full remuneration of thousands... Read more...

Taxpayer funding of trade unions Northern Ireland

For the first time, the TaxPayers’ Alliance is able to reveal the full extent of taxpayer subsidised trade union activity in Northern Ireland. The subsidy considered here takes the form of the socalled "facility time" in which public sector employees undertake trade union work in place of their regular duties.... Read more...

The single use plastic bag charge

The mandatory five pence charge for plastic carrier bags is unlikely to achieve lower resource use and less waste, it is an ill-considered and complicated policy and significant costs will be borne by consumers. There are other measures which have, in the past, been successful in reducing plastic bag use... Read more...

Government Art

It will come as little surprise to the public that the government owns a substantial portfolio of art. Given that museums and galleries such as the British Museum and National Portrait Gallery form part of the public sector, neither is it surprising that some such works of art are of... Read more...

Level Failed: EU Videogames

Despite the myriad problems across the continent, it seems that the European Union’s (EU) wasteful spending continues apace. New TaxPayers’ Alliance research via official European sources reveals that more than £2 million has been given in grants to video game productions. These subsidies are unacceptable. Read the full research note... Read more...

Taxpayers' TV

Despite the myriad problems across the continent, it seems that the European Union’s wasteful spending continues apace. New TaxPayers’ Alliance research via official European sources reveals that more than £10 million has been given in grants to TV productions, including children’s cartoons and politically motivated documentaries in the first year... Read more...

Taxpayers and bank bailouts

British taxpayers have always been reluctant shareholders in RBS. Bailing out this bank, and for that matter Lloyds was never an "investment" in the typical sense of the word; it was part of an emergency recapitalisation plan. The government’s decision to start offloading taxpayers’ shares in RBS is a welcome... Read more...

Tax Distribution 2015

The often emotive debates concerning the cost of living and what constitutes a “fair share” of someone’s income that us paid in tax is rarely based on evidence. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has voiced concerns that the Exchequer is increasingly reliant on a very small group of taxpayers for... Read more...

Police and Crime Commissioners

In November 2012 the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections took place in 41 areas of England and Wales. The purpose of creating PCCs was to introduce greater accountability to the police but the elections had the lowest ever recorded national electoral turnout of just 14.1 per cent. Now that the... Read more...

Total lifetime tax

For several years, the high cost of living in the UK has been recognised by the political classes as an area which requires an urgent and concerted policy response. However all too often, these policy responses focus on demand and fail to address underlying issues. All too often, government is... Read more...

Unnecessary Jobs in HS2

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the TaxPayers’ Alliance has exposed the number of lobbyists, spin doctors and green staff employed by HS2 Limited. Comparison of Annual Reports has also shown that the average salary at HS2 Ltd has increased by more than £20,000 between 2011/12 and 2014/15 - from £33,671 to... Read more...

The European Development Fund

This research note shows the organisations and nations who are the beneficiaries of 10th EDF Commitments between 2010 and 2013. It looks at UK-based beneficiaries and those across the world which received the largest commitments. There is a complete list of 10th EDF commitments in 2013 and for reference, it... Read more...

The Consequences of the Direct Recovery of Debts

New powers allowing Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to seize funds directly from bank accounts – so-called ‘Direct Recovery of Debt’ powers – are flawed in both practice and principle. The basic mechanism of the legislation allows HMRC to place “hold notices” – essentially, to freeze all but £5,000... Read more...

Holiday Tax bill hits £2.4 billion

This summer millions of British families will head off for a well-earned holiday. But before they do many of the simple but important purchases they make are subject to tax. Items such as clothes are subject to VAT, whilst travel insurance purchases are hit by Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). The... Read more...

The Real National Debt 2015

Since the financial crisis of 2007-08, Britain’s national debt has ballooned, placing an increasing burden on taxpayers and posing a serious risk to our future prosperity. The normal measure of the national debt, public sector net debt, swelled to around £1.5 trillion by the end of 2014-15. But our real... Read more...

Council owned assets

New research from the TaxPayers' Alliance today demonstrates that councils up and down the United Kingdom are hoarding assets as diverse as golf courses and a model railway despite the scale of Britain's financial challenge.Key findings of the research are that, as of April 1st 2014: Local authorities own at least 580 restaurants or cafes,... Read more...

Grounds and Gardens Maintenance costs in the NHS

New analysis of data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre – a Department of Health agency – shows significant disparities in how much NHS trusts spend to maintain grounds and gardens. There appear to be opportunities for many Trusts to save significant amounts of money by emulating those... Read more...

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