Research papers

Examples of how to save money and keep council tax low

Trafford Council is the third lowest funded Metropolitan District in the country, receiving only £365 per head against an average of £591, an equivalent loss of £49.3 million. However, Trafford also has the 19th lowest Council Tax in the Country, because it has a culture of delivering a high level... Read more...

The steel crisis explained

With Tata Steel putting its Port Talbot steelworks up for sale and saying the value of its UK steel operations are "almost zero", clamours for nationalisation of the ailing industry are growing. This briefing paper discusses the following questions: How important is the steel industry to the UK? Why is... Read more...

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...