The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has welcomed the Conservatives’ new green paper on local government, which propose greater powers for local people over council tax levels and the way councils are run, improved transparency in local government spending and the effective abolition of the Regional Development Agencies.
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“These are excellent measures that will increase the power of the people to decide how much tax they pay and how their money is spent, whilst reducing the power of highly paid, ineffective bureaucrats in town halls and regional quangos. If councils have to answer to the people who pay the bills, then we will see better services, less waste and lower taxes. For too long power has shifted from the people to officials in the Regional Development Agencies and Town Halls. It’s high time the centralisation of our government was reversed.”
Several of the Conservatives’ key proposals are inspired by TaxPayers’ Alliance research and campaigning:
1) Councils will be required to publish detailed information on a wide range of their expenditure. Last year, the TPA launched its groundbreaking Council Spending Uncovered campaign, which revealed, council by council, the true scale of town hall expenditure on publicity, pensions, middle management and senior executives, putting the case for greater transparency in local government. The huge public interest in the research made clear taxpayers’ appetite for more information on how their money is spent.
2) Councils will be required to publish the pay and perks received by senior council staff. Since 2007 the TPA has campaigned for full transparency of the remuneration of senior council staff, and we have published an annual Town Hall Rich List, which in 2008 featured 818 council staff with remuneration packages over £100,000.
3) Regional Development Agencies will be effectively abolished. In August 2008 the TPA published “The case for abolishing the Regional Development Agencies”, a detailed economic survey that revealed the £15 billion spent on RDAs had produced little or no benefit to the regions themselves.
For further comments or to arrange broadcast interviews, please contact:
Mark Wallace, TPA Campaign Director, on:
07795 084 113