University of Bristol students gathered at the King’s Arms in Whiteladies Road, a favourite pub with local students, to hear a TPA talk about the past – and future – of the campaign. Many of our past successes have been achieved with the help of students, especially on issues they hold particularly close to their heart – not least the Cut Cider Tax campaign and other campaigns to bring down astronomical duty rates. I also spoke about plans for future campaigns and our current War on Waste, with several students signing up to help us with future campaigning. Continue Reading
John O’Connell wrote a letter to the Times in response to an article by Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, who argued that the tax take may need to go up to close the deficit. John said that it would be far better to cut out wasteful spending, and to have a re-think about what the Government does.
Sir, Paul Johnson’s article “Whichever way you cut it, taxes need to rise”, (Nov 7) is right to highlight the limp prognosis for tax receipts but wrong to suggest that this means that rates need to rise. High tax rates are associated with sluggish economic growth; and as labour and capital mobility increase, that relationship is strengthening. Far from being too low, taxes are too high and we need to cut and simplify them to compete not only with the emerging economies that are catching up with us but also with the low-tax economies which have already overtaken ours. For that to happen we need a war on wasteful spending and a discussion about the functions of government. We need to reduce spending, not hike taxes.
Director, TaxPayers’ Alliance
Every year, when we publish data on the number of full-time union representatives whose salaries are paid for by taxpayers, various individuals in our public conversation tell us that we’re just being sensationalist. Indeed they tell us¸ as the National Union of Teachers have, that “facility time for trade union duties represents excellent value for money” and that it is a crucial part of “good education practice.”
Well, perhaps they could explain how that makes the slightest bit of sense as news breaks that Julie Davies, an NUT rep, will lead a walkout at two schools in North London this week, where she teaches English.
Or rather, taught English. The thing is, Mrs Davies hasn’t actually taught at the school for fourteen years, instead enjoying taxpayer-funded “facility time” and operating as a full-time union worker. Amusingly, Mrs Davies still describes herself as a teacher on her twitter profile page. If a teacher doesn’t teach, one wonders whether they are in fact a teacher… Continue Reading
The UK’s system of public bodies is inconsistent, overlapping, confused, cluttered and ultimately lacks accountability. Taxpayers need to know what is going on, but it is often a monumental task for even the most dedicated researcher to know who reports to whom – that’s the conclusion of a new report published today. Continue Reading
At Business Questions to the Leader of the House, David Nuttall MP cited our paper on aid effectiveness, which revealed that foreign aid is failing to increase freedom in the developing world.
Mr Nuttall asked for a full debate on this very important matter, to which the response was underwhelming. But it is crucial that our Parliamentarians’ attention is drawn to this very important matter to ensure that overseas aid is targeted to help those who need it the most, rather than simply increasing the budget and measuring aid effectiveness by the amount spent on it.