At the start of the pandemic, Guido was the first to report that MPs were to receive a huge boost to their expenses allowance, when IPSA raised their monthly credit card limit to £10,000; allowed items to be claimed for without proof of purchase; and increased office budgets by £10,000. Since then, IPSA has also changed rules to allow MPs to claim for taxis. We can’t expect our representatives to catch the plague-ridden public transport like the rest of the proles…
Yesterday, a further boost was announced, in the form of a £312 annual homeworking bonus for MPs’ staff, to cover their home telephone usage, internet, electricity and gas – all tax-free. If every parliamentary staffer – none of whose incomes have been hit by Coronavirus – claimed the allowance, it would cost the taxpayer £1.1 million…
MPs will also be able to request up £18,270 extra for their staffing budget to deal with “a rise in workload for their offices as a result of coronavirus” – up from the £10,000 allowance rise announced at the start of the lockdown.
Responding to the neverending parliamentary pandemic pocket-lining, The Taxpayers’ Alliance Duncan Simpson told Guido:
“MPs and their staff should not be getting budget top-ups for working from home when everyone else is being expected to just get on with it.
“Millions have been stuck in the house, looking after kids and cracking on with their day jobs – where’s their £312 annual homeworking bonus?
“Parliamentary authorities need to get a grip and stop pampering our politicos.”
Guido can’t imagine this is the last excuse for picking the pockets of the public we’ll see from IPSA before the pandemic is out…
The UK’s tax burden, as the former Chancellor reminded us in his resignation speech (and on Twitter), is the highest it’s been for fifty years. Ahead of the budget, the Taxpayers’ Alliance has produced a nifty tool for you to cut the cost of Britain’s tax regime. The calculator allows users to select which taxes they want to cut, and by how much – showing how much money it will save the taxpayer at the end. Click here to try it now and see how much you can save!
Co-conspirators will know that Guido has little time for the BBC’s biased activist/experts, bloated news crews, and Question Time group think. Rival broadcasters don’t charge a legally-enforced licence fee to non-viewers. Why should the BBC continue to enjoy that privilege?
With the new consultation on decriminalising the TV tax, ministers may be finally looking at major changes to Britain’s state broadcaster. Decriminalising the licence fee is the first step to funding reform; from a tiered system to a subscription model. Something we’ve called for long before Dom got on the phone to Tim Shipman…
The Taxpayers’ Alliance is preparing for a fight, rallying grassroots supporters to counter the tidal wave of worthy submissions (often from taxpayer-funded groups which always dominate these otherwise dull consultations). They’ve designed a nifty tool to do the legwork for you, and generate a submission which won’t fall foul of the notoriously selective civil service consultation guidelines. You can find it here.
They’re also on the lookout for some examples of poor old dears who’ve been on the receiving end of the BBC’s nasty enforcement letters and home visits. If your grandma’s been hassled by some BBC jobsworths, let the TPA know: email@example.com
Join Guido in sticking in a submission, to stick it to the Beeb. The road to BBC reform starts by clicking here….
£39,584,172 of taxpayers’ money was funnelled to left-wing lobby groups, new research from the Taxpayers’ Alliance has revealed. Between the years 2017 and 2019, groups arguing for higher taxes, spending, and in favour of a greater regulatory burden were flush with money – handed to them by the Government they campaign against…
Taxpayer funding went to the socialist Fabian Society, anti-growth New Economics Foundation, and anti-trade deal ‘War on Want’. Other cash that was splurged on left wing campaigners included:
No need to ask these left-wing groups ‘who funds you’. The answer is usually ‘the taxpayer’…
Last year the Taxpayers’ Alliance announced the winners of the “Great British Transport Competition“ to find popular, better value for money alternatives to HS2. They found 50 transport infrastructure project ideas that were better value for money than HS2. The winning project ideas had construction costs came to £45.1 billion – which is less than half the under-estimated budget for HS2. Ahead of the Cabinet decision on HS2, Guido thought we would list the projects again… eagle-eyed MPs will note the constituencies that will benefit.
Many of the entries required only relatively small sums of money to achieve vast benefits for local communities with the potential for dramatically transforming the transport infrastructure nationally, not only in the Midlands.
|A1 – Dual Carriageway From Durham to Edinburgh||1,300,000,000|
|Reopen the Skipton-Colne Railway Line||100,000,000|
|Reopen the Beverley to York Railway||300,000,000|
|Ashington, Blyth & Tyne Railway||50,000,000|
|Britain’s S-Bahn Network: Leeds||1,000,000,000|
|Reopen the Keswick to Penrith Railway||110,000,000|
|Upgrade The Settle & Carlisle Railway||30,000,000|
|Reopen Blackburn to Hellifield||15,000,000|
|High Speed UK-North||18,100,000,000|
|The Whitacre Link||400,000,000|
|Reopen Stourbridge to Lichfield||120,000,000|
|Upgrade the Rugby to Birmingham Railway Line||1,500,000,000|
|Upgrade the A5 to expressway standard||500,000,000|
|Reopen the Sutton Park Line to passengers||100,000,000|
|Chiltern Main Line Electrification||1,000,000,000|
|Midland Main Line Electrification||5,000,000,000|
|Improve the Felixstowe to Nuneaton Freight Route||1,500,000,000|
|Reopen The March to Wisbech Line to passengers||110,000,000|
|A new station on the Bury St Edmunds to Ely Line||40,000,000|
|Extend Crossrail to Stansted Airport & Cambridge||4,000,000,000|
|Lower Thames Crossing||6,800,000,000|
|Brighton Mainline 2: Sussex Phase||500,000,000|
|Improve Connectivity to Bristol Temple Meads||125,000,000|
|Rebuild Cullompton Station||15,000,000|
|Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton||500,000,000|
|Reopen the Bodmin to Wadebridge Railway Line||25,000,000|
|Cross Cornwall Rail Link||125,000,000|
|Build cycle paths next to motorways & A-roads||1,820,000,000|
Many of these projects will take only 3 years or less to complete, providing concrete evidence of action on transport which can be delivered before the next election, unlike HS2. Not that Guido is cynically suggesting that electoral calculations should play a role, the projects stand on their own merits…
Download the full details of all the winning projects here.
Polling by Public First for the Taxpayers’ Alliance finds that tax cuts are popular with workers. Lost in the all-party noise about spending on ‘free things’ is the enduring truth that tax cuts are popular with voters. The key findings were:
The patronising attitude of politicians, progressive think-tankers and broadsheet columnists towards the working classes is that they want more welfare spending, in reality they want to be able to keep and spend more of their own money on the things they want – like everybody else. They are pro-business because most of them work in small businesses. Poll after poll shows that the truth is that people who work hard to earn a living resent over-generous welfare benefits more than those on higher incomes; for example 50% of C2DE voters believe there should be a National Insurance “no claims” rebate every five years for people who haven’t claimed Jobseekers’ Allowance. Only 39% of higher earning ABC1 voters think the same.