Global Quangos To Receive £7.5 Billion Every Year From UK Government

New research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance shows that global quangos raked in £85 billion from the UK government from 2009 to 2021. £7.5 billion is set to be spent every year from 2022 to 2027. That’s equivalent to a 1p cut in income tax…

The figures come from the TPA’s new “Global Quangos Uncoveredfactbook which is documenting the increasing influence and cost to the taxpayer of unaccountable international quangos. The IMF alone got £2.1 billion from the UK taxpayer from 2012 to 2021. The TPA points out that out of 28 forecasts for the UK economy issued by the IMF between 2016 and 2022, 25 underpredicted growth compared to actual results. Taxpayers are coughing up quite an amount for pessimistic doomsaying of the UK economy…

The IMF published a “Strategy toward Mainstreaming Gender” last year and the WHO is spending most of its time attacking vaping. John O’Connell, TPA chief executive, says “Whitehall has handed ever more powers over to unelected international bodies… it’s high time the government looks again at our relationship with some of these organisations“. Calling time on the gravy train…

mdi-timer 6 November 2023 @ 13:00 6 Nov 2023 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Under 10% Of Councils Publish Financial Accounts This Year

The TaxPayers’ Alliance reveals this morning that only 31 British councils have released audited accounts for 2022/23 when the deadline was on 30th September. That’s under 10% of the total…

Councils were meant to publish draft accounts by the end of May, yet 97 of them are still missing. Work-shy South Cambridgeshire District Council hasn’t published audited accounts since 2020 and Greenwich is the single council in London that’s published audited accounts this year. All while council tax is up 79% since its unholy birth….

The government is planning to force councils to publish accounts whether they’re ready or not. It would be nice to know what they’re spending our cash on…

mdi-timer 26 October 2023 @ 11:14 26 Oct 2023 @ 11:14 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi on Cost of Net Zero: “You Can’t Put a Single Figure On It”

Rishi Sunak’s just wrapped up his fringe event with the IEA and the TPA. It was a far-reaching conversation, although Guido doubts he was alone in coming away feeling apprehensive: a lot of eloquent chatter about why raising national insurance was right and necessary (explaining that NI’s historic link to healthcare made it the “least worst option“, especially given it “spreads the burden” on businesses), though also with an implicit warning that it could take several years before any significant tax cuts are possible. Asked by the IEA’s Mark Littlewood if the earliest chance of a tax cut was 2050, Rishi insisted that was “pretty pessimistic” – small mercies…

There was also a question about the cost of net zero by the mid-century, to which Rishi claimed “you can’t put a single figure on it…it’s an ambitious target”, adding that “innovation” was also crucial to hitting that target – not just spending. He did, at least, also reinforce that the upcoming spending review will force government departments to judge spending targets by outcomes. Every little helps…

You might be wondering why politically-savvy Rishi, who’s just put taxes up, chose to go into the lion’s den of the IEA/TPA as his only fringe reception of the conference. Could it be that a tax hiking Chancellor with leadership ambitions needs to make friends with the tax cutting, small government wing of the party?

mdi-timer 5 October 2021 @ 19:31 5 Oct 2021 @ 19:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
IPSA Rejects Guido’s GDP-Linked MP Pay Campaign

IPSA has published the findings of their inquiry into how they should decide future MP pay rises; rejecting the Guido-endorsed Taxpayers’ Alliance proposals to link future MP pay rises with changes in GDP per capita. While there were many alternative reform suggestions from the public – such as linking pay boosts to changes in earnings across the whole economy or a fixed multiple of the level of average weekly earnings – the body specifically addressed the GDP proposals:

“had we followed one suggested approach of linking pay to GDP, the outcome for 2020 would have been a freeze or cut in MPs’ salaries, but the outcome for 2021 and 2022 on current forecasts would be a rise of 4.3% and then 5.8% when the same forecasts predict an increase in average earnings of 2.2% and 2.4%. It is not self-evident to us that this would be seen to represent a fair outcome”

Irritatingly, it looks like IPSA deliberately misinterpreted the campaign, which saw 1727 submissions via the TPA website. They claim respondents were pushing for GDP-linked pay rises, rather than GDP per capita rises, which would see significantly smaller changes to pay than claimed (2019’s figures for example saw a per capita rise of 0.8% versus GDP’s 1.4%). IPSA claims they had just under 4,000 responses to the consultation, so it looks like just under half the submissions called for a new system – which IPSA rejected out of hand… 

The TPA’s political director James Roberts tells Guido, “IPSA took the easy way out and ignored the thousands of taxpayers who told them to get a grip on the system.”:

Now politicians can look forward to another barney next year, when they’re inevitably recommended a pay rise that many of them won’t deserve; that most of them don’t even want; based on data that no one agrees with.

“Performance related pay could have changed the game, but IPSA bottled it.” 

The only pleasure Guido got from reading the report was seeing one MP had argued the proposed £3,000 pay rise this year was justified as “MPs had continued working throughout the pandemic”. The bar is on the floor…

mdi-timer 19 March 2021 @ 15:00 19 Mar 2021 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi’s Spending Review Pleases Few Wonks

Away from the glossy spin now expected from team Rishi, there is a distinctly nervous reaction from the right’s ideological bastions. Delving into the details of the Chancellor’s spending review announcement, think tank responses range from at best unease to at worst some disdain for the government’s decision to double down on further increasing record levels of public spending. Is this the start of a growing gulf between wonk world and Number 10?

The Centre for Policy Studies are the warmest, claiming credit for the two most obvious examples of fiscal restraint within the announcement: the cut to international aid and the so-called public sector pay freeze. It’s clear however that the organisation, which was heavily involved in constructing the Tories’ successful 2019 manifesto, wants the government to more clearly return to the traditional Tory ground of letting the private sector drive the post-Covid recovery:

“But ultimately it will be the private sector, not the public, which digs us out of this economic hole – so as the pandemic recedes we urge the Chancellor to embrace pro-growth, pro-enterprise stimulus measures, such as tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire and invest.”

The ASI doesn’t hold back, accusing the government of a “public sector splurge” in spite of the ‘pay freeze’; and singling out the rise in the minimum wage as an “unforgivable”:

“This public sector spending splurge fails to put the United Kingdom onto a strong fiscal footing for the recovery. Rishi Sunak cannot tax our way out of debt or spend our way out of a recession”

Increasing departmental budgets as the economy shrinks is just spending money we don’t have.”

For the party of business, the lack of thought about their needs and the increase in costs they’re facing coming from the government, this is a massive and unforgivable oversight.”

Unfortunately for Rishi, the IEA goes in even harder, arguing that while the chancellor’s diagnosis of doom was correct, his pledges to boost departmental funding are “vague” and his support for apprentices, and extra work coaches are “retro policies drawn from dusty files last seen in the 1980s.”:

“Recovery from the recessions of the 1980s and 90s was not the result of extra government spending, but was rather associated with deregulation and freeing up markets. There was no sign of this in today’s announcement. Government intervention, however justified by health concerns, has created the current economic situation; the answer is not yet more intervention, but rather to allow businesses maximum freedom to reorient and rebuild.”

The Taxpayers’ Alliance adds to the voiced concerns about Rishi’s fiscal splurge:

The lack of focus on value for money in today’s spending review will no doubt disappoint taxpayers.

“Coronavirus has undeniably left a large hole in the nation’s finances. But instead of forever dipping back into taxpayers’ pockets, the government should prioritise policies to get the economy going.”

The Centre for Social Justice welcomed the focus on jobs but wants “warm words” on families and communities to be followed by action.

“as the Chancellor said, a job is the best route to personal prosperity – an identity, purpose, and reason to get up each morning. Various investments in housing, city growth deals, and a very welcome community levelling-up fund will all help to enable this. 

“support for the most vulnerable such as rough sleepers, and our prisons was welcome, but warm words on families and communities, where many find their greatest support, must be followed by action.”

It’s clear a great many Tories – whether sitting quietly on the back benches or orbiting in wonk world – want a private sector-led recovery, and a definitive end to the endless splurge of taxpayer cash with little thought to the consequences. The question is whether Boris or Rishi will be brave enough to lead their new voters from the front, or surrender the battle of ideas entirely…

mdi-timer 25 November 2020 @ 15:20 25 Nov 2020 @ 15:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government Wants Your Views on BBC Reform

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:

Join Guido in sticking in a submission, to stick it to the Beeb. The road to BBC reform starts by clicking here….

mdi-timer 28 February 2020 @ 15:57 28 Feb 2020 @ 15:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Previous Page Next Page