I have always wondered about the tax payers alliance, who or what is behind them. It sounds like a great idea for people who want to pay less tax, but it has been revealed to be much more sinister.
For a start; Alexander Heath, a director of the increasingly influential rightwing lobby group, lives in a farmhouse in the Loire and has not paid British tax for years.
But more worrying than this, its revealed that rather than a grassroots organisation of ordinary citizens; its the wealthy who are backing it, many of whom have links to the Tories. Sir Anthony Bamford, the owner of the JCB digger company, and Tony Gallagher, the owner of Gallagher Estates, both Conservative donors, who with 32 other businessmen have donated about £80,000 to the group through the Midlands Industrial Council.
The campaign group refuses to publish details of its income or a list of donors, but said the biggest single donation was no higher than £100,000 and its annual income from donations was about £1m.
Their links to the Conservatives include monthly meetings where speakers have included Eric Pickles, the Conservative party chairman, Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, and Daniel Hannan MEP.
Not everything the TPA says is wrong though. Who could disagree with its commitment to "criticise all examples of wasteful and unnecessary spending", or to putting 2012 London Olympic spending under scrutiny? But the Alliance's concern for better public spending is a stepping stone to its desire for less public spending. And far from being a voice for "ordinary" taxpayers, its policies – opposing all tax rises (what, for everyone, in any circumstance?) and backing a flat rather than progressive tax – will increase inequality and shift wealth from poor to rich. Much of out tax goes on vital public services; schools, hospitals, transport, army, police and much more; and that costs money.
There is room for cuts though; i.d. cards, nuclear weapons (and power), subsidy for arms traders, expanding motorways and building more runways. But rather than use savings to reduce the tax burden, I want the money used to prepare us for the future, to change to a low carbon life.
he 'other' taxpayersalliance
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