Saturday, 10 October 2009

Taxpayers' Alliance director doesn't pay British tax

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


howard thomas said...

Adrian---Would you be suggesting that there is not an incredible amount of tax payers money that is wasted?
Quangos would be a good starting point. It is quite difficult to define whether some organisations ought to be referred to as quangos, and for that reason it is quite difficult to put a total figure on the money spent on them. However the figure would appear to be in excess of £100 billion.
David Cameron has declared he will make a 'bonfire of quangos'. assuming he does make PM, lets hope he doesn't forget where he put the matches!
It is far better to cut out this sort of spending of public money than picking on nurses and other front line operations.Has DC got the sense to actually do what he promises----I wonder!

Adrian Windisch said...

I think most of the previous PMs have said they will make efficiancy savings and cut quangos. Then the number increases.

Im surprised you believe Cameron.

Have a look at quangos, some are good, some are bad. Don't throw out the bad.

I made a list of some cuts I want to make in my post, eg nuclear, road building, runway building, subsidising arms trade. Why not cut that?

Adrian Windisch said...

sorry typo, dont throw out the bad with the good.

howard thomas said...

Adrian---Which part of the above makes you think that I believe Cameron???

Do your nuclear cuts mean power stations--if so ,how are the UK's power emissions going to be cut to zero by 2030?
Road building? More people ,crap/expensive public transport equals more cars equals a need for more roads

Adrian Windisch said...

If you read my post you will see I include nuclear power and weapons.

You quote Cameron as though you believed him, I think he will do as his predecessors did.

You can read my earlier post on nuclear power,

Basically it isnt zero emissions, so it isnt worth it for that along with many other reasons. Relewables are the answer.

More and better public transport means fewer car journeys, and with fuel prices rising car travel will one day be only for the wealthy.

howard thomas said...

Adrian---DC will probably be the next PM----The truth rarely gets in the way of a good election campaign by any of the big 3 parties!