The Taxpayers’ Alliance produced an edited version of a film which demonstrates the wide range of jobs throughout the public sector which could be abolished without (they claim) 'any impact at all on front line services'. A good example of how it is hotting up in the iCampaign…
The other taxpayers alliance
Barely a day goes by without Chief Executive Matthew Elliott appearing in the media, representing the views of "ordinary taxpayers". The problem is that it isn't an alliance of ordinary taxpayers at all. It is an alliance of right-wing ideologues. Its academic advisory council is a who's who of the proponents of discredited Thatcherite policies.
Not everything the TPA says is wrong. 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.
They also have links tothe Tories. For an organisation so concerned with transparency, the TaxPayers' Alliance is surprisingly opaque about its own finances. No list of donors is available.
The term ‘Alliance’ suggests that the TPA has some kind of democratic legitimacy, that it represents the voting public in some kind of genuine fashion. Indeed, it claims to be: ‘the guardian of taxpayers money, the voice of the taxpayer in the media and their representative at Westminster’. The Guardian had investigated the TPA’s sources for its £1m annual funding and discovered 60 per cent of it comprised donors giving £5000 or more to the Conservative Party. Moreover one of the group’s directors lives abroad and does not pay any UK tax.
The Greens see things differently. Caroline Lucas, MEP for the South East including Brighton, has said:"The last thing we need to be doing in the current economic climate is making cuts. What is needed is investment in public services, to make sure we get out - and stay out - of recession."
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