A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Other Taxpayers' Alliance

This - http://www.taxpayersalliance.org/ - is a rather good response to the TPA - I don't agree with everything on the site (e.g. the attack on PFI) but good to see someone isn't allowing the TPA a free run.

A few quotes:

"The TaxPayers' Alliance is a tremendously successful campaign group. Barely a day goes by without Chief Executive Matthew Elliott appearing in the media, representing the views of "ordinary taxpayers". In fact never a day goes by: the Alliance boasts an average hit rate of 13 media appearances a day and puts the links on its website to prove it.

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: Eamonn Butler and Marsden Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute, academics Patrick Minford and Kenneth Minogue, Margaret Thatcher's former economic advisor [the late] Sir Alan Walters, and others such as ex-Institute of Directors policy head Ruth Lea.

Like all the best propaganda, there is some truth in the Alliance's message. 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."

"Mission impossible
Here's the TaxPayers' Alliance mission:
To reverse the perception that big government is necessary and irreversible.[Have they heard of the credit crunch?]
To explain the benefits of a low tax economy.[Don't forget to explain the benefits of cutting public services at same time, especially when there is growing pressure on the NHS and when social care provision can barely keep pace with an aging population.]
To give taxpayers a voice in the corridors of power.[Thanks for offering, but the TaxPayers' Alliance is no more representative of taxpayers than Mary Whitehouse was of viewers and listeners.] "

"Somalia …
… where every day is Tax Freedom Day."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And just who is the Labour Party representative of?

Unions pay the piper and get to hear their tunes.

11:20 pm, February 10, 2009

Blogger jdc said...

PFI is history, Luke. I don't have strong ideological feelings about it, but in the new post-bubble economy, there is one thing it's easy for governments to do, and hard for private companies to do - borrow.

PFI is a complicated way of engineering a system whereby the private sector does the one thing the Government is undoubtedly best at. If you were starting from scratch, you wouldn't invent it.

10:03 am, February 11, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11.20pm. You're only able to make your cheap jibe about union funding because such funding is completely transparent. Sadly, the same cannot be said of those who fund the Taxpayers Alliance.

And if you're interested in knowing who the Labour Party represents, why not ask the 9,562,122 people who voted for it at the last general election?

4:25 pm, February 11, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recent opinion polls (and by recent I mean at the end of 2008) indicate that if given the choice between funding public services further and tax cuts - 62% would prefer tax cuts (http://wsknowledgeshop.com/2008/10/21/the-brown-bounce/) I know Luke will appreciate this piece from his own company.

Taxpayers Alliance may be against public spending - but guess what at the moment, the public don't have much appetite for being taxed out of existence!

11:42 am, February 12, 2009


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