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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taxing dilemma

The Taxpayers' Alliance, scourge of politicians and public authorities everywhere, an organisation that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing, has found itself the centre of controversy today with the revelation that one of its directors does not pay British tax.

The Guardian has learned that Alexander Heath, a director of the increasingly influential free market, rightwing lobby group, lives in a farmhouse in the Loire and has not paid British tax for years.

The admission, made by Matthew Elliott, the TPA's chief executive and founder, is potentially embarrassing for the Conservative party, which has close links to the group that claims to be "the guardian of taxpayers' money, the voice of taxpayers in the media and their representative at Westminster".

At the Conservative party conference in Manchester this week, the TPA's influence was underlined when David Cameron and George Osborne followed its recommendations for freezing public sector pay and capping civil servants' salaries at the level of the prime minister, unless approved by the chancellor.

Senior Labour figures said the admission that a TPA director does not pay British tax "should ring alarm bells" about the group's influence on the debate on tax and spending. The group has also campaigned against green taxes, quangos and town hall pay.

Quite how anybody will be able to take this organisation seriously in future hangs in the balance. Perhaps all the newspaper editors who have relied on the Taxpayers' Alliance for headlines in the past will think twice in future before taking their copy unquestioned.
Absolutely right I was shocked when I read it in the Guardian.
The Tax Payers Alliance does have a part to play in the Political Arena in addition to society as a whole.

But, I would agree it is ironic!

Aren't we one of the most heavily taxed societies in the World? Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT, Fuel Duty, Road Tax, Community Charge.

Due to Brown and his merry men, the country is now bankrupt, personal debt is at all time high, there are going to be cutbacks in public spending, we could have paid for some of this using the countries gold reserves, but we haven't got any!!!

Brown in his infinite wisdom sold the UK gold when it was rock bottom, the current price of gold is some $1,050 per ounce.

When Brown sold the gold reserve of the county off, I decided to invest in gold, I bought a couple of Krugerrands, they cost me some £260 each, they are now worth £650 each.

An article from the Times (15 Apr 07) give figures of the gold reserves of some of the G8 Countries, and I quote:

USA 8,133 tonnes
France 2,710 tonnes
Germany 2,422 tonnes
Japan 765 tonnes
UK 315 tonnes
I don't understand. Why should someone living in France pay UK tax?

I don't understand why you believe that any argument from the organisation shouldn't be addressed solely on its own merits.
Someone living in France shouldn't pay UK tax. The point here is really whether someone living in abroad should seek to influence public debate in a territory he/she doesn't not live in, and to whose Exchequer he/she makes no contribution at all.

The TPA reminds me of those phoney right-wing groups that pop-up in the States, you know, like Concerned Women for America, that exist to contribute on air to issues of the day to the advantage of the conservative lobby. To its shame, the media engages with them as if they are legitimate.

It's a pity, because public money shouldn't be mis-used.
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