.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Taxpayers Alliance report bizarre and ridculous

If the Taxpayers Alliance latest mutterings from the sidelines do not finally destroy their credibility then nothing will.

We have already see how in 2009, it was revealed that one of their directors lives in a farmhouse in the Loire and has not paid British tax for years.  Despite this they have been telling us how to spend our money for years.

This is not to say that some of the stuff they have unearthed is not useful. Some of it is helpful scrutiny that enables further questions to be asked. However, their basic premise appears to be that the public sector should spend as little money as possible and deliver as few services as they can get away with.

Their most recent claims are in my view bizarre and ridiculous. They say that despite Welsh councils being faced with slashing services to save £146 million they own huge property portfolios which include pubs, golf courses, farms, restaurants, shops and hotels. They believe that  local authorities are “hoarding” lucrative property while crying poverty.

Their Chief Executive wants the assets sold. He believes that councils should provide “essential services” only saying that it looks deeply hypocritical for councils to plead poverty as an excuse for hiking council tax when they’ve got such a huge asset portfolio.

What utter nonsense. Councils of course have wider responsibilities including economic regeneration, leisure provision and community development. Many of the assets highlighted by the Taxpayers Alliance are needed to deliver those responsibilities.

More to the point, selling these assets will make Councils' financial situation even worse. A sale will generate a capital receipt which can only be spent once, but in many cases it will remove from a council's balance sheet important revenue, currently being used to keep council tax down.

It is a supreme irony that a proposal being put forward by the Taxpayers Alliance would actually cause taxpayers to pay more for the running of council services. Maybe it is time that we turned our attention to whether the Taxpayers Alliance is fit for purpose.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?