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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Which Taxpayers do the Taxpayers' Alliance represent?

Just who do the Taxpayers' Alliance represent? It is a question that has been asked on many occasions. In particular, where do they get their funding from?

Some of these questions are answered in this article in the Guardian, which reports that despite claiming to be an independent grassroots campaign representing ordinary British taxpayers, the Alliance has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign donations.

They say that the Taxpayers’ Alliance has received at least $286,000 (£223,300) from US-based donors in the last five years, including $100,000 originating from a billionaire-founded religious trust incorporated in the Bahamas.

They add that an American group set up specifically to support the alliance has given more than $186,000 from donors whose identities are secret, according to documents filed with the US Internal Revenue Service:

Since it was set up in 2004, the group has styled itself as an “independent grassroots campaign” that speaks “for ordinary taxpayers fed up with government waste, increasing taxation, and a lack of transparency in all levels of government”. It keeps its donors secret, saying it respects their privacy.

The latest disclosure comes amid growing concern over undeclared donors attempting to influence British politics by donating to thinktanks and campaigns that refuse to disclose the source of their funding.

The TPA is one of nine lobbying groups linked to a single address in Tufton Street, Westminster that campaign for greater privatisation and a reduction of the state, or promote climate science denial.

Any group funded in this way cannot credibly claim to represent 'ordinary taxpayers'. These revelations raise serious questions about the way that the media treat this organisation as well as its influence on government. They are a lobbying group with a right wing agenda and should be treated as such.

The article also adds to concerns about the influence of foreign money on UK politics. It is not just Russian money that is infiltrating the system, but American cash as well. And who knows to what extent this funding has circumvented rules against overseas money during elections and referendums?

The need for a full-blooded inquiry is growing ever more urgent.
The TPA is in this Tufton Street address. Which are the others in the same building. ? Does tn is mean these are also lobby groups paid by unknown donors with political plans of their own? To me it implies right wing conservative groups with loads of money pulling the strings of Govnt. for their own ends not for the good of all.
I tend to call them the Taxpayer's Alliance, because the singular form is how many actual tax payers fund them.
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