Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Behind the Mask of the Taxpayers Alliance

NIPSA has published a pam-phlet looking “Behind the Mask” of the Taxpayers Alliance. NIPSA is the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance. The Taxpayers Alliance claims to speak up for ordinary taxpayers who are worried that their money is being wasted. Even a brief look at their campaigns shows that what they really want is to cut back public spending and reduce taxes.

This is the organisation that loves to campaign against pub-lic sector “non jobs” and more recently facility time for union activists. They are currently campaigning to get rid of National Insurance, which no doubt suits their wealthy backers but may be a bit more tricky for the rest of us.

This pamphlet looks at who funds the alliance and how they get their message into the me-dia. Backers include: Tony Gallacher owner of Gallacher UK who has given £3million to the Conservatives since 2001; Christopher Kelly owner of Kel-truck : Sir Anthony Bamford, of JCB who has also donated £1million to the Conservatives. and Stuart Wheeler who having previously donated £5million to the Conservatives has now en-dorsed UKIP. Hardly ordinary taxpayers.

The pamphlet also gives an overview of recent research into the funding and transparency of a range of UK think tanks. The Taxpayers Alliance, Adam Smith Institute and ResPublica are given an E rating while IPPR Compass and the new Eco-nomics foundations gaining an A rating. A being the most open.