Sunday, October 11, 2009

Taxpayers' Alliance director doesn't pay tax

The Taxpayers' Alliance has a most deceptive name: it makes itself sound as if it is acting on behalf of ordinary taxpayers, when in fact it is acting on behalf of a narrow section of (the wealthiest) taxpayers, thus setting itself directly against ordinary taxpayers.

So it's no surprise, then, that the Guardian reveals that its directors aren't all they seem:

"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."

As John Cruddas MP noted:

"The least we can expect for an organisation that purports to represent the interests of British taxpayers is that it is run by people that pay British tax."

If you want an organisation whose name does what it says on the tin, best to visit the website of the Other Taxpayers' Alliance. As they note of their similarly named rival:

"For an organisation so concerned with transparency, the TaxPayers' Alliance is surprisingly opaque about its own finances. No list of donors is available. It states only that all donations are from private sources and that no single donation accounts for more that 5% of income. But 5% of what? The Alliance's 2006 accounts record an income of £130,000 – up from £68,000 in 2005 – but that seems hardly enough to sustain 10 full-time staff and offices in London and Birmingham. Let's hope those staff are at least paid the minimum wage and claim any tax credits due to them. In 2007 the TPA published "abbreviated" accounts, which meant income and expenditure were withheld."


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