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Friday 14 January 2011

TPA – Heads Up

Recent output from the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) might have given the impression that this was an organisation in decline. That thought may have been premature: today, it was revealed that the TPA, along with the Institute of Directors (IoD), have founded the 2020 Tax Commission, which meets for the first time on Tuesday next.

This new body has impeccably right leaning credentials: in the chair will be Allister Heath, who co-founded the LSE Hayek Society back in 1996. The “commissioners” include Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, along with Nick Bosanquet, of right leaning “think tank” Reform, and the TPA’s so-called “Research Fellow” Mike Denham.

The last name is important: Denham, who has done much of the number crunching for recent TPA “reports”, has put his blog on hold, telling that he has a book to write, along with “a couple of other projects”. The 2020 Tax Commission is clearly one of that “couple”.

Denham was behind the recent TPA welfare “report”, which proposed lowering the poverty line: he was clearly distressed at the thought of the least well off being allowed access to televisions, washing machines and refrigerators. He has, on his own blog, urged ending of the minimum wage.

It would be wrong to pre-judge what may come from this convocation of comfortably off and generally right leaning individuals, and so I do not. However, given the track record of the TPA, which is generally to favour the interests of their overmonied backers, I’ll be maintaining a watching brief against any tendency to promote supposed tax fairness while kicking the poorest (which the TPA welfare proposals were mainly about).

The TPA tendency to demonise Government, along with public service and public works, will also be highlighted when it – inevitably – appears. More updates to come during the coming months.

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