As with the reappearance of the proverbial bad penny, there comes into view another piece of flawed “research” from the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA). Today’s freshly steaming pile is, as with so much TPA produce, intended to demonise local Government, and its subject is mileage allowances.
The TPA have assembled details of mileage payments made by almost every local authority in the UK – no doubt causing significant amounts of taxpayers’ money to be wasted in the process – to produce another of their characteristic and interminable lists. There is little point, however, in visiting this part of the “report”: it’s just there to impress gullible hacks and otherwise provide padding.
The central false assumption that the TPA make can be stated plainly: it is that the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax free mileage allowance (previously 40p per mile, but being increased to 45) is the maximum that private sector organisations pay “most of” their employees.
However – and there’s always a however with the TPA – not one example is cited in support of this assertion. The TPA deliberately suggests that the HMRC allowance is somehow equivalent to a private sector one, in order to suggest that local Government employees are being unfairly favoured. Their assertion is baseless and dishonest.
Moreover, the TPA also asserts that motorists who are not local Government employees are somehow subsidising those who are. This, too, is baseless and dishonest.
The rest of the report, without proper comparison with the private sector, is not worth the paper it has been written on. Neither is the customary and characteristically pejorative “statement” by TPA head non-job holder Matthew Sinclair.Not for the first time, the TPA’s output would not pass muster with the least discerning research practitioner. This is not good enough.