Not content with getting their latest “report” into the more gullible part of the Fourth Estate yesterday, the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has gone into rebuttal mode against anyone having the temerity to challenge the veracity of its “2012 Town Hall Rich List”. And on duty to repel attacks on its dubiously reasoned “research” is the smug but now harder looking Chris Daniel.
More guff from Tufton Street
The atmosphere of sheer fantasy is set at the outset, as the post is categorised “Better Government”. The TPA doesn’t want Government to be “Better”, but to progressively weaken it through slanted reporting, name calling, and enlisting a range of useful idiots – from MPs and MEPs through to Councillors and local and national Government workers – in its support.
This can be shown by looking through Daniel’s post. He tells that “It has been proven repeatedly that public sector workers receive substantially larger remuneration packages than their private sector counterparts”. It has not. Then comes “town hall pay has risen dramatically and uncontrollably without translating into better services for residents” for which he offers no evidence, as there is none.
He goes on “Residents want people running councils who have the right priorities, who will provide services of a good quality while keeping costs down and not expect the taxpayer to pay more to fund high spending”, but the TPA has never done a credible survey of what council tax payers want or think. They merely appoint themselves to the status of spokesmen.
But this does not deter Daniel, who continues “In publishing the most comprehensive survey of council senior pay we enable local taxpayers to judge for themselves if they think their council bosses are worth their six-figure packages against the standard of their local services and their levels of Council Tax”, which is flagrantly dishonest. So I’ll put Chris Daniel and his pals straight.
At no point has the TPA ever done any value for money test on any local authority anywhere in the UK. They cannot, as they do not engage with these organisations, but instead rely on Freedom of Information fishing expeditions. So they have no performance metrics to hand, despite bodies like the Audit Commission having carried them out for decades (I first saw them demonstrated in 1984).
Saying “but someone at your Council has a remuneration package of over £100k” is not a value for money test. Saying “Council Tax is higher at Council A than at Council B” is not a value for money test. Saying “fat cats” while pointing at the local Town Hall is not a value for money test. Chris Daniel and the rest of the non-job holders at the TPA should stop trying to con the public.
Because that’s exactly what the “Town Hall Rich List” is. And that’s not good enough.