TAP initiatives - a round up of reports that have come our way - there is only one conclusion; we are being badly governed. 

5 March 2018


1. The Financial Times published this letter from TAP on 3 March 2018. 

‘The austerity target has been achieved – at dire social cost. (George Osborne austerity target is hit — two years late).  He has cut the incomes of the poorest UK citizens by £18bn already, with another £12bn in the pipeline, and let their rents soar with the market. The impact of low income, debt and inequality on mental and physical health has been known by all governments for decades. All governments refused at the 2007, 2012 and 2016 Welfare Reform Bills to build a health impact assessment of their policies into the law. There has been an unprecedented rise in in the infant deaths of the babies of poor mothers since 2010, according to an analysis of the ONS mortality statistics published by the British Medical Journal.

Rev Paul Nicolson, Taxpayers Against Poverty’

2. Chris Giles, the Financial Times’ economics editor, had written, on 1 MARCH 2018: ‘Britain has eliminated the deficit on its day-to-day budget, the target originally set by George Osborne when he imposed austerity measures on public services in 2010. The rapid improvement in the public finances over the past six months means that the former chancellor’s ambition for a surplus on the current budget, which excludes capital investment, has been met, albeit two years later than planned. Mr Osborne tweeted on Thursday: “We got there in the end – a remarkable national effort. Thank you.”’

3. To which Richard Murphy, of Tax Research, replied, ‘When the FT’s economics editor can get almost every aspect of macroeconomics wrong, no wonder we are in trouble.’

4. On 23 November 2017, the non-partisan thinktank Resolution Foundation was reporting, ‘Britain on course for longest fall in living standards since records began over 60 years ago.’ The poorest third of households are set for an average loss of £715 a year by the end of the parliament, while the richest third will gain an average of £185.

5. Much of the food you buy and donate to corporate food banks in supermarkets is then sold to those food banks by the corporate’s HQ – plus VAT.  ‘Every single food-bank operator in the country agrees on this single aspect: welfare reform is the cause of the rise in Food Bank Britain, and the two million people a year being sanctioned are being driven into poverty,’ says Raymond Woolford, who, in 2007, launched the largest independent food bank in Britain. 

6. Universal Credit will eventually bring this crass social engineering to seven million households in the UK, with the potential to tip them into financial chaos or destitution at any time,’ states Bernadette Meaden of independent, not-for-profit thinktank Ekklesia. 

It is clear from Bernadette's piece that the law about all government officials taking relevant information into account before they make any decision, including a benefit sanction, is not being obeyed by jobcenters despite the promise given by Lord Freud to Parliament that it would be; see TAP website.

7. TAP has responded to the Mayor of London’s consultation on the New London Plan, to the Parliamentary Select Committee for Homes, Communities and Local Government, and to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Land-Value Capture  by putting the case for land-value tax to all of them. A hard copy of DEBT DEBT & DEADWEIGHT, edited by Fred Harrison, a director of TAP, has been sent to all the MPs and London Assembly Members involved. It is available online here. Scroll down - the link to each chapter is shown separately

8. Since the 1840s Hong Kong was leased from the Chinese, meaning its government can not sell any of its land. It has instead rented it to all users at a small percentage of its value so as to meet the needs of the people – that is, land value has been captured for the common good. As a result, income tax in Hong Kong is low, and getting lower. Despite a flood of immigrants from mainland China, the government can afford to build the extra homes needed to accommodate them. TAP’s submission about Hong Kong has been sent to the Mayor of London and to the clerks of the three consultations mentioned in point 7. 

It makes the following point: ‘When there is not enough housing and social services to meet the human needs of even UK citizens, it is not surprising that migrants, who also need housing and social services, are sometimes regarded with suspicion.’ 



from the Rev Paul Nicolson