The TaxPayers’ Alliance, the independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes, has launched a 29-stop, nine-day War on Waste Roadshow in Westminster, with TaxPayers’ Alliance staff and local activists calling on public sector bosses to strip out waste from a campaign battle bus and a colourful pop-up stand. Among the stops are the constituency offices of the leaders of the three main political parties, the Grey’s Monument in Newcastle, Exchange Square in Manchester and Birmingham Town Hall. The Roadshow will highlight examples of wasteful and inefficient spending across England and Wales, such as:
• The £4,450 Nottingham Council managed to spend on an office Christmas tree
• The two wind turbines, costing some £30,000, which generated just £95 of electricity in their first year
• The £25,000 that the Arts Council of Wales spent to send an artist to South America so that he might put his experiences on a blog
• Sandwell Council spending £24,060 on appearance fees for minor celebrities including Keith Chegwin and Eastenders actor Neil McDermott
• An art gallery with a £72m price tag that closed down because nobody wanted it, asked for it, or visited it
Earlier this year, the TaxPayers’ Alliance showed that some £120bn of taxpayers’ money was wasted last year, a figure almost equal to the deficit.
New calculations by the TaxPayers’ Alliance demonstrate that the public debt burden tops £1.3tn, and is rising by £3,950 a second – the equivalent of putting a family holiday to Disneyland Florida on the country’s credit card. Cutting out waste will be a necessary part of bringing that down.
TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Far too much taxpayers’ money is wasted, keeping taxes high and taking precious resources away from essential services. It’s time for a war on waste right across the public sector.
“It would be nothing short of immoral to saddle the next generation with our trillion-pound debt mountain. We need to strip out wasteful and unnecessary spending and start living within our means again.
“For too long taxpayers’ money has been spent with impunity, with little accountability and not enough transparency. The War on Waste hopes to change that and remind those we trust with our money that we’re watching how it is spent very carefully indeed.”