Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Children's Society vs the Taxpayer's Alliance

I am enjoying the banter between Derek Draper and the Taxpayer's Alliance about tax avoidance by corporations (Derek is against it, Taxpayer's Alliance is for it).

But say what you like about the Taxpayer's Alliance, they don't half churn out the stupid. Yesterday, for example, they decided to have a go at the Children's Society.

The Children's Society have just produced a report with lots of thoughtful recommendations about how to make life better for children, including some suggestions for action that the government should take. They've involved parents, children and other experts in coming up with these ideas.

Here's what 'webmaster' at the Taxpayer's Alliance has to say about the Children's Society's recommendations (which he cleverly avoids linking to, in the hope that readers will take his summary as accurate) :

"If the authors think that parents are too overstretched financially, resulting in more time spent at work, less money to bring up their kids and a higher rate of divorce, then their recommendation for government policy should have been to reduce the amount of money the tax man takes from people's pockets. Instead, this convoluted and statist solution risks simply increasing the misery of our children further."

Shorter Taxpayer's Alliance: For the love of God, won't someone please think of the children and cut taxes now!11!!!

For those who were wondering, the 'convoluted and statist solution' which the Children's Society is recommending involves raising the pay and status of all people who work with children including teachers and child care workers; offering high quality parenting classes, psychological support and adolescent mental health services throughout the country; building a high quality youth centre for every 5,000 young people; raising child benefit and child tax credit as part of redistributing wealth from rich people to poor families and reducing inequality (plus lots else, those are the main spending commitments).

A majority of families would gain more financially from the proposals of the Children's Society than from those of the Taxpayer's Alliance, quite apart from the benefits of having high quality youth centres and parenting and mental health services.

But an even more overwhelming majority of rich people who fund the Taxpayer's Alliance would gain more from cutting taxes such as inheritance tax than from helping children (who don't pay taxes anyway, so presumably don't get to be in the Alliance).

They can't openly say 'we oppose making life better for poor children if it means our rich donors have to do a bit less tax avoidance', hence Newspeak like 'statist and convoluted solutions' which is Taxpayer's Alliance code for 'a new youth centre and more cash to spend on your kids'.

It tells you everything that you need to know about the Taxpayer's Alliance that they think that new youth centres, higher child benefit and better mental health services for teenagers will 'simply increase the misery of our children further'.


At 5:48 pm , Anonymous Pedro said...

So, the Taxpayers Alliance still haven't got round to hiring decent PRs yet. What. A. Shame.

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