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Business Comment

Simon English: Another moan from the TaxPayers' Alliance

Outlook The TaxPayers' Alliance sound like a miserable bunch.

They seem like the sort of people who leave their house in the morning and measure everything they see on the basis of How Much It Costs.

It's latest moan is that taxpayers are giving out £113m a year to fund the salaries of trade union staff in government departments.

In the great scheme of things, this may not be a lot to see that those staff have some form of representation at work, but to the TaxPayers' Alliance it is a "scandalous subsidy".

The Alliance says it is an "independent, grassroots body" but it is fairly clear which tax subsidies bother it and which do not.

It wants quangos scrapped. It worries about pension "black holes". It hates local councils just generally.

Gigantically powerful corporations reporting huge profits to shareholders and zero profits to the taxman worry it not a jot.

Some things cost money. And some of them are worth paying for. Doubtless governments could be more efficient, but the private sector isn't always cheaper.

Wouldn't it be brilliant if it turned out the TaxPayers' Alliance was, in any way at all, the recipient of a taxpayer subsidy. Get to work...