The TaxPayers' Alliance

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The Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA) is a right wing think tank and lobbying group that purports to be a grassroots campaign for "lower taxes". It is closely aligned to the Conservative party and its donors, as well as the wider conservative movement within the UK.

Funding

In 2009 an investigation by the Guardian newspaper established that "a large part" of the TaxPayers' Alliance funding came "from wealthy donors, many of whom are prominent supporters of the Conservative party. Sixty per cent of donations come from individuals or groups giving more than £5000. The Midlands Industrial Council, which has donated £1.5m to the Conservatives since 2003, said it has given around £80,000 on behalf of 32 owners of private companies. Tony Gallagher, owner of Gallagher UK, a property company that gave the Conservatives £250,000 in 2007, is a member of the MIC, as is Christopher Kelly who owns the international haulage firm Keltruck, and Robert Edmiston who owns IM Group, a large car importer".[1]

Key Personnel

Founders

  • Andrew Allum - is the Chairman and one of the co-founders of the TaxPayers' Alliance. From 1998 to 2002 he served as a Conservative member of Westminster City Council. [2]
  • Matthew Elliott - Co-founder and Chief Executive. Ex-Political Secretary to the Conservative MEP, Timothy Kirkhope. [3] Also founded Big Brother Watch in 2009. From September 2010 to May 2011, he led the NOtoAV campaign in the nationwide referendum on changing Britain's electoral system. [4]
  • Florence Heath, a petroleum geologist who works for Shell. She is the wife of co-founder Matthew Elliott. [5]

Former Staff

  • Susie Squire is now Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan-Smith's special adviser
  • James Frayne is now the Director of Communications at the Department of Health [6]

Pro-Tobacco Activities

The Letter to the Daily Telegraph

In March 2011, Matthew Sinclair, the Director of The TaxPayers' Alliance was one of 11 signatories of a Letter to the Editor to the Daily Telegraph attacking the Government's position on tobacco control and arguing against further restrictions.

No Longer Involved in the Tobacco Debate

In May 2012, when asked to clarify whether Big Brother Watch was / had received tobacco industry funding, Nick Pickles replied: "We're not involved in the tobacco/health/plain packaging debate and have not made any public statements on the issue for at least six months. I joined as Director in September 2011. We do not intend to do so for the foreseeable future.[7]

Identified as a Potential Third Party Lobby Group for PMI

Influencers.JPG

In mid-2013, new leaked documents authored by PMI in early 2012 came to light. The documents revealed that the company planned a multi-faceted campaign to oppose the British government’s plans to introduce plain packaging. [8][9]


TPA identified by Philip Morris International as an ‘Influencer’

The leaked presentations show that PMI identified all those whom it considered to be major players in the UK legislative decision-making process. PMI named ‘key committees’ such as the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insight Unit, the Regulatory Policy Committee and the Government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) Reducing Regulation Committee (p15) which, among other things’ strive to reduce the burden of regulation in accordance with the principles of better regulation.

PMI also presented a model centred around UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the ‘decision maker‘. Cameron at the epicentre was surrounded by nine ‘formal/informal advisors’ who in turn were surrounded by a large number of ‘influencers’ including MPs, Lords, Government departments and a series of non-governmental organisations, charities and lobby groups (See Image). Included amongst the lobby groups identified by PMI as influencers was the TPA.

TobaccoTactics Resources

Notes

  1. Robert Booth, "Who is behind the Taxpayers' Alliance?", The Guardian, 9 October 2009
  2. Corin Taylor, Mike Denham, Richard Baron, Andrew Allum, "Welfare Reform in Tough Economic Times", Undated, Accessed December 2011
  3. House of Lords, European Union - Minutes of Evidence, 20 April 2004
  4. Tax Payers' Alliance, 2011 Annual Report, Accessed December 2011
  5. Margareta Pagano, "The Libyan Gold Rush and the Reasons Behind", Ocnus.Net, 11 September 2009
  6. PR Week,"Alex Deane, Bell Pottinger: A golden age for think tanks", 8 June, 2011, Accessed July 2011
  7. Nick Pickles, Email to Tobacco Control Research Group, 11 May 2012
  8. Philip Morris International, UK Corporate Affairs Update February 2012, Leaked in 2013
  9. Philip Morris International, UK Corporate Affairs Update March 2012, Leaked in 2013