TaxPayers' Alliance

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Transparency Rating: Who Funds You?  [1]
Member of the Atlas Network

Founded in 2004 by Andrew Allum and Matthew Elliott, the TPA set out to hold politicians to account for how they spend taxpayers’ money and swiftly gained a reputation for exposing wasteful spending through its Bumper Book of Government Waste series. Under the leadership of Elliott, Matthew Sinclair, Jonathan Isaby and latterly John O’Connell, it has regularly turned its attention to highlighting wasteful spending by the institutions of the European Union, publishing a good deal of research conducted by the ever meticulous Lee Rotherham. Its output included the popular Ten Years On, looking at life post-Brexit, which was accompanied by cinema advertising and the ‘Great EU debate’.

While not taking a formal position during the referendum, the TPA did make vociferous interventions when it emerged that the govt was spending more than £9m of taxpayers’ money on literature and websites recommending that people voted Remain. The 50 Groups Behind Brexit. Jonathan Isaby & Matthew Elliott, BrexitCentral, Mar.18.2017.

A number of staff from the Vote Leave campaign have gone on to work for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, including former development director of Vote Leave, John O’Connell, now CEO of the TaxPayers’ Alliance. Chloe Westley a senior team member of Vote Leave is now the group’s campaign manager; and Vote Leave’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber Tom Banks, shorlty worked for the group's grassroots campaign. ref

Politics and Economics Research Trust

The Politics and Economics Research Trust (PERT) is a charity to advance the education of the public and in particular to promote for the public benefit research into matters of public taxation, public policy, applied economics and political science and to disseminate the useful results thereof.

The Politics and Economics Research Trust (PERT) is a controversial charity set up by the Conservative-linked Taxpayers' Alliance, which campaigns against the misuse of public funds. In 2009, The Guardian charged that this relationship allows the TPA to benefit from tax breaks that apply to charitable donations by UK taxpayers. Following that report, the regulator investigated PERT and issued a warning in 2011 suggesting that ‘the charity was channelling money to the political group in possible breach of charity law', because 93% of the TPA’s funding came from PERT up to Dec.2009. The Catherine Lewis Foundation’s donations to PERT started that same year. ref, p.67


Note: Powerbase says Patrick Minford was on the Council, but doesn't show anything about him.

Town Hall Rich List

Bumper Book of Govt Waste

  • Apr.22.2018: Diplomats spend £15,000 of your cash every MONTH shipping art for their homes. A representative of low-tax lobbyists the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'It's remarkable diplomats feel art should follow them around'. Taxpayers are forking out £15,000 a month to ship paintings and sculptures to adorn the homes of British ambassadors and diplomats around the world. The cost of moving govt artworks over the past 5 years has hit an eye-watering £790,900. A Culture Department spokesman said: “Occasionally works are transferred between locations or for conservation to ensure that the collection is fit for the future. We work hard to minimise transport costs". David Wooding, The Sun.


  • Mar.04.2019: Taxpayers Alliance takes campaign against clean air to Bath. Campaigning against local council plans to create a ‘Clean Air Zone’ in Bath city centre. The TPA boasted of succesfully blocking a similar scheme in Bath last year. The TPA’s campaign was supported by Royston Smith, Tory MP for Southampton Itchen who said the clean air plans were anti-business. Joe Lo, Left Foot Foward.
  • Nov.19.2015: Taxpayers' Alliance. A PR tool for corporate customers and high-earners that focuses on campaigning in the media for reduced taxation for them and for reductions in fiscal spending on vital public services. The TPA misrepresent "tax haven" as "low-tax jurisdictions" or "international financial centres". Andrew Allum, Alex Wild, Dia Chakravarty, John O’Connell DuckSoap.
  • Mar.03.2008: The campaign group: Taxpayers' Alliance. It might have a brass name plate on the door, and a team of researchers diligently tapping away at their computers inside, but the Taxpayers' Alliance is a very different beast to the traditional Westminster think tank. The alliance was founded in 2004 by a group of "libertarian" Conservatives, frustrated by what they saw as the party's decision to ditch its traditional tax cutting message. "We thought they weren't really addressing the issue. The Conservative Party, traditionally seen as being the tax-cutting party, was going through a phase at the time where they think they need to match the Labour Party spending plans in order to get into power," says chief executive and founder Matthew Elliot. (more...) Brian Wheeler, BBC News.


  1. ^ Transparency Comparison Table. Who Funds You?. Accessed Aug.2018.