Taxing the imagination
The Taxpayers' Alliance draws my attention to its latest wheeze - a survey of local council mileage rates, claiming Cornwall Council pays up to 65p/mile. The actual rate is currently 40p/mile for the first 3,000 miles and 20p/mile thereafter. I remember being at the council meeting, more than a year ago, which agreed the rate.
The Taxpayers' Alliance figures are based on a Freedom of Information request which solicited an historic casual rate, and one detail provided the headline. Nowhere in the TPA report does it mention that after 8,500 miles that historic rate dropped to just 16p/mile. But why spoil a good story? The TPA tells me that it only asked for historic information up to the last full financial year because not all councils would have been able to provide up-to-date information. So why not ask Cornwall Council if it had up-to-date information? "That would have been unfair to the other councils." Why not mention that even the historic 65p/mile dropped to 16p/mile? "That would have been overly complicated." And you think your report is fair? "Yes."
A handy hint for fellow newshounds: The Other Taxpayers' Alliance has a quote generator which attempts to demonstrate that some pressure groups are beyond parody.