Matt's Crow Country: If services suffer Alliance will be first to complain

I M not a big fan of the TaxPayers Alliance. If you ve never heard of these people, they are an organisation which takes the government and other public bodies to task over money they spend. The TaxPayers Alliance will hold any government to account an

I'M not a big fan of the TaxPayers' Alliance.

If you've never heard of these people, they are an organisation which takes the government and other public bodies to task over money they spend.

"The TaxPayers' Alliance will hold any government to account and represent taxpayers' interests. We will keep fighting for lower taxes and better value in public services," states their manifesto, which is available on their websites.

Well here's a newsflash chaps. I never asked you to represent my interests and don't consider that you do.

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Because while having an organisation to represent the good old British taxpayer is a good idea in theory, I find most of the press releases they send out amount to little more than sensationalist scaremongering.

Take the local government "rich list" recently released, in which they outline their amazement that more than 1,000 council employees nationwide are on �100,000-plus annual salaries.

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John O'Connell, the Alliance's policy analyst, warns: "Town Hall bosses have had a very good recession at taxpayers' expense."

Of course in an ideal world I'd like to pay as little tax as possible and get outstanding public services in return, but in reality councils have to spend money on admin posts.

If these people aren't offered salaries comparable with those they could attract in the public sector, they won't take jobs at the council, and as a result we'll have a lesser calibre of professional running our local authorities.

And if services suffer as a result, who'll be the first to complain? Probably the TaxPayers' Alliance.

It's good to question our local authorities, but sometimes we need to cut them a bit of slack as well.

I'M out of the country this week, trying to escape the constant speculation surrounding England footballer Wayne Rooney.

Ever since the Manchester United star collapsed in a heap at the end of his side's 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the tabloids have been devoting pages and pages to the striker's health ahead of the World Cup which starts in June.

Sadly we're probably going to have to put up with this for the next two months, and it's already getting very boring.

England are unlikely to win the cup with or without Rooney, and making such a big deal out of his importance to the team is only going to increase the already substantial pressure on his young shoulders.

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