Members Highlights

Here is where members update one another with their latest news and campaigns.

Europe Liberty Forum – Atlas Network & Institute for Economic Affairs

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
20 May 2016

Europe Liberty Forum
8 June 2016 (All day) – 9 June 2016 (All day)
London, United Kingdom

Co-hosted by Atlas Network and the Institute of Economic Affairs

http://europelibertyforum.com/

Atlas Network and the Institute of Economic Affairs are delighted to host the first annual Europe Liberty Forum. Champions of free people and free markets from across Europe and the United States are invited to London for two days of leadership development, sharing of best practices and discussion of the policy battles that lie ahead.

The conference will include keynote addresses and breakout sessions, superior networking opportunities and friendly competition among think tanks. The Europe Liberty Forum Gala Dinner on the evening of the 9th will feature Atlas Network’s announcement of 2016 Europe Liberty Award winner.

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Tobacco tax hike: It’s all about the money

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
20 May 2016 | New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union / New Zealand

New Zealand

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union have written a report entitled the Passive Income: How the Government Uses Smokers as Cash Cows.The report details the effect of tobacco excise increases, the failure of the Government to legalise the sale of healthier alternatives which would minimise harm, and the misuse of taxpayers’ money given to not-for-profits which lobby the government.

Politicians claim higher tobacco taxes are necessary to promote better health, but the Government has prevented the sale of new generation smoking alternatives such as e-cigarettes which are 95% less harmful and are the most popular smoking cessation tool used in England.

While politicians cry crocodile tears about the harms of smoking, they are refusing to allow the sale of healthier alternatives. It appears the only reason is to protect the revenue stream from the taxes on traditional cigarettes.

From today, a $20 20-pack of cigarettes includes nearly $16 dollars of tax

cigarette-tax.jpg

It makes a complete mockery of the National Party’s election promise not to increase taxes.

Increases in tobacco excise tax are often held up as interventions that are effective at reducing consumption amongst low socio-economic groups. However, significant tax increases have coincided with an increase in the socio-economic smoking gradient. Counterintuitively, the poor are the least likely to respond to tax hikes. That means they, and their families, go without.

Just because a consumer base is poor, it does not mean that the Government is any more justified in making consumer health choices for them. Worse, increasing taxes well in excess of the health costs of tobacco, knowing that they are being paid by those least able to afford it, is morally questionable.

http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/passive_income

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New Book Recommendation – Chicagonomics: The Evolution of Chicago Free Market Economics

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
8 May 2016 | Lipa / Croatia

Croatia

Chicagonomics explores the history and development of classical liberalism as taught and explored at the University of Chicago. Ebenstein’s tenth book in the history of economic and political thought, it deals specifically in the area of classical liberalism, examining the ideas of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, and is the first comprehensive history of economics at the University of Chicago from the founding of the University in 1892 until the present. The reader will learn why Chicago had such influence, to what extent different schools of thought in economics existed at Chicago, the Chicago tradition, vision, and what Chicago economic perspectives have to say about current economic and social circumstances.

http://www.amazon.com/Chicagonomics-Evolution-Chicago-Market-Economics/dp/0230621953

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Barbara Anderson Dies, 73, the Voice for Limited Taxation in Massachusetts

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
8 May 2016 | National Taxpayers Association / Kenya

Kenya

It saddens me to report the death of a life-long taxpayer leader who ran Citizens for Limited Taxation in Massachusetts, USA, Barbara Anderson. She was a stalwart for freedom in a very statist environment. May her example inspire us to have such a legacy.

“Among the successful ballot questions Ms. Anderson backed were Proposition 2½, in 1980, which capped property tax increases at 2.5 percent of fair market value; Question 3, in 1986, to remove a 1975 income-tax surcharge and put a cap on tax receipts; and Question 4, in 2000, which rolled back the state income tax rate from 5.85 percent to 5 percent.

Her greatest triumph, the landslide passage of Proposition 2½ in November 1980, took place less than four months after she became Citizens for Limited Taxation’s executive director. She had started there in 1977, as a part-time volunteer. A year later, she was hired as an administrative assistant.”

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/04/09/barbara-anderson-voice-limited-taxation-massachusetts-dies/FdITICwwo6OVFzEXhB1nkL/story.html

 

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The 2016 WTA Conference Berlin – A Memorable Success!

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
30 April 2016 | National Taxpayers Association / Kenya

Kenya

Many thanks to our German and Bavarian friends, especially Michael Jaeger, who hosted the 16th World Taxpayers Conference in Berlin in March 2016. Thank you also to Barbara Kolm and European Resource Bank for sharing the event! In all, we managed over 200 participants from over 40 countries (including six delegates from Africa and one each from Nepal and Mongolia) which is to my knowledge the broadest participation we’ve ever had at one of these events! New friendships were formed and connections made, and old ones renewed. The fight for liberty is a universal & global struggle. We are all in this together. Thank you to all who took the time and resources to attend and participate. Look forward to seeing you all again for the next WTA Conference in Australia in early 2019! ~ Troy Lanigan, Chairman & President of the WTA, elected at the WTA Conference March 2016

Pictures by TAE, Johannes Maruschzik and Prof Rudolf G Maier.

 

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