Thursday 15 November 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, November 15, 2012 with No comments | Labels:

Commons speaker John Bercow accused of trying to rig MPs' expenses watchdog
John Bercow has been accused of the rigging in “revenge” for its crackdown on what MPs can claim. In the latest revelation last month the Telegraph revealed 27 MPs were legitimately claiming expenses to rent homes in London even though they owned London properties themselves, which they rented out. At least eight MPs are either letting properties to, or renting from, another MP! TELEGRAPH
(Ooh, look! Someone's set up a tent in Parliament Square. In protest?... no, it's just Foxtons.)

Water companies pay little or no tax on huge profits
Thames Water, Anglian and Yorkshire Water are among companies paying little or no corporation tax while executives pocket huge bonuses. Meanwhile, Thames Water is seeking taxpayer support for a £4.1bn project to build a new 'super sewer' under the Thames. A Thames spokesman said: "We are structured in an efficient way in accordance with the tax system and the benefits from this flow through to Thames Water customers". GUARDIAN
(...he said through a 7.2 metre wide concrete pipe that once used to be his mouth.)

Energy price rigging 'could account for at least 50% of bill rises'
Experts believe the rigging could have an impact on the steeply rising bills for consumers and businesses. Five of the big six companies have raised bills again recently, all saying it’s due in part to rising wholesale energy prices. But following evidence from a whistleblower, the FSA and OFGEM are investigating massive rigging of the £300bn energy market. Stricter regulation and prosecutions are threatened. GUARDIAN
(...but won’t happen, or our great nation will lose its place as the global leader in rigging international markets!)

Banks will always blow themselves up, so live with it - regulator warns 
However, acceptance that banks will fail does not mean the taxpayer cannot be protected. “Too big to fail” banks should be forced to pay “penalties or taxes to create insurance funds” to cover the costs of a major bank collapse “and to create an economic incentive for the firms to downsize”. In the face of continuous and severe criticism, the RBS boss pleaded that banks “don’t deliberately make themselves unsafe.” TELEGRAPH
(“...drunk drivers don’t deliberately hit pedestrians, drug dealers don’t deliberately cause lethal overdoses, and dodgy builders don’t deliberately make houses collapse,” he didn’t add.)

Retailer John Lewis says Amazon's tax avoidance 'will drive UK companies out of business'
The Government must address the "Amazon tax issue" or risk driving UK-based retailers out of business, the MD of John Lewis has warned. Amazon has 15,000 staff in the UK and £3.9bn of business, but processes all of its sales through Luxembourg. The famous John Lewis motto “never knowingly undersold” cannot be maintained if other corporates have lower costs because they dodge tax. Amazon has no intention to change its tax arrangements. TELEGRAPH
(...because they have a motto of their own: “Never knowingly paid our taxes.”)

Spiralling university tuition fees and dearer food bills sends annual inflation rate sharply higher
Inflation has now been above the government's 2% target for 35 months in a row. It's fallen below 2% only nine times in the past six-and-a-half years. The jump in inflation was far higher than the City had been expecting and triggered fears that the UK could drift into a triple-dip recession over the winter. GUARDIAN
(Poor nutrition leads to lower IQ, which leads to lower demand for university places, which leads to lower tuition fees... The system works!)

Millions join anti-austerity protests across Europe, sparking violence
Demonstrators across Europe joined forces on Wednesday to protest tough austerity measures that have been imposed to battle the debt crisis threatening the common currency. The situation grew tense in Spain, but the effects of the protests could also be felt in Portugal and Greece. DER SPIEGEL
(...and in the pants of the EU officials who are wondering what's going to happen next.)

Bank of England Governor's forecast is bleak
Sir Mervyn King warned UK economic output "may shrink a little"  after presenting updated forecasts. But he believes annual inflation will fall below 2% by the end of a key two-year time horizon. He added: "Continuing the recent zig-zag pattern, output growth is likely to fall back sharply in Q4 as the boost from the Olympics in the summer is reversed. Indeed, output may shrink a little this quarter." HERALD SCOTLAND


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