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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, November 22, 2012 with No comments | Labels:

Government stalls on payday loan regulation despite 'legal loan sharks' targeting hard-up families at Christmas
Ministers have postponed considering regulating payday lenders until next summer despite a rapid expansion of high-cost lending and firms targeting borrowers over the Christmas period. Research shows 5 million adults are considering taking a payday loan in the next six months - a 50% increase since this time last year. Payday lenders have told the government that the voluntary code is already working, making stiffer regulation unnecessary. DAILY MAIL
(“The voluntary code requires that we trade honestly, responsibly and treat customers with respect. And that is what we do,” said a man with a baseball bat and a Rottweiler.)

'Zombie businesses': One in three businesses is losing money
The Bank of England's latest Inflation Report estimates that 30.6% of firms are losing money. If the historically low base rate of 0.5% is raised they will be tipped over the edge. 'Zombie businesses' are those that survive only because the banks are reluctant to pull the plug on them and cause massive job losses. DAILY MAIL
(...and 'Zombie governments’ are those that survive only because the electorate are reluctant to pull the plug on them because the last lot were even worse.)

More than one in 10 shops standing empty

New data has revealed that 11.3% of the UK's retail space is now standing empty. The highest vacancy rate was in Northern Ireland, where one fifth of retail space was empty. This was followed by Wales, where 15.1% of retail space was unused, with the North & Yorkshire region in third place, with a vacancy rate of 14.6%. TELEGRAPH

'Second home' expenses: MPs allowed to hide details

More than 50 MPs have been allowed to censor details of their taxpayer-funded expenses claims after insisting that information about their second homes could compromise their security. They fear this sensitive information may fall into the hands of terrorist and hostile foreign governments. TELEGRAPH
(...and taxpayers.)



Banks in denial over PPI mis-selling: the £12.3bn they've set aside for PPI compensation may run out
The mis-selling scandal involved all the main banks: Lloyds, Barclays, RBS and HSBC. Yet senior Lloyds executives behind the scam are still due bonuses worth hundreds of thousands of pounds next year. This proves the banks have not learnt any lessons from the biggest mis-selling scandal of all time. WHICH
(“...except one: that we can get away with absolutely anything,” said one smiling banker as he struggled to stuff yet more wads of cash into his already bulging pockets.)

Many NHS hospitals in England are paying over the odds for supplies
The prices paid by different NHS trusts for the same box of forceps ranged from £13 to £23. An identical box of blankets ranged from £47 to over £120. Trusts are now in competition, so have no incentive to share information on good deals. Health Ministers, past and present, have failed to deal with the problem. Other items with widely varying costs range from knee implants to MRI scanners. MRI scanners are very expensive, and are particularly good at detecting activity in the brain. BBC NEWS
(...except when used on a Secretary of State for Health.)

Coalitions' flagship Green Deal 'in tatters' as no-one registers
So far, not a single household has registered for this home insulation deal. The Coalition still hopes that owners of up to 14 million draughty homes will sign up to improve insulation. Without it, rising energy bills could be devastating for countless households. The government is calling the Green Deal “the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War”, a very ambitious target. TELEGRAPH
(...I think they must mean the Blitz.)

Cameron 'calls time' on Labour's equality impact assessments
"Equality impact assessments" were introduced by Labour to make sure officials took account of disability, gender and race in their decisions. But the prime minister said there was too much "bureaucratic nonsense" and policy-makers can use "judgement" rather than "tick boxes". The government insists the disabled, women, and ethnic minorities have nothing to worry about. BBC NEWS
(...so long as you are a millionaire and went to Eton.)

Tax avoidance schemes 'costs UK billions in lost revenue'
HMRC is dealing with a backlog of 41,000 cases involving individuals and small companies, with up to £10.2bn at stake. Fines are currently being applied in far too few cases to serve as a meaningful deterrent. Staff cuts of over 10,000 at HMRC will prove to be a false economy if they hamper their ability to collect billions of pounds in avoided tax. BBC NEWS

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