Thursday 29 November 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, November 29, 2012 with No comments | Labels:

Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Programme 'worse than doing nothing'
The new £5bn scheme for finding work for the long-term unemployment is worse than not helping them at all, official results suggest. In its first year just 2.3% of people who enrolled in the scheme got jobs for six months or more. But according to the government’s own calculations, 5% of the long-term unemployed can find jobs for six months if left alone to do so. The long-term unemployed experience the greatest difficulty in finding work. TELEGRAPH
(“Please help. Another year’s past and still my CV has nothing worthwhile on it. No wonder everyone thinks I'm useless,” said one Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.)

Criminal tax evasion flourishing with help from UK firms
A flourishing industry which helps people evade UK tax has been exposed following an undercover investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme. Companies involved include Atlas Corporate Services, Turner Little, and Readymade Companies Worldwide, who said they will now tighten up their procedures and provide staff with further training. BBC NEWS
(Lesson 1: How to spot a hidden camera in a bag. That is all.)

UK 'could face austerity until 2018'
The chancellor may have to extend the squeeze on public spending until 2018 if the recent deterioration in growth prospects and tax receipts turns out to be permanent.The Institute for Fiscal Studies said George Osborne may then have to find another £11bn from tax rises or spending cuts, or miss one of his fiscal targets for 2015. BBC NEWS
(If picking up an MP's salary after the next election is his other fiscal target, he's gonna miss that one too!)

Increasing numbers of working people live in poverty
The Joseph Rowntree report calls for the government to "give up the belief that welfare reform" is the solution and focus instead on the phenomenon of in-work poverty. 4.4m jobs pay less than £7/hour. The report also shows that graduate unemployment, at 17%, is as high as it is for everyone else. Britain risks creating a "better educated workless population". GUARDIAN
(How do we get the unemployed to understand that it’s all their own fault? Send them to university first. It's all starting to make sense!)

Switzerland could scrap tax breaks for foreign millionaires
Swiss activists and unions have succeeded in getting a 150-year-old law put to a popular vote. At present wealthy foreigners only pay a flat fee instead of income tax. Four of Switzerland’s 26 cantons have already binned the rules, which are a source of resentment among ordinary Swiss who pay more tax than wealthy expats. TELEGRAPH

HMRC to sending threatening letters to tax avoiders. Come clean, or get turned over
The letters will go directly to 1,500 people who have signed up to one particularly dodgy avoidance scheme. The National Audit Office said such schemes cost the UK more than £10bn. If the dodgers get out of the scheme they can avoid penalties and embarrassment. High profile names are expected to be on the list. BBC NEWS
(Some letters will be hand delivered at the next party fundraiser...)

UBS fined £30m for allowing its rogue trader to 'gamble away' £1.4bn
The bank regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), said UBS's procedures, management systems and internal controls were 'seriously defective'. The trader, Kweku Adoboli, was sentenced to 7 years for fraud. At one point Adoboli almost lost £7.5bn, which would have destroyed Switzerland's largest bank. Swiss authorities promised to keep UBS on a tight leash "for the foreseeable future." DAILY MAIL
(...meaning a couple of weeks: the usual time horizon for a global centre of banking.)

14 of the 20 biggest actively managed pension funds delivered below-average returns over the last 10 years
These funds had always criticised their rival, the 'passive' tracker funds, by saying they were "guaranteed to underperform" because they simply returned what the market did, minus charges. But these large active pension funds are also doing exactly that – only they are taking a higher fee, and the potential for underperformance is significantly higher. A spokesman for Aegon said: "We recognise the long-term performance of the Scottish Equitable Mixed fund and UK Equity fund isn't to the standards we set ourselves...” TELEGRAPH


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