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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, February 14, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

Horse meat scandal: cuts have weakened food standards enforcement system
Public analyst for West Yorkshire Joint Services, Dr Duncan Campbell says the fragmentation of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) responsibilities and cuts in local authority budgets have led to weakening of the food standards enforcement system. The latest news revealed that Findus beef lasagne is 100% horsemeat. TELEGRAPH
(...and the government's justification for cuts to food monitoring is 100% horse sh*t...)

Barclays closes down “industrial scale” tax dodging service
The new boss of Barclays has attempted to break from the bank's scandal-ridden recent past by announcing plans to pull out of controversial businesses that speculate on food prices, specialise in "industrial scale" tax avoidance schemes and use the bank's money to bet on markets. GUARDIAN
(“An end to betting up the price of your food will be particularly painful as we’ve just put a big bet on that horsemeat,” said our thoroughly reformed Barclays insider.)

Real earnings are back to 2003 levels and millions may ‘never see their finances recover from the economic downturn'
Real earnings peaked in 2009 (average wage £12.25/hour), but since then pay increases have been outstripped by inflation, knocking the average back down to where it was in 2003 (£11.21/hour), the Office for National Statistics said. The economy is stagnant, but CBI boss John Cridland tried to be upbeat, saying: 'We are beginning to see the return of organic growth.” DAILY MAIL
(I think that’s just mould, John...)

Judges rule that most “back-to-work” schemes are unlawful
Cait Reilly, 24, has won her Court of Appeal claim that requiring her to work at Poundland for free to keep her unemployment benefits was unlawful. If you are 18-24, nine months after you start to claim jobless benefits you must attend the Work Programme. If you are above 25 years old, it is 12 months. Ministers expect half a million jobseekers to join the Work Programme each year. But the judgment meant nobody could be forced to participate under threat of losing benefits. Critics described the policy as a return to slavery. TELEGRAPH
(“Can I stop turning now?” said William Wilberforce, speaking from his grave.)

Germany's Merkel calls for G8 fight against tax havens 
The OECD said multinational companies were increasingly dodging taxes by reporting profits in countries other than where their main revenues were generated. “We're going to fight to finally put an end to tax havens at this year’s G8 meeting hosted by Great Britain," she said. REUTERS
(Sorry, that translation should read: “We're going to fight to finally put an end to tax havens hosted by Great Britain at this year’s G8 meeting, hosted by Great Britain.”)

RBS CEO underpaid, says chairman
RBS CEO Stephen Hester gets £1.1m salary and up to £6m a year from bonuses. The RBS chairman defended the sums, saying Hester was paid "well below the market rate of people working in banking" because some of his bonuses had been withheld. MPs grilled the executives after RBS was fined £390m last week for rigging Libor, the interbank lending rate. Some MPs doubted the promise that the fine would be recovered from bonuses. GUARDIAN

Secret watchdog probe finds banks are STILL not giving fair advice - and Santander faces possible fine over failings
Investigators masquerading as ordinary customers were sent to uncover what advice they would be given by staff at major banks and building societies. The FSA said in some instances advisers gathered all the right information but still recommended an unsuitable product. One adviser told the customer "you don’t pay me a penny [and] you don’t pay the bank a penny for this advice," but this was a lie. Santander replied that they were committed to looking after their customers’ well-being. DAILY MAIL

Women 'will get rotten pensions for years to come', says minister
Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat pensions minister, says Government reforms to even out payments for men and women will take a long time to work through the system. "The state pension system was based around the idea of the 1940s that men needed pensions and women needed husbands," he said. "Even incredibly, one or two generations on, there are still traces of that coming through the pensions system so women who've brought up kids or whatever don't get as good a pension.” TELEGRAPH

A&E waits 'highest for a decade'
The number of people in England facing long A&E waits has risen by a fifth in a year - and is now at its highest level for a decade. The King's Fund, a leading healthcare think tank, found from October to December 2012 more than 232,000 patients waited more than four hours. BBC NEWS

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