Thursday 11 April 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, April 11, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

Barclays’ tax avoidance division generated £1bn annually
Barclays ran a Structured Capital Markets department to enable its clients to avoid tax. Embarrassed, Barclays closed down this "industrial-scale tax avoidance" department, but the 100 staff were redeployed rather than sacked. GUARDIAN
(“Redeployed after retraining, mind you. Yup, we got the 100 staff to retrain the rest of us!” said our Barclays insider...)

Wealthy individuals stash as much as $32tn (£21tn) in overseas havens
Leaks expose anonymous companies in tax havens serving the super-rich. A woman runs 1,200 firms from a Caribbean rock. 'Sark Lark' former Channel islanders, now scattered around the world, take a fee to disguise the ownership of thousands of companies. The British Virgin Islands is now the world's biggest provider of offshore entities, yet the UK refuses to stop it. It only takes 3 bits of paper to create a “nominee” company for dodging tax. GUARDIAN

One in four of the UK's top companies pay no tax while we give THEM millions in credits
Many of them claim that the UK is not where most of their profits are made. The EU intends to force all corporates to lift the veil on their tax payment, country by country. Corporates that paid zero tax include TUI Travel, Tate & Lyle, and British American Tobacco. DAILY MAIL
(Wow! Where are those profits made and massive taxes paid? In China? India? “Errr... they smoke a lot of cigarettes in the Cayman Islands,” said our British American Tobacco insider...)

Veterinary drug bute found in Asda corned beef
Bute is banned from the human food chain. But the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the risk from eating products containing contaminated horse meat was low. The government has been blamed for cutting the budgets of the FSA. Fears remain that the food regulators are simply incapable of monitoring our food adequately. GUARDIAN
(“And if horsemeat can slip into our food unnoticed, what else could have? Look at this I found. It’s got mustard on it. Pickled gherkins. Encased in bagel...” said our FSA expert...)

Britain tops the fuel poverty league table
Most other European countries actually face higher energy prices than those of the UK (mostly due to taxes). But better-quality home insulation means our European neighbours pay less to heat their homes. One in five UK households are now in fuel poverty. The Government has cut fuel-poverty funding for families by 27% since coming to power. INDEPENDENT
(“Can’t they just huddle up with their ten kids in front of the glowing warmth of their 100 inch plasma TVs?” said one gargoyle minister...)

HBOS chief voluntarily gives up knighthood and cuts his pension to £400k
The Parliamentary Commission's report on Banking Standards named Sir James Crosby as 'the architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster' at Halifax owner HBOS. Crosby was awarded the knighthood in 2006 for 'services to the finance industry', and becomes the first man for more than half a century to surrender the honour. Crosby said he was 'deeply sorry' for the disaster that unfolded at HBOS. Downing Street says 'consciences' of other HBOS chiefs should steer them to do the right thing. DAILY MAIL
(“ our consciences steer us politicians. Onto the next fat cat job!” said one surprisingly honest minister helpfully...)

Five million households in debt to energy firms
Research by comparison site uSwitch found that UK consumers now owe an estimated £637m to energy firms, a 6% increase on last year. More than 5m households now owe their energy supplier money, compared to less than 4m in 2012. Following a series of price increases over the past six months, the average household energy bill is around £1,400. Prices have risen by around two-thirds in the past five years. TELEGRAPH
(“It’s a little idea we’ve got from our banker friends: plunge customers into unsustainable debt and call it profits, so we can keep shoving massive bonuses into our already rammed pockets,” said our drooling energy exec insider on behalf of all the others…) 

We did mis-sell, admits Lloyds: Customers flogged complex investments when a savings account would have made more money
Senior Lloyds executives accepted that Scottish Widows investments may have been widely mis-sold between 2007 and 2012. Cautious elderly savers were snared by the slick sales patter of branch advisers, who promised returns as high as 75% and complete capital protection. Instead, many who invested £40,000 five years ago have got back just £300 extra and now face hardship in old age. By contrast, the bank pocketed giant commissions of £2,000 on each £40,000. Had that amount been put in a basic savings account it would have earned £13,000 in interest. DAILY MAIL
(Our insider at Lloyds said: “Our salespeople are blooded by first pitching this toxic rubbish to their own grandparents. The ones who get the sale get the job. Wicked.”)

UK hourly labour costs have fallen nearly two euros (£1.7; $2.6) below the EU average
Data from the EU's statistics agency Eurostat show the EU average in 2012 was 23.4 euros hourly - and in the UK it was 21.6. The costs vary widely in the EU - from 3.7 euros in Bulgaria to 39 in Sweden. BBC NEWS


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