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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, August 22, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

David Cameron condemned over ‘ridiculous’ reforms to the £2bn lobbying industry
The head of the Commons committee scrutinising David Cameron’s flagship law to end Britain’s lobbying scandals called it a “useless dog’s breakfast” and said the Government should urgently postpone its current fast-tracked progress through Westminster. Research published last month by the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) showed ministers in the Department for Business held 988 meetings with lobbyists in 2012. But, under the new law, just two were with consultant lobbyists who would have been obliged to declare the meetings. INDEPENDENT

Jeremy Hunt plans sale of confidential patient medical records to private firms
Confidential medical records may be offered to private companies for as little as £1, according to plans drawn up by officials. The new General Practice Extraction Service will consolidate NHS patient records sent to a central database by GPs around the country. The project has been described by campaigners as an "unprecedented threat" to medical confidentiality. The records will be anonymised but will include details of medical conditions. Private firms such as Bupa are able to purchase the records for research by applying to the Health Service. DAILY MAIL

Credit card protection compensation package set to total £1.3bn
Around 7 million people are set to share up to £1.3bn in compensation after 13 high street banks and credit card companies agreed to offer redress for mis-sold credit card and identity theft protection. They contracted card insurer CPP to sell the policies. The watchdog criticised them for promising customers up to £100,000 of insurance cover for their cards - something they did not need because they were already covered by their banks. GUARDIAN

Average earners 'will be £1,500-a-year worse off' under the new flat-rate state pension
Someone earning £26,000-a-year with a full employment record could lose out to the tune of £29-a-week when the new single-tier state pension is introduced, the TUC has claimed. The report says that anyone with a long working history is likely to lose out, sometimes by as much as £2,000 a year. The second state pension will be abolished when the new single-tier pension begins in April 2016. But the government said the changes will make most people better off. The Trade Unions support the principle of the single-tier pension, but want it to be raised from the current notional level of £144 a week. DAILY MAIL

Worst UK pension annuity providers named: Scottish Widows, Clerical Medical and Royal & Sun Alliance
Britain's worst pension providers have been named for the first time in official tables that reveal how some insurers are paying annuities 30% below the best deals on the market. Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical, part of the government-backed Lloyds Banking Group, have emerged as the worst providers of retirement incomes for the mainstream market. Many savers in pension schemes are unaware and not told that when they retire, they can shop around with the pot of money they have accumulated. GUARDIAN
Hovis bakery workers vote to strike over zero-hours contracts
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), whose members make up 230 of the 357 employees at the Hovis bakery, said agency workers had been brought in almost immediately after the redundancy of nearly 30 workers in April. It said those workers were on contracts which did not specify set working hours and gave limited guarantees on conditions. GUARDIAN

SSE halts cold-calling after record fine
Scottish & Southern Energy has axed all cold calling by telephone sales staff just months after being fined £10.5 million by regulators for "prolonged" mis-selling. Will Morris, SSE's group MD, said: "Nobody likes receiving a sales call out of the blue and so we are stopping it. It doesn't matter that other energy companies still do it, or other industries for that matter, cold calling is not something that a company like SSE - committed to providing an excellent customer experience - should be doing any longer." TELEGRAPH

Male bonuses double those of women
Male managers' average extra payments were £6,442 last year compared with £3,029 for women. The CMI said their salaries were already almost 25% higher than women's. Its study, of 43,000 managers, showed that men would earn £141,000 more in bonuses over a lifetime. At more senior levels, the pay gap for both basic and bonuses, increased. Women directors' average bonus is £36,270, while men receive £63,700. Mark Crail, from salary specialists XpertHR who assisted the study, said "While women are generally getting lower bonuses than men, especially at senior levels, they may be entering occupations where there is less of a culture of bonus payments. The question for employers is why that's the case." BBC NEWS

The cost of bringing up a child has risen to £148,000
The report, co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation charity, says costs have risen by 4% over the last year. At the same time, it says the value of benefit payments fell in real terms. But the government said it was helping families by cutting income tax for 25 million people. BBC NEWS

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