Thursday 19 December 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, December 19, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

Government lost £13bn to fraud and error
MPs are demanding action after £13.2bn was written off the government balance sheet in 2011-12 due to fraud, financial error and legal claims. The numbers are found in a new annual report called “Whole of Government Accounts”, first published in 2011. But the figures do not include local government or public corporations, and the National Fraud Authority estimates the true cost of fraud to the public sector was £20.6bn. Other omissions include HMRC’s "tax gap" - the difference between what the authorities were owed and what they were collecting – which now totalled £35bn. Overall, the accounts showed net public liabilities - the difference between the government's assets and liabilities - rose from £1.19 trillion to £1.34 trillion over the period. BBC NEWS

Osborne: £12bn more in welfare savings needed
"You are going to have to find billions of pounds more in welfare savings if you want to reduce the deficit, eliminate the deficit and get our debt falling," he said. The comments indicate that if the Conservative Party wins the next election, welfare may be cut to protect spending on public services. Conservative MP Brooks Newmark cited figures produced by the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, which said that welfare cuts of £12bn would be required after the next election to keep departmental budget cuts at their current rates. BBC NEWS

NAO contradicts Osborne on Lloyds share sale: Taxpayer lost £230m on rushed sale of bank
The National Audit Office findings shatter Chancellor George Osborne’s claim that the sell-off delivered “a profit for taxpayers.” A rushed sale of Lloyds shares left the taxpayer another £230million out of pocket, a report reveals today. The Government raised £3.2billion by selling off a 6% stake in the bank to major institutional investors in September. But that’s before taking account of borrowing costs to bail out Lloyds at the height of the financial crisis. The taxpayer pumped a colossal £20bn into saving the bank following its disastrous takeover of Halifax Bank of Scotland. A report from the National Audit Office found that once you’ve included the cost of financing the mega-deal, the taxpayer ended up £230m worse off from this summer’s share sale. MIRROR

Probe into gold price scam extended to Deutsche Bank
Germany’s financial regulator has demanded documents from Deutsche Bank as part of an investigation into potential manipulation of gold and silver prices. The probe from the German watchdog comes as regulators around the world step up their scrutiny of benchmarks after the recent Libor interbank lending scandal led to hefty fines for banks. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has also been looking at precious metals as part of a broader review of financial benchmarks. With an estimated 175m ounces of gold, worth $215bn at today’s prices, changing hands daily on the over-the-counter market, London is the global centre of gold trading. However, the FCA has not launched a formal investigation. FINANCIAL TIMES

Serco to lose out-of-hours GP services and hospital management contracts
Serco has agreed to the early termination of its contract for out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall after the company left the county short of doctors. The embattled outsourcing company also said it would stop running Braintree hospital in Essex as it pulls out of managing GP services and large hospitals. The day before the announcement the company, along with G4S, was forced to hand over its electronic tagging contracts to rival Capita following fraud allegations over the way they charged the government. An investigation revealed in May that Serco had falsified its performance data for the Cornwall contract when reporting to the local NHS trust so that it appeared to meet targets that it failed to achieve. It had won the contract with a bid that undercut the local GP co-operative by £1.5m. Whistleblowers later raised the alarm over safety, highlighting an occasion when only one GP had been on duty for the whole county for the night. GUARDIAN

G4S and Serco stripped of prisoner tagging contracts over fraud claims
They have been told to hand over all their responsibilities to rivals Capita on an interim basis by the end of March, the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, has said. The Serious Fraud Office has started a full-scale criminal investigation into both companies over their Ministry of Justice (MoJ) contracts. The two companies had been billing the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds for tagging prisoners who turned out to be dead, back in prison or overseas. Across government there is now in effect a moratorium on Serco or G4S getting any new work. GUARDIAN

People born in 1960s and 1970s 'poorer' than previous generation
People born in the 1960s and 1970s will only be wealthier than the previous generation in retirement if they inherit money, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said. The think tank found people in their 40s and 50s are less likely to own a home than those 10 years older. Their incomes are also no higher and their private pensions are smaller. It suggests an end to the steadily rising incomes and living standards since World War Two. BBC NEWS

Lord Hanningfield: I can name 50 peers who 'clock in' to claim expenses
Up to 50 peers are regularly "clocking in" to the House of Lords in order to claim a £300 daily attendance allowance, a former Conservative peer has claimed. Lord Hanningfield – who served nine weeks of a nine-month sentence in 2011 for falsely claiming £28,000 in parliamentary expenses – suggested it was normal practice. He made his comments after the Daily Mirror alleged that it had followed Hanningfield in July and found that on 11 of 19 days he spent less than 40 minutes in the Lords before returning to his home in Essex. While MPs are paid a salary, members of the House of Lords can claim a daily allowance of £300 if they attend a sitting. GUARDIAN


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