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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, July 16, 2015 with No comments | Labels:

Fired Barclays CEO to walk away with £28m despite not turning around the troubled bank
Sacked Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins was fired by chairman John McFarlane – a gruff Scottish banker nicknamed Mac the Knife for his take-no-prisoners attitude – after losing the confidence of the bank’s board. But the ousted boss' payout includes a £2.4million 'golden goodbye', £15million in shares and nearly £11million in bonuses, it was reported. And the total could increase by another £10.8m depending on the bank's performance in the short and long-term. Mr Jenkins is said to have been fired because he failed to make enough headway cutting down the forest of bureaucracy engulfing Barclays. He also failed to cut costs quickly enough and has struggled to improve the performance at the investment bank, it was claimed. DAILY MAIL

Planning shake-up to get more homes built
Developers could get automatic planning permission to build on disused industrial sites in England. Ministers would also get powers to seize disused land, while major housing projects could be fast-tracked, and rules on extensions in London relaxed. Business Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled the plans as part of a broader push to boost Britain's productivity. Treasury sources say workers are more productive when they live closer to their jobs. It came as official figures showed new house building fell by 5.8% in May, the sharpest decline in nearly four years. Mr Javid said the 141,000 new homes built last year were a fraction of those needed to meet demand. Analysts have questioned whether there is enough brownfield land - a term which refers to land that has previously been developed but is vacant or derelict - available to meet the UK's housing needs over the next 15 years. There would also be new sanctions for councils that do not deal with planning applications quickly enough, and the government would be able to intervene in councils' local development plans. But the Local Government Association said councils were not holding up new homes and that developers were not prioritising brownfield sites. It called for stronger compulsory purchase order powers to allow councils to buy up sites "stuck in the system". BBC NEWS

British banks could face new legal action over foreign exchange rigging
A lawsuit is being prepared that could see RBS and Barclays embroiled in a multi-million pound legal battle with US lawyers. Now US law firm Scott and Scott is contacting businesses, pension funds and even central banks across Europe to join a lawsuit. The law firm has already led successful cases in the US, and wants to replicate its success in the UK. Last November six banks, including HSBC and RBS as well as JP Morgan, Citi and Bank of America, were fined £2.6bn in the UK for manipulating the foreign exchange markets. US regulator have also fined banks £3.6bn over the wrongdoings. DAILY MAIL

Trade Union Bill: Ministers deny 'attack on workers' rights'
Ministers have defended plans to tighten the rules on strike ballots after unions said they would make legal strikes "almost impossible". Under current rules all that is needed for a strike is a simple majority of those that take part in a ballot. But the Trade Union Bill would impose a minimum 50% turnout - and public sector strikes would need the backing of at least 40% of those eligible to vote. The bill represents the biggest shake-up in the rules on industrial action in 30 years. The new laws would force unions to give employers 14 days notice of strike action and allow them to bring in agency staff to cover for striking workers. The legislation could also cut the amount of money unions have to mount campaigns - or donate to parties such as Labour - with members actively having to "opt in" to pay the so-called political levy, which is currently automatic unless members opt-out. But proposals to ban picket lines of more than six people appear to have been dropped. The legislation also includes efforts to tackle "intimidation" of non-striking workers. A number of unions involved with the last major day of nationwide strike action in July 2014 would have fallen foul of the proposed 50% turnout rule. The PCS Union, which represents civil service workers, has never achieved such a turnout on a national ballot. NHS strikes in October 2014 would also have fallen short, with turnouts below 50% from unions including Unison and the GMB. Strikes are at historically low levels. 2011 saw large protests over public sector pensions, leading to 1.4m working days lost through labour disputes - the highest number since 1990. BBC NEWS


Health Secretary raises doubts about long-term future of free NHS
The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, expressed doubts about the future sustainability of the funding system that has existed since the service’s creation in 1948 after delivering a speech setting out his “25-year vision for the NHS” in London on Thursday. His comments come days after David Prior, the ex-Conservative MP and hospital trust chairman who recently became a health minister in the Lords, warned that the premise of a tax-funded model would have to be questioned if patient demand for care outstripped economic growth. Shadow health minister Jamie Reed said: “It could mean charges for treatment are just around the corner. Prior to the election American doctors warned that the Tories were taking the NHS down a path towards a US-style system and it now looks as if this was a prescient warning.” Hunt told NHS leaders in his speech at the King’s Fund that he supported the way the NHS was currently funded as the best model. “But I think the principle that sits behind it is one that we all feel very strongly about. Social equity is at the heart of what the NHS stands for. It’s what makes the British public say time after time it is what makes them most proud to be British... But if we’re going to continue to deliver that we have to be ambitious about new models of care,” he added. GUARDIAN

Fury as MPs are handed 10% pay rise worth £7,000 a year just a week after Osborne ordered four year public sector wage cap
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority said the issue of politicians' salaries could no longer be 'ducked' and it is pushing ahead with the increase from £67,060 to £74,000. However, the watchdog has climbed down on plans to link their pay to UK-wide average earnings in future - a move that could have left MPs £23,000 better off by 2020. Instead they will be restricted to average rises in the public sector. The Prime Minister previously branded the substantial boost, backdated to May 8 and tied to cuts in pensions and expenses, 'unacceptable' at a time of austerity. But last month Downing Street indicated that Mr Cameron will not seek to block the move - and he will personally accept the money. Politicians elected before 2015 - including Mr Cameron - will also see a major boost to their pensions as they are based on final salary. The proposals have caused bitter divisions among MPs, with some decrying the award and others arguing they have been underpaid for decades. It has also split ministers, with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan breaking ranks to declare she will give the money to charity and International Development Secretary Justine Greening warning that Ipsa is 'not working in its current form'. Labour leadership contenders Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have all declared they will forego the rise. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is likely to be reminded of comments from 2013 when he indicated he would not accept a pay rise while the rest of the public sector was being restrained. Michael Gove, now Justice Secretary, memorably declared around the same time that Ipsa could 'stick' their pay rise. DAILY MAIL

Supermarket rip-off pricing could land them in court
Of every £5 Britons spend in the supermarket, £2 is on something that's part of a deal. One problem, a lot of the deals are effectively fake. The good news? It could be about to cost them dearly if they don't clean up their act. Following a complaint by consumer association Which?, the UK's competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority, found evidence of potentially confusing and misleading pricing and promotional practices among supermarkets that could be against the law. “There are hundreds of misleading offers on the shelves every day that do not comply with the rules. This puts supermarkets on notice to clean up their pricing practices or face legal action,” said Which? executive director Richard Lloyd. There are two main ways supermarkets use “deals” try and trick us into spending more, or make us thing we're getting better value. Firstly, through “Was/Now” pricing promotions. Frequently here the discount price is advertised for longer than the higher price. For example: Pepsi Max (2 litres) advertised at £1.98 for 28 days but then went on a £1 “was £1.98” offer for 63 days. Secondly, through Unit pricing. Unless you know what you're paying per unit then you can't compare different products – but Which? found cases where some sauces in supermarkets priced per 100 ml and on others per 100g making it impossible to make a price comparison. They also found cakes being priced per item or per 100g. MIRROR

Pope rails against unbridled capitalism, 'idolatry of money'
Pope Francis appealed to world leaders on Saturday to seek a new economic model to help the poor, and to shun policies that "sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit." It was the second time during his trip to South America that Francis, the first pope from the region, used a major speech to excoriate unbridled capitalism and champion the rights of the poor. In Bolivia last Thursday, he urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a "new colonialism" by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the "sacred rights" of labor, lodging and land. "Putting bread on the table, putting a roof over the heads of one's children, giving them health and an education, these are essential for human dignity," he said. He urged politicians and business leaders "not to yield to an economic model which is idolatrous, which needs to sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit." He said those charged with promoting economic development must ensure it had "a human face" and he blasted "the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose". "Corruption is the plague, it's the gangrene of society," he added during a heavily improvised speech at the rally. REUTERS

Think a late holiday flight means compensation? Think again! Dirty tricks airlines use to fight you when you're DELAYED
Under EU law, flight passengers are entitled to up to £424 in compensation if their flight arrives at its destination more than three hours late. You can claim for delays dating back six years. The exception to this rule is if the delay is caused by a so-called extraordinary circumstance which is outside of the airline’s control — this includes bad weather or strikes. But airlines routinely use this loophole to wriggle out of paying legitimate claims. They had claimed that technical faults counted as an extraordinary circumstance. But in October last year, following a six-year legal battle, a court ruled that these did not qualify. Airlines also argued that they need to pay only for delays dating back two years, citing the 1999 Montreal Convention which has a two-year limitation period for claims. Again, last year a court rejected this and told them they had to deal with claims dating back six years — in line with UK law. These two decisions were expected to open the floodgates for an estimated £3.89 billion worth of claims. Still, though, some airlines refuse to pay up. The Civil Aviation Authority is hoping the independent ombudsman will end the stand-off. But it is not compulsory — airlines can decide if they want to join. Some of the biggest names in aviation are refusing to commit to signing up, or have not made a decision. Others seemed not to have even known of the scheme. Among those who won’t yet sign up are Monarch, RyanAir, Flybe, Delta, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Those that have promised to join include British Airways, easyJet, Thomas Cook and Thomson. DAILY MAIL

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