Thursday 8 October 2015

Thursday, October 08, 2015 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, October 08, 2015 with No comments | Labels:

Tory tax credits cut is ‘bonkers’: The Sun launches campaign to aid low-pay workers
MORE than three million lower-paid households will lose an average of £1,350 a year under planned tax credit cuts, a new report has found. To add to the insult, letters informing struggling families exactly how hard they will be hit are due to arrive just before Christmas. A new National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour is designed to offset the cuts, but the Resolution Foundation found that for 3.2million families it will be nowhere near enough to fill the shortfall. The think-tank’s analysis found a two-parent family — where one adult works full time and the other does 20 hours a week on the minimum wage — will get a £1,100 annual pay rise, but be £1,800 out of pocket overall as tax credit cuts bite. A single parent working full time on the minimum wage will get a £700 pay rise in 2016 but be £1,500 worse off overall due to the cuts. Resolution Foundation senior economic analyst David Finch said: “The Government needs to re-think its welfare cuts which will hit the wallets of many hard-working people.” A poll yesterday found more than one in four voters would be less likely to vote Tory at the next election because of the cuts. Many Tories also joined calls for the Chancellor to ease the pain. Self-employed telemarketer Judith, 44, works flexible hours to care for daughter Niamh, 12. The single mum, of Wellingborough, Northants, said: “I’m going to have to cut back hugely. “I can’t afford to run a car, I haven’t had one for nine years. This means even more cutbacks. It is like a punch in the teeth. £1,300 is a lot of money to cut from what I have.” THE SUN

Trade Union Bill - All Scottish councils say they will ignore controversial new anti-union law
All 32 Scottish councils will refuse to implement the conditions of the bill when it becomes law. Those conditions include removing the process of check-offs whereby union subscriptions are deducted from the salaries of workers who are members of a trade union. Unions have complained that this is a cynical ploy to reduce their funding and will waste their resources in renewing subscriptions. They are also infuriated that the bill constrains the amount of paid time off that public sector union representatives can take for those responsibilities, a move the authorities will also oppose. Union leaders believe the move could help turn opinion against the bill across the country, in a repeat of Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax debacle. Opposition to the hated levy started in Scotland, where trials were run in 1989, before it was dropped and replaced by the Council Tax four years later. INDEPENDENT

Revealed: how AstraZeneca avoids paying UK corporation tax
AstraZeneca, one of Britain’s largest businesses, is using a multimillion-pound tax avoidance scheme in the Netherlands, set up months after the UK relaxed its tax laws for multinationals in 2013. AstraZeneca’s top tax accountant, Ian Brimicombe, sat for several years on a Treasury committee advising the government on the changes in the law. A Guardian investigation has found the pharmaceutical giant created the tax avoidance scheme using $2.7bn (£1.8bn) of internal group loans routed through its Dutch subsidiaries. The company paid no corporation tax in the UK, despite having made global profits in 2013 and 2014 totalling $4.5bn. It was legally able to do so partly by securing some UK tax deductions from the Dutch lending structure as well as by offsetting high running costs and investment at its UK operations and using other tax breaks, some relating to new medicine research and development. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned that current rules are so abused – both by multinationals and by countries competing for investment – that they are close to breaking point. But British diplomats, while supportive of many OECD reforms, have battled behind the scenes to protect prized tax policies that helped make Britain a favourable environment for the location of international business. GUARDIAN

End of the road for PPI mis-selling claims? Bank watchdog considers 2018 deadline for compensation
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed that Britons who have been missold payment protection insurance could have to get their claim in within the next two years or else miss out on compensation. Banks have always complained that allowing customers to make complaints indefinitely makes it difficult for them to plan and move on. However consumer groups argue that if compensation is due, customers should not have their right to claim it curtailed. While the number of complaints made is starting to slow, 883,043 cases were still opened in the first half of this year. The FCA added that it would also look into another PPI scandal, which some have suggested could be even bigger than the first. When customers were sold PPI policies by their banks, many may have unknowingly been charged big commissions by the branches or brokers who sold them the products. If it is decided that this is unfair, PPI compensation claims that were previously rejected could now be valid and due for a payout. It could mean that loan insurance that was otherwise fairly sold could now be deemed mis-sold. The FCA proposed new rules today to suggest that a failure to disclose a commission of 50 per cent or more could be deemed ‘unfair’. The move comes after a court ruling in November 2014 held that Susan Plevin was treated unfairly because she wasn’t told about the commission taken from her PPI payment. A number of new claims could fall in this category; the average commission on PPI was around 67 per cent for the 12 large distributors between 2002 and 2006, the FCA said today. However the majority of these claims would already have received a payout for mis-selling. The proposed two-year deadline would also apply to this new type of claim. DAILY MAIL

London 'to grow twice as fast as north despite Conservative policies'
London’s economy is forecast to grow 27% by 2025 – almost twice the combined rate of growth in northern English cities, the report by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR) found. The economy of London will be worth almost £450bn in 10 years – more than £110bn higher than the total output of cities in the north-west, the north-east and Yorkshire and the Humber, the report, UK Powerhouse: Supporting Economic Strength and Bridging the Prosperity Gap, found. The findings take account of the proposals announced by George Osborne to revitalise Greater Manchester and other northern cities by improving transport links and devolving powers from Westminster. The project is centred on Greater Manchester and largely ignores the north-east. Osborne declared Sheffield as a second powerhouse last week. Four of the five fastest-growing urban centres in the UK are in the south of England: London, Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Oxford – along with Aberdeen. The slowest-growing cities are Hull, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Swansea and Belfast. CEBR predicted that the gap would persist over the next decade without more action to invigorate underperforming cities. It said London will gain more than 537,000 jobs, up 11.1%, compared with increases of 8.6% for Greater Manchester, 7.6% for Leeds and 6.9% for Sheffield by 2025. GUARDIAN

Deal over junior doctors' contracts was torn up, reveals ex-health minister
In a scathing indictment of the government’s handling of the new contract for England’s 53,000 junior doctors, Dr Dan Poulter, a Tory health minister until May, revealed that Jeremy Hunt had triggered “understandable” widespread anger among them by reneging on the basis of a deal. Hunt set aside an in-principle agreement with the British Medical Association (BMA) and replaced it with plans that endanger patients’ safety by risking exhaustion among all trainee medics in England by forcing them to work up to 90 hours a week, claims Poulter, who is still a Tory MP. “However, the junior doctor contract that has emerged over the summer – the contract that the Department of Health now wants to impose – is very different from the one being discussed this time last year. Then there was no talk of 90-hour weeks, no talk of large numbers of junior doctors having their pay cut,” Poulter said. He accuses Hunt of changing tack because the NHS is desperate to identify ways of saving money to help tackle a£30bn hole in its budget that is expected to emerge by 2020. And he warns that cutting junior doctors’ pay – many face losing between 15% and 40% of their earnings under the new contract – will undermine David Cameron’s ambition to create a seven-day NHS because there will be too few doctors to staff it as a result of disillusionment. GUARDIAN

Libor trial: Brokers asked for lager or Dom Perignon in exchange for rigging Libor for trader, court hears
Tom Hayes, 35, had offered to bribe his contacts with the promise of a “humongous deal” in return for manipulating the London interbank offering rate, known as Libor, Southwark Crown Court was told. But after one allegedly helped to fiddle the rate for Hayes, the broker said his contact wanted a “Fosters top, he likes extra chilled”. The broker then bragged: “'Super broking skills, both guys now want a bottle of dom (Dom Perignon champagne) – ha ha not really, he was very cool.” In a later phone conversation, Hayes was recorded saying: “I will f****** do one humongous deal with you ... like 50,000 bucks deal whatever ... I'll pay you $50,000, $100,000 what ever you want all right?”. Hayes, who worked for UBS and Citigroup, pestered friends to instruct their “cash boys” to swing the rate in his favour, the court heard. By May 2008, Hayes had become powerful in his field and hounded brokers on a regular basis to manipulate the rates in his favour, jurors were told. It is the first trial concerning manipulation of Libor – the benchmark used to determine the interest charged on loans worth billions between banks. Hayes, of Fleet, Hampshire, denies eight counts of conspiracy to defraud, an offence that carries a maximum jail sentence of 10 years. The trial continues. TELEGRAPH


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