Theresa May Accused Of Cover-Up Over Immigration Report

After it became evident that parts of a report into British border controls were hidden The Home Office was accused of covering these up.

Home Secretary Theresa May on her own redacted 15 sections of the report between the UK and France. These include statements of staff and managers in Calais on the insufficient amount of money allotted on resources. There was also a section describing the ‘Lille loophole’, because of which there were UK-bound Eurostar passengers who did not go thorough immigration checks.

The partial censoring of the report is thought to have happened because of the desire of Mrs. May to hide her mistakes.

Chris Bryant, the shadow immigration minister, said:

“This cover-up and the failure at our borders provide yet more dents in this Government’s much-tarnished credibility.”

He added he could find no other proper reason why the report had to be redacted by the highly-respected independent inspector. If you are concerned about employing immigrants from other countries, check our employment document templates

The opinion of UKIP leader Nigel Farage is that Home Office should in no way censor reports considering the operations of border security. As this has already happened this means that there is something they were most probably trying to hide.

The parts of the report which remained uncensored showed that illegal immigrants at Calais were taken no photographs or fingerprints because there were not enough cells where to detain them.

Another thing revealed by this report was that the Border Force, stationed at ports and airports, do not hand out the maximum fines to drivers and firms transporting illegal immigrants.

 

New Laws To Slash Cost Of Calling Company Complaint Lines

From next summer on new legislation will put limitations on the amount of money customers could be charged for calling telephone numbers regarding complaints and enquiries about products they have bought.

From the 13th of June 2014, companies will not be able to charge the calls of their customers in a way they want but will have to take into consideration the rate for a call to a mobile phone or a local landline number.

The changes come as part of the local implementation of the European Consumer Rights.

Ofcom figures point out that nowadays such a call may cost you from 12p to 41p on a mobile phone, or from 1p to to 13p on a landline.

The numbers covered by these statistics are 0843, 0844, 0845 and 0870.

Companies that currently earn money because of these prefixes are around 30,000.Together with the new requirements for the telephone lines, some corporate legal documents might be required.

The aim of the new legislation is to make sure people would not stop expressing their disappointment only because of the high phone charges.

In case customers call in order to make an initial purchase of products or services, companies would still have the right to charge them higher.

Consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson wrote that in her view these changes would make consumers feel more confident and at the same time would supports new businesses.

“Taken together with the Consumer Rights Bill I believe this legislative reform represents a great and important opportunity to benefit consumers, businesses and provide the right framework for a stronger economy,” she said.

 

Twitter abuse: Man arrested in Bristol

Police in Bristol arrested a 32-year-ols man with the charge of making threats on Twitter.

They think he is responsible for the two offences against women reported on 25 and 29 July.

The reporters of BBC found out that the name of the arrested man is being related to the threats made against Labour MP Stella Creasy and feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.

This is not the first arrest of the kind. Only for the last two weeks after the allegations a third person is being arrested.

The detained one is held under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Metropolitan Police announced he is about to be taken to a Bristol police station.by the way, don`t forget to download our Anti Bullying and Harassment Policy

Many shared their view that Twitter had to do more in order to prevent such anonymous users from sending messages to well-known women. The threats included bomb and rape attacks.

Among the targeted victims were female journalists, columnists and the historian Mary Beard.

Users boycotted the site with the aim to protest against the practice of insulting or intimidating others.

The attention was turned to Twitter, after the threats against campaigner Ms Criado-Perez because of her success for a woman’s face to be pictured once more on UK banknotes.

After Ms Criado-Perez reported the abuse, the 21-year-old-man was arrested in Manchester on 28 July.

Extra staff was appointed in Twitter in order to deal with the high levels of abuse.

The affected women got an apology from Twitter according to which the incident was

“unacceptable”.

 

Government Rolls Out New Benefit Cap

England, Scotland and Wales are introducing an upper limit on working age benefits.

The benefits per week for couples and single parents will be £500 and those for single people will be £350.

What is included in this cap are things like jobseeker’s allowance, child benefit and housing benefit.

These changes are a part of the plan of the current government to discourage people living only on benefits and make them find jobs.

In case people who are already at work need to claim benefits they should know the changes will not affect them.

According to many critics these changes would not improve the situation in any way as they claim there are many people who want to find a place to work but these are not enough for everybody. By the way, don`t forget to check our employment documents.

Another thing the government was accused of was its unsuccessful trial to take into account the differences in living costs in different regions mainly talking about rent prices.

However, the work and pension secretary Duncan Smith said that the cap is based on the average household income.

“It ensures the taxpayer can have trust in the welfare system,” he said, “and it stops sky-high claims that make it impossible for people to move into work.”

In his view this limit will become a good reason for most people to start looking for a proper job.

Four London boroughs claim that the scheme is not well-developed and there would be many

problems in implementing it.

Many families are afraid they would be moved to areas with lower housing prices and because of this they could be forced out of their communities.

 

 

David Cameron ‘warned he cannot stop pay rise for MPs’

BBC found out that the Prime Minister David Cameron will most probably not succeed to block plans for a big pay rise for MPs.

The salaries of the backbench MPs’ are expected to increase from £66,000 to more than £70,000.

PM did not agree with these plans but he could do nothing to stop these.

In the words of the BBC’s political editor the recommendation of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’s (Ipsa) would make voters angry because the time was such of pay restraints in the public as well as in the private sectors.

Later this month Ipsa is going to announce its initial recommendations. Before it publishes them. MPs and members of the public would be given the possibility to participate in a consultation and right after it finishes the final plans would come into force.

Several newspapers published that the expected increase of backbench MPs salaries is of 15%. Obviously many business documents will be signed before we see it working, but let`s see what the PM thinks.

Speaking in Pakistan, Mr Cameron said:

“Anything would be unthinkable unless the cost of politics was frozen and cut, so I’ll wait and see what Ipsa have to say. What I said to Ipsa was that restraint is necessary.”

Nick Robinson said that in case the government decided to ignore Ipsa’s recommendations MPs would not support its decision.

Last year the Commons agreed to extend the pay freeze into 2013.

However, due to an anonymous online survey 69% of the MPs who were asked were underpaid. They suggested an average salary of £86,250.

Former Labour minister and chairman of the Home Affairs select committee Keith Vaz said: “The last thing on earth MPs should be talking about is their own pay.”

 

Tax Evasion Measures to be Taken – G8 Summit

G8 leaders agreed on new measures to deal with money laundering and tax avoidance. They include giving automatic access to information to their residents` tax affairs and a requirement that all shell companies identify their effective owners. G8 includes UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Canada and Japan.

The main purpose of the new measures is to “fight the scourge of tax evasion”.

David Cameron hosted the summit in Northern Island. Another important event, which happened is the launch of free trade negotiations between EU and the US, which Cameron referred as “the biggest bilateral trade agreement in history”. Hopefully the future  legal agreement will be beneficial for both sides.

The Three Ts – Tax, Trade and Transparency – this is placed at the top of the UK agenda, for its presidency of G8

The summit was overshadowed by the conflict in Syria and Vladimir Putin called for talks for Syrian peace to be held in Geneva  as soon as possible, which was discussed, however no for the Geneva talks was given, and the statement made no mention of what role Mr Assad could play in the future

The summit has been overshadowed by the conflict in Syria.

The G8 leaders – including Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad – backed calls for Syrian peace talks to be held in Geneva “as soon as possible”.

All G8 leaders agreed on that transparency is required for multinational companies, which should tell the authorities what tax they have paid and where.  ”Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes,” the communique said. It follows revelations about the ways in which several major firms – including Google, Apple, Starbucks and Amazon – have minimised their tax bills.

Illegal activities, including tax evasion and money laundering, will be tackled by the automated sharing of tax information. Speaking during the summit, Mr Osborne said more progress had been made on reforming the global tax system in the past 24 hours than the “past 24 years”.

These and many other topics have been discussed during the summit.

Google’s Eric Schmidt ‘perplexed’ over UK tax debate

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt stated that he was bewildered by the affirmation that according to the corporate documents, they did not pay proper amount of taxes.

Between 2006 and 2011 Google paid £10m in UK corporate taxes on revenues.

According to Mr. Schmidt the government had to change its tax systems, otherwise companies would never start paying more taxes.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Start the Week, he said: “What we are doing is legal.

If the British system changes the tax laws then we will comply. If the taxes go up we will pay more, if they go down we will pay less. That is a political decision for the democracy that is the United Kingdom.”

On the other hand, Margaret Hodge, the head of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, called for a new committee, which had to oversee the tax arrangements of major firms.

In her opinion, the committee had to hear evidence from companies in secret, so that they could not hide the affairs behind confidentiality rules.

European Union leaders gathered last week and took the decision to monitor the situation using information exchange.

The chairman of Google called for a debate on tax reforms claiming taxes had to be paid not only on revenues but on company’s profits.

“Our hope is to move the debate forward, with everyone engaged constructively in developing a clearer, simpler system – one in which companies that abide by the law know that the politicians who devised the rules are willing to defend and commend them.”

 

Cameron To Appeal To EU Summit For Action On Tax Avoidance

Prime Minister David Cameron is about to ask other EU leaders to consider joining him in the fight against tax avoidance.

This idea came to him because of the rising dissatisfaction in the UK against such companies as Google, Amazon and Starbucks that do not pay as much tax as they have to, as shown in some corporate documents.

This is one of the things recently added to the agenda not only of the UK but also of Germany and France.

According to the latest researches EU loses about 1 TRILLION euros every year because of tax evasion and avoidance and of cource some speculations with the legal documents.

This is why the PM has decided to make all EU members work together and share information with each other so that everybody knows which organizations do pay taxes and which do not.

Before the summit the PM sent to all EU leaders a letter suggesting a “multilateral automatic information exchange” on the taxes each country gathers. The UK, Italy, France, Germany and Spain already try to cooperate in the proposed way.

The declaration in support of a global tax reporting system has already been signed by the finance ministers of 17 EU countries.

Unfortunately there are still 11 nations who have not taken this step so there are fears these may try to

set up their own systems, aside from the one proposed for the whole EU.

Those who oppose the idea of more open tax reporting are Luxemburg and Austria. This is because of the fact they prefer secrecy regarding banking matters.

Last night MEPs voted in Strasbourg on some plans the aim of which is to stamp out tax avoidance.

“According to HMRC figures, in the UK alone £9 billion is lost every year which could pay for the construction of more than 600 new schools or over 50 new hospitals or pay the annual salaries of over 330,000 police officers” said Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy.”

 

HMRC to Miss Tax Credit Fraud Target, says PAC

In 2010 the government challenged HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to cut fraud and error by £8bn by 2015. The predictions of the Public Accounts Committee point out that the sum will be reduced by £3bn. Can you imagine how many legal documents you can buy with this amount of money?

A new point in the tax credit system proposes that parents returning to work should get financial support.

There will be a complex system taking into account age, income, hours worked, number and age of children, childcare costs and disabilities, which will allow low-income families, apply for tax credits. HMRC has to be aware of the changes in family circumstances.

It turns out that the claimant cannot totally understand the system and HMRC has many problems with its administration.

The results from the latest figures show that one in five awards featured an error or fraud; £1.7bn of these overpayments was written off because claimants did not intend to pay it; in 2010-11- £2.3bn was lost to fraud and error; the 2015 target will be missed by £5bn.

The committee advised HMRC to improve the information it gives to claimants in letters and through its helpline, and also check more carefully the information received back.

This increased the number of checks made by HMRC and respectively the number of appeals after payments were reduced or cancelled.

Many experienced financial hardship due to delays of six to eight months.

A spokesman for HMRC said that extra checks had saved £390m and helped the accurate usage of information.

“We are also getting tougher with claimants about the proof they need to support their claims; for example on childcare costs and on school leavers,” he said.