TUC Claims Unemployment Could Be Twice Official Figure

According to data supplied by the Trades Union Congress, the number of unemployed people in the UK announced by the official statistics is not the actual one. In fact they appear to be almost twice more.

In the announcement of the TUC, an organisation representing the majority of UK trade unions, apart from the 2.56 million people whom the Office for National Statistics said were the only unemployed, there were other 2.26 million more who are economically inactive so they were not counted. The Legal Stop is trying to help by providing high quality employment documents and a free job application form.

“Unemployment may have started to fall in recent months but we are still in the midst of a job crisis,” said the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady. “The true scale of unemployment is far bigger than official figures suggest, as nearly five million people say they want work today.”

She added that the situation at the labour market was far from the desired one with a further 1.4 million people who needed a full-time job but found no other option but start part-time work with the only aim to earn some money.

In her view the information supplied that there was a drop in unemployment rates was not true. The 46,000 people who were said to have found jobs, have started something with just a few hours and in most cases with zero hour contracts.

However, according to the employment minister, Mark Hoban, the unions were not able to bear the economic growth. He pointed out the fact that the unions were out of touch because they did not welcome even the news about the high rates of employment.



Think Tank Recommends Penalty For Young Non-Voters

An idea was soon proposed that young people who has the right to vote for the first time but do not do it have to be penalized. This proposal came from the Institute for Public Policy Research in the view of which those who decide not to give their votes the first time when they receive this opportunity should get a light fine.

In case there are youngsters who do not like any of the candidates they would have the opportunity to abstain as long as they go to the polls.

A research of IPPR shows a great disparity in turnout between the young and old.

Data from the think tank point out that in 2013 local elections the percentage of those who went voting from 18- to 24-year-olds was 32%. However, those over the age of 65, were about 72%.

Associate director of the IPPR Guy Lodge said that because of the low percentage of young people voting, politicians would not pay almost any attention to them. In his words the fact that these youngsters preferred not to vote even in the first time they gained the chance to meant they would not do it regularly in the future. If these were made to vote at least the first time, there is a chance that they could change their opinion on the elections and continue voting. You can also have you vote by choosing legal document templates from The Legal Stop

“Unequal turnout unleashes a vicious cycle of disaffection and under-representation. As policy becomes less responsive to their interests, more and more decide that politics has little to say to them.”

The co-author of the report, Sarah Birch, added that this would not be so strange because it would not be the first thing young people are required to do. At least they have to go to school no matter if they want it or not.




Law Professor Says Thieves And Fraudsters Should Not Face Jail

Not long ago, a top criminal lawyer made a proposal that changes need to be done and thieves and fraudsters do not go to jail any more. Get a fixed fee legal advice now.

According to Professor Andrew Ashworth, Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford University, people who had committed offences which are not that big should not go to prison. This is why he released a pamphlet through the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Its title is ‘What if imprisonment were abolished for property offences?’. In his opinion the only people whose crimes are so serious as they deserve to go to prison, are those who have committed violent or sexual crimes or who have behaved in a threatening manner.

Instead of prison people with lighter crimes like for example thefts, handling of stolen goods, criminal damages or frauds should either be fined in the proper way or face community service.

He claims this change would slash the number of prison populations in England and Wales by nearly 6,000. BBC’s legal correspondent Clive Colman says that if this happens £230m would be saved each year.

“We should be reserving our most severe form of punishment for our most serious types of offending,” said Ashworth. “Should someone be sent to prison and deprived of their liberty for an offence that involves no violence, no threats and no sexual assault?

He added that only those with sufficiently serious crimes have to face prison.

Such property offences as robbery and burglary are of threatening nature so they have to lead to a potential stint in jail.

The aim of the mentioned pamphlet is to set the beginning of a debate on the topic when being distributed to magistrates’ courts in England and Wales.



Suicides Following Police Custody Reach Nine-Year High

Data supplied by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) point out that only for the last year 64 people have committed suicide within two days of release from police custody.

The number for 2011/2012 was only 39 which means that the increase is now significant.May be if these people get proper treatment and help, they could find employment, which will prevent them from commiting a suicide. We have employment document templates, which might be tailored to suit every employer`s needs.

Two thirds of those who were in custody had mental health concerns, 18 were caught because of sexual offences, and other seven have previously been detained under the Mental Health Act.

The chairwoman of the IPCC, Dame Anne Owers, said these figures showed that police is not trained enough in order to deal with people having mental health issues.

“The police are often called in to deal with acutely mentally ill people, who may be a danger to themselves or others or who may be behaving in a disturbing or strange way,” she said. “It is clearly important that they are better trained in mental health awareness.”

According to Deborah Coles, from the charity Inquest, the high number of people who took their lives after they went out of police custody was alarming.  She added that the country needed urgent changes in the national strategy towards those with mental problems. This is the only way, which would change police culture and practice.

IPCC, on the other hand also released information that less people have died in police custody compared to the years since 2004. Another thing mentioned was that there were no fatal police shootings.

Despite this, the number of people who have died during police pursuits is large. Out of 30 road traffic fatalities 26 people lost their lives in police pursuits.


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.”


Fraud Sentences Could Focus on Harm

The Sentencing Council has prepared new guidelines related to the sentences for some of the financial crimes in England and Wales. According to these, the final sentences on such crimes could be based on the harm to victims.

What is considered as important nowadays is not the impact on victims but the amount of money involved in the crime.

The offenses, which the proposals cover, range from fraud and insurance scams to money laundering and bribery. Don`t forget to check our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy Template.

The council does not have any legislative power- this is a matter for Parliament. What it can do is only issue new guidelines.

In the opinion of BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman it would not be an easy task for courts to measure how harmful the crime had been to victims.

“For instance, a rogue trader who scammed a pensioner for £2,000 of roof repairs, severely damaging her confidence, would have faced a sentence ranging from a community order to 26 weeks in prison under existing guidelines,” he said.

Such rating is difficult because there are lots of cases in which victims’ loss is not that big but it has a great impact on them.

Only in 2012, the UK economy has lost £73 billion from fraud. This sum is bigger than the entire budget for state education.

Due to data of the Sentencing Council, employees and suppliers often claim false expenses which cost companies £45.5bn in 2011.

When talking about fraud we include many offences in this conception- offences like fake car crashes, complex VAT frauds and many others.


Liverpool landlord seeks compensation over Anfield redevelopment

A local landlord may cause Liverpool Football Club serious problems standing on their way to the expansion of their stadium. He called for a significant compensation or he would not allow the knocking down of his houses. For those of you, who would prefer to avoid being in a similar situation – use the deed of gift template.
The planned expansion is by 15,000 seats, which means they have to demolish some streets surrounding the stadium in order to complete their aim.
The number of the houses, which will have to be destroyed is 72.  Liverpool Football Club already owns 51 of them and tries to buy the rest.
Graham Jones owns two of the remaining houses. He claims that the club damages the area as it only buys houses and leaves them empty afterwards.
“Anfield was your average working-class area until Liverpool began buying houses and leaving them empty because they wanted the streets knocked down,” said Jones.
He added that he has had serious difficulties in finding tenants because of the decline of the area. According to his calculations, this has cost his partner and him about £500,000 in rent over the years.
Council leader Joe Anderson confessed there were lots of mistakes in the preparation for the stadium’s enlargement saying that residents were not protected enough.
However, he shared he did not quite well understand the motives of landlords.
“It is worth noting that the only owners with whom we have not reached agreement on acquisition are private landlords who do not live in the area and whose interests are purely financial,” said Anderson. “We will not allow a handful of private landlords to stand in the way of plans which will benefit everyone.”

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.

Super-jails Should Replace Run-Down Prisons – Policy Exchange

A recent report announced that 30 of the old prisons have to be replaced by 12 “super-jails” gathering thousands of prisoners.

According to ex-Ministry of Justice Deputy director Kevin Lockyer this would save £600m annually but the Prison Reform Trust claims that spending money on gigantic jails would be a huge mistake.

Deputy Director said that the appearance and the functioning of the new prisoners would be just like those of campuses.

He suggested the closing of Brixton, Feltham, Holloway, Pentonville, Wandsworth and Wormwood Scrubs, which will lead to a high demand of legal documents- especially employment documents and HR policies.

In his words with the changes proposed the prison budget would save about 20% and the budget of Ministry of Justice would save 9%.

Mr Lockyer said: “In fact, newer prisons outperform older ones, regardless of their size. New hub prisons will not only reduce reoffending and improve safety, they will also deliver vast financial savings and better value for money for the taxpayer.”

He stated the decision of the problem was not trying to reduce the number of prisoners and jails but thinking more carefully about the cutting of cost per prisoner.

The report pointed out that almost a quarter of the prisons were built in the Victorian era and most of the others were built in the 1960s and 1970s. The money for the new prisoners needs to come as borrowings from the public sector.

On the other hand, Juliet Lyon Prison Reform Trust director declared taxpayers’ money should not be spent on super-sized jails as the rates of crimes and reoffending were falling. She added that prison governors, prison inspectors and prison officers also did not like the idea.

“There is scope to close some outdated prisons and reinvest the money saved into effective community solutions to crime.”


Bank Loans to Business Fall Again Despite Funding for Lending

In spite of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) the aim of which was to cope with fall of the UK bank landing, it still continues.

For the first quarter of 2013 net landing has fallen with £300m.

The opinion of banks is that they would make more loans in the second part of the year with better loan agreement clauses.

Now under the new scheme banks and building societies should only prove they would give the money to individuals or businesses and they could borrow it cheaply from the Bank of England.

The period for this scheme was extended by a year.

The latest figures showed that as the old loans were phased out, new lending was about to be granted.

The Bank’s executive director for markets Paul Fisher said:

“The picture of flat lending growth overall is broadly as expected at this stage, reflecting reductions in some legacy portfolios being roughly offset in aggregate by expanding new lending”.

Data showed that there are also banks and building societies like Barclays and Nationwide that have increased their loans.

The current trend has not changed much since the previous figures had been showed- the decline is still in the business landing while lending to individuals started improving.

The Bank of England said that the financial crisis had serious effect over three big lenders (RBS, Lloyds and Santander) and due to them the percentage in reduction of loans was that big.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) was strongly disappointed with the figures.

“It is a concern that lending continues to contract despite the Funding for Lending Scheme having been in place for nearly a year,” said John Longworth, the BCC’s director general.

One example is an online estate agency, called hatched.co.uk, based at Hitchin in Hertfordshire.

It applied for a bank loan of £60,000 last year, but was eventually given just £20,000.

“For me, the bank funding just isn’t filtering through to small businesses like our own,” said the company’s managing director, Adam Day.

“And it’s small businesses like ours which are going to help the economy grow,” he said.