Thursday, 26 July 2012

British Gas owner Centrica boosts profits

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Their hypocrisy knows no bounds

One rule for them, another for us.
MP for South-West Hertfordshire and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, claims that it is "morally wrong" to offer to pay tradesmen in cash in the hope of avoiding tax.

In newspaper interviews Gauke said the practice came at "a big cost" to the Treasury and meant other people had to pay more in tax.

Gauke told the Telegraph that: “Getting a discount with your plumber by paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue and means others have to pay more in tax."

“I think it is morally wrong. It is illegal for the plumber but it is pretty implicit in those circumstances that there is a reason why there is a discount for cash. That is a large part of the hidden economy.”

Of course, no mention was made of multinational companies which swerve paying billions in tax through loopholes, or their bills being written off by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. This is possibly because before becoming an MP, Gauke worked for city law firm McFarlanes, a company that helps wealthy clients avoid tax.

It also later emerges that in 2006/7, Gauke used parliamentary expenses to cover the cost of the stamp duty when he moved home. According to the London Standard, Gauke claimed £10, 248.32 in payments for his second home which included "Inland Revenue Stamp Duty" of £8,550. The rest was consisted of solicitor's fees, land registry and property searches.

If this wasn't enough hypocrisy, it then emerges that Gauke's wife, Rachel, is a professional support lawyer who specialises in corporate tax law, in other words helping big business avoid paying as much tax as possible.

Rachel Gauke works for Lexis Nexis, a company which claims to “support every tax practitioner on the front line as they deal with the tax collector“.

It emerged last year that big companies were excused paying £25,5 BILLION in tax to HMRC. £25.5 billion equates to roughly £1000 for every British family, or 6p off the current rate of taxation.

The tragedy of this case isn't the blatant and gross hypocrisy of yet another member of our political class,  it isn't the persecution yet again of ordinary people who are struggling in the current economic climate.

The real tragedy is that people like us are standing for it....

Monday, 23 July 2012

British consumers will soon feel the squeeze from rising food prices as US crops are hit by America's worst drought in more than half a century, economists warn.

By Emma Rowley 22 Jul 2012

Scorching temperatures and extreme dryness are devastating harvests across farmland in the Midwest. More than three quarters of the US's growing space is now affected by the harsh weather conditions, according to official data.

With crops dying in the fields, the prospect of tightening supplies is driving what Barclays Capital analysts say is one of the most rapid prices spikes "in recent memory".

US corn and wheat futures contracts have both risen by a third since mid-June, the biggest four-week price gain in US grains futures seen more than a quarter of a century. On Thursday, US corn for September delivery set a record high of over $8.16 a bushel, while soybeans for August delivery also hit a record at $17.49.

The global nature of markets means that the reverberations from the US, the world's biggest corn producer as well as a major supplier of soybeans and wheat, will be felt around the world.

Alan Clarke, an economist at Scotia Capital, expects the effects of the drought to add "significantly" to UK inflation over the start of 2013, since it takes around six months before rises in agricultural commodity prices feed into prices on the supermarket shelves.

Read more: HERE

Sunday, 22 July 2012

BBC lawyers consider formal appeal over court ban on riots drama

Lawyers ponder challenge to ruling preventing docu-drama from being broadcast 'by any media until further order'

Guardian 19 July 2012

By Paul Lewis and Josh Halliday

Lawyers for the BBC are considering making a formal appeal against a court order that has banned the corporation from showing a dramatised film about the experiences of rioters who took part in last summer's disorder.
The ruling from a judge prevented the docu-drama, which had been due to be broadcast on BBC2 at 9pm on Monday, from being broadcast "by any media until further order".

The channel's executives were forced to pull the film, which is based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder.
A second BBC film in the two-part series, which is based on personal interviews with police officers and was scheduled for broadcast on Wednesday, is also banned under the order.
For legal reasons, the Guardian cannot name the judge who made the ruling, the court in which he is sitting or the case he is presiding over. However, it is understood that lawyers for the BBC strongly object to his ruling, the nature of which is believed to be highly unusual.

Read more HERE

Thursday, 19 July 2012

UKR Justice for the 21 campaign in Birmingham Mail

FORENSIC experts are being called in to review potential new evidence in the Birmingham pub bombings.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, head of Counter Terrorism at West Midlands Police, has made the commitment in a letter to the sister of one of the 21 people killed in the 1974 terrorist atrocity.
He wrote: “Forensic science continues to develop. I will ensure that we consult with a forensic expert to establish how science has advanced and if new techniques can evidentially assist us with bringing those responsible to justice.”
The city’s head of Counter Terrorism is also tasking officers to bring together and look again at all the old files in the case.
He wrote: ‘‘It is important we gather, understand, consolidate and preserve all relevant material in one central repository. While the scale of this is a huge undertaking, it will greatly assist with our ability to assess the relevance of any new evidence.
It will also give me confidence in providing you with information that is accurate.”
West Midlands Police had never officially reopened the case after the Birmingham Six had their convictions quashed by a Court of Appeal in 1991, having spent almost 17 years behind bars.
Det Chief Supt Bell wrote the letter to Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was only 18 when she died in the suspected IRA attack on November 21, 1974, which also injured 182 people.
He said of his team’s new efforts: “This task will take some considerable time, however, I undertake that you will receive updates on a bimonthly basis.’’
The written assurances back up what Mrs Hambleton claims she was told in a meeting with the top cop at the force’s Lloyd House HQ.

Read More

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Thieving bastards, the lot of them!

There are certain large organisations operating in this country which were never intended to make a profit.

That’s not what they are there for.

On a national level, the NHS, the police, the armed forces, state education, the DWP along with most government departments etc. should all be above such mundane matters.
Locally, most council departments (with certain minor exceptions such as catering, for example) ought to be “excused duties” as far as making money is concerned.
The taxpayer (or council tax payer) has entered into a tacit agreement to fund these organisations. In return for our money we expect an efficient service and (national security issues aside) total transparency. We receive these in varying degrees, but that is probably a topic for a discussion in its own right.

Given the non-profit making status of these organisations, why do we allow private suppliers, agencies and so forth to plunder them like latter-day pirates?
The hot topic of the moment is the G4S Olympic debacle. The whole shebang has cost the British taxpayer billions of pounds one way and another, which we will never see again whatever the liars in parliament and LOCOG tell us.
Since we are getting Olympics whether we want them or not (I wasn’t asked, by the way?) then we have to accept the need for enhanced security, particularly in light of the posturing of our friends from the East.

That being so, shouldn’t this extra security have been provided by the police and the military as a matter of course? I would much rather entrust my personal safety and the world-wide reputation of my country to well-trained and smartly-dressed British soldiers and/or police officers than minimum-wage people most of whom have been forced into the job by the DWP and some of whom, we are reliably informed, don’t speak the native language of the host country.

The question here should not be, “Why was this £300M contract awarded to G4S?”
I suspect Baron Reid of Cardowan, otherwise known as the former communist and Labour Home Secretary, John Reid, now re-incarnated as a “Group Consultant” otherwise known as “middle-man” or “bag-man” for G4S, may know more than he is letting on about that.
The question should be “Why was this £300M contract awarded to anybody? “

The British military have a reputation which is second-to-none in the security arena. Their services are rightly in demand across the world.
Sadly, “budgetary constraints” mean that many of our soldiers and police officers are to be thrown on the scrap-heap.
Excuse me? Where were these budgetary constraints when the £300M of tax-payers money was handed over to the hopelessly inept and more importantly totally unnecessary G4S?

Answers on a postcard.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Bit10 withdraw sponsorship of Gary Deegan following UKR intervention

Coverntry Internet services company Bit10 today announced via Twitter that it was sponsoring both Coventry City and player Gary Deegan for the forthcoming season.

UKR, has been monitoring the Deegan situation at Coventry City Football Club since the publicity following the player's now infamous 'Up the RA' tweet. Deegan was suspended by Coventry City Football Club pending an investigation.

Following the announcement by Bit10, UKR contacted them to inquire if they were aware of the situation regarding Deegan. The company immediately replied stating that it did not support or condone the insensitive comments made by Gary Deegan, and that they were merely proud to be involved with Coventry City FC.

UKR replied asking the company if they were still planning to sponsor the player in question following his insensitive and offensive remarks. We are pleased to say the company replied that although they still supported Coventry City FC 100%, they had withdrawn their sponsorship of Deegan in light of his comments


We'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Bit10 on their response, their decision to withdraw sponsorship for the player and also their commitment to sponsoring a local football club which has been down on its luck of late.