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Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to cut corporation tax for big businesses has gifted fat cat City firms another £300million at the same time David Cameron has handed bankers who fuelled the credit crunch a £1.9billion tax break, the Government’s own figures show. The Prime Minister’s levy on the banks has brought in £1.6billion less than he promised over the last two years. And Chancellor George Osborne ’s decision to cut corporation tax for big businesses has gifted fat cat City firms another £300million at the same time.
A march in protest at government cuts passes parliament in London on its way to Hyde Park. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images This list of 42 benefit changes, compiled by the the charity Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), gives a clear sense of the vast scale and complexity of the Coalition's welfare reform programme, which is aimed at saving £18bn a year from the social security budget by 2015. The government's reform of welfare started in 2010.
If Britain is 'broke', it has been for most of the last 300 years | Tom Clark and Howard Reed | Comment is free'The Osbornian claim that Britain is broke is dependent on eschewing the long view.' Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters Before 2008, an avowedly modernising Conservative party committed to match Labour's public spending totals . However, two weeks after Lehman Brothers went bust in 2008, George Osborne took to the rostrum at his party's conference and reverted to Tory type , sternly announcing that "borrowing is out of control", and – recalling an establishment phrase from the Depression – promising to "put sound money first".
David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street in London, on January 30, 2012. Photograph: Getty Images. Last week I reported that Labour's Rachel Reeves had issued a complaint to the UK Statistics Authority after David Cameron falsely stated in a Conservative Party political broadcast that the coalition "was paying down Britain’s debts". Andrew Dilnot, the chair of the stats authority, has now replied to Reeves, confirming that there was no basis for Cameron's claim. He rightly points out that the national debt has risen from £811.3bn, or 55.3 per cent of GDP, to £1,111.4bn, or 70.7 per cent of GDP, since the coalition entered office.
Police officers protect a Starbucks outlet in Oxford Street during the TUC anti-austerity protest in London on 20 October 2012. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters 'Only the little people pay taxes ," the late American corporate tax evader Leona Helmsley famously declared. That's certainly the spirit of David Cameron and George Osborne's Britain.
In a glowing appraisal of the movement’s achievements, Andrew Haldane, executive director of financial stability, said Occupy protesters had been “both loud and persuasive”, and had attracted public support because “they are right”. “Some have suggested … that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed,” Mr Haldane said in a speech tonight. “I wish to argue that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines.
Entitled " The Chicago Plan Revisited ", it revives the scheme first put forward by professors Henry Simons and Irving Fisher in 1936 during the ferment of creative thinking in the late Depression. Irving Fisher thought credit cycles led to an unhealthy concentration of wealth. He saw it with his own eyes in the early 1930s as creditors foreclosed on destitute farmers, seizing their land or buying it for a pittance at the bottom of the cycle.
Modern work is mostly a lie. Especially in the so-called knowledge, information, or entertainment sectors, work has all too often become little more than an arbitrary hierarchy of stupidity fees, ignorance fines, influence peddling, and pathetic popularity plays. It's increasingly an unjustifiable waste of time to set up such pointless and counterproductive relationships in the first place.
Sep. 5, 2012 — The rhetoric is relentless: America is a place of unparalleled opportunity, where hard work and determination can propel a child out of humble beginnings into the White House, or at least a mansion on a hill. But the reality is very different, according to a University of Michigan researcher who is studying inequality across generations around the world. "Especially in the United States, people underestimate the extent to which your destiny is linked to your background," says Fabian Pfeffer, a sociologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR). Pfeffer is the organizer of an international conference on inequality across multiple generations being held September 13 and 14 in Ann Arbor. "Research shows that it's really a myth that the U.S. is a land of exceptional social mobility." Pfeffer's own research illustrates this point based on data on two generations of families in the U.S. and a comparison of his findings to similar data from Germany and Sweden.
"We could pay more tax but we would have to do so voluntarily," he said. "There are lots of benefits to [being in Britain]. "It's very good for us, but to go back to shareholders and say 'We looked at 200 countries but felt sorry for those British people so we want to [pay them more]' ... there is probably some law against doing that."
Email Share Despite claims that welfare spending is ‘out of control’, the Government is handing out billions of pounds to a private sector actively involved in demolishing the welfare state. One example: Atos, the global IT company, currently receives around £100m a year to carry out the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. This crude computer-based assessment is used to determine eligibility for sickness benefits. The system has proved to be a brutal and expensive farce, with hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people being denied benefits and forced into the Job Seeker’s Allowance regime, to face workfare and benefit sanctions.
One module, headlined “tax responsibilities of a good citizen”, aims to help teenagers “understand the obligations if being a good citizen and discuss what should happen to hose who are not prepared to work under such obligations”. One lesson plan – targeted at 14 to 16 year olds – requires students to “discuss whether it is good to pay the tax we do, considering the benefits we receive. If it is good, then why do people try not to pay?”
Mr Gauke took to the moral high ground on Monday with his comments about the UK's ordinary tax dodgers; the little guy whose tax avoidance "deprives" the public purse of £2bn a year. Mr Gauke told the Telegraph newspaper that getting a discount by paying in cash for paying for a plumber was "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." His emotive language has certainly hit a nerve, enraging tradesmen and triggering an avalanche of derisive comments. At one point, Mr Gauke even found himself perhaps the first UK treasury minister in history to be "trending" on Twitter - and for all of the wrong reasons.
Click HERE to view 'The missed warnings how us authorities demanded changes... and were ignored' graphic A cache of documents released yesterday by the New York Federal Reserve showed that US officials had evidence from April 2008 that Barclays was knowingly posting false reports about the rate at which it could borrow in order to assuage market concerns about its solvency. An unnamed Barclays employee told a New York Fed analyst, Fabiola Ravazzolo, on 11 April 2008: "So we know that we're not posting, um, an honest Libor."
The former chair of A4e, Emma Harrison, 'who last year paid herself a dividend of £8.6m'. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian If you want a sobering flavour of where Britain is heading, set aside banking, the Leveson inquiry, our relationship with Europe and whatever else – and consider a Guardian story by Patrick Butler that appeared last week. It was about food banks, the charitable set-ups that supply emergency parcels to people who have fallen between society's cracks. FareShare, a charity that sits at the heart of all this, says it is experiencing "ridiculous growth" in demand, and expects that trend to continue for at least five years; over the last 12 months, it claims to have sent out 8.6m meals.
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