LONDON: ‘ DECC WILL COMMENCE PAYING MINIMUM WAGE OR THEIR SO-CALLED LIVING WAGE ‘

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – November 05 – The department joins more than 1000 employers committed to paying the Living Wage after being accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

Energy and Climate Secretary Edward Davey announced that the department would pay all of its employees the Living Wage from 1 April 2014.

On 21 July this year, Citizens UK awarded the Living Wage Whitehall Champion 2014 cup to Ed Davey.

Edward Davey said:

“Paying the Living Wage means we get to keep the best people, which makes good business sense too.

“My Department has set an example to employers across the country. I want people to want to work here and stay here.”

The living wage is based on the amount an individual needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living. In London, the Living Wage rate is £9.15 per hour.

Those working outside of London will get a minimum of £7.85 per hour.

The Living Wage is calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University, in London, the rate is set by the Greater London Authority.

Source: 

#AFN2014

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#london, #minimum-wage

LONDON: ‘ ‘DAVID CAMERON REFUSES TO PAY £1.7 BILLION DEMANDED BY EU AS CONTRIBUTION ‘

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – October 27 – The British prime minister says his country will refuse to pay a £1.7-billion bill demanded as budget contribution by the European Union (EU), calling the Union’s behaviour “appalling.”

' David Cameron Refuses to Pay £1.7 billion to EU '

‘ David Cameron Refuses to Pay £1.7 billion to EU ‘

“We are not suddenly going to take out our checkbook and write a check for two billion euros (USD 2.5 billion); it is not happening,” said David Cameron in a news conference on the sidelines of an EU summit over the member states’ climate change policies in Brussels on Friday.

“It is an unacceptable way for this organization to work, to suddenly present a bill like this for such a vast sum of money, with so little time to pay it, and it is an unacceptable way to treat one of the biggest contributors to the European Union,” the British premier added.

Cameron also warned that such “appalling” behavior would certainly affect Britain’s decision whether to remain in the European Union the premier added in a desperate attempt to copy Nigel Farage’s ideas and steal some UKIP votes.

On Thursday, the European Commission demanded a number of European countries including Britain, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and Malta to provide the organization with extra money by December other than their annual contributions.

“The British economy is growing much faster than the others and the logic is the same as with tax: if someone earns more, they pay more tax,” said European Commission spokesman, Patrizio Fiorilli, on Friday.

The organization said it made the decision after the recalculation of the member states’ national incomes since 1995, adding that Britain’s economy has enjoyed better-than-expected performance in comparison with other European countries.

This is while Germany, the most thriving economy of the region, will get a rebate of £779 million under EU’s revised measurement system of the member states’ economic output which unprecedentedly includes the financial profit of such activities as prostitution and illegal drug trade.

#ANS2014 

#afn2014, #eu, #european-union, #london

LONDON: ‘ CHANGES IN TENANCY AGREEMENTS IN PRIVATE RENTAL SECTOR ‘

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – October 27 – A model tenancy agreement for use in the private rented sector where a short-hold tenancy is being entered into, and accompanying guidance.

Documents

Model agreement for a shorthold assured tenancy and accompanying guidance (online version)

Ref: ISBN 9781409843368MS Word Document, 182KB

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.Request a different format.

If you use assistive technology and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@communities.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

This model tenancy agreement also contains guidance on its use and clauses. It has been designed by the government for use when the landlord and tenant are entering into a shorthold assured tenancy agreement in the private rented sector.

It will be particularly relevant for use when the parties are entering into a longer term tenancy of 2 or more years. It, therefore, contains provisions relating to rent reviews and those which enable the landlord or the tenant to end the tenancy during the fixed term if their circumstances change.

The model tenancy agreement is made available free of charge and can either be completed online or downloaded and completed manually. If the agreement is completed online, it will need to be printed off for wet signature.

Two copies of the agreement should be made – 1 for the landlord, the other for the tenant. It is the responsibility of either party to keep the agreement in a safe place as it will need to be referred to during the tenancy.

The use of the model is entirely voluntary. There is no legal requirement to use it – although landlords and tenants will be able to do so with confidence.

If you plan to use the agreement also see the how to rent guide.

#AFN2014

#ashta, #london, #short-hold-tenancy

BRITAIN: ‘ Osborne Believes His Own Rhetoric By Trying to Convince Us He is Telling the Truth ‘

#AceFinanceNews – London – October 09 Chancellor George Osborne has warned that the UK economy will be affected by the slowdown in the Euro-Zone economy.

Talking to the BBC, he said this was a “critical moment for the British economy”, which was not “immune” from what was happening on the continent.

The eurozone economy was stagnant between April and June, with the German economy – Europe’s biggest – shrinking by 0.2%.

Mr Osborne said there were steps the UK could take to protect itself.

“The eurozone risks slipping back into crisis, and Britain cannot be immune from that – it’s already having an impact on our manufacturing and exports,” he said.

Official figures published earlier this week showed that growth in the UK manufacturing sector slowed to 0.1% in August.

“We are not immune from what’s going on in the rest of the world, but we can take steps to protect ourselves,” the chancellor said.

“We must stick with our long-term economic plan, so delivering economic stability. We are cutting business taxes, making the UK a place to invest, and that will protect jobs right here.” 

Source: 

#AFN2014

#britain, #euro-zone, #europe, #george-osborne, #germany, #london

BRITAIN: ‘ Senior Banker Admits Conspiring to Defraud by Manipulating the LIBOR Rate’

#AceFinanceNews – London) – October 07 – A senior banker from a UK bank has admitted conspiring to defraud over manipulating the Libor lending rate.

The banker, who can not be named for legal reasons, is the first person in the UK to plead guilty to the offence.

Two men have already pleaded guilty in the US to fraud offences linked to the rigging of Libor, for years the benchmark by which trillions of pounds of financial contracts are based.

The case arose from the Serious Fraud Office‘s (SFO) investigations.

It began looking into Libor manipulation in 2012 after it emerged that it was being widely abused by leading banks to manipulate rates in their favour.

The SFO’s investigation continues and 11 other individuals stand charged and await trial.

Seven banks and brokerages have settled regulatory allegations of interest rate rigging in the UK and the US after global investigations.

So far, 17 men have been charged with fraud-related offences.

Last month, Lloyds Banking Group dismissed eight staff members following an investigation into the behaviour of its rate setters.

The move follows the bank’s £218m fine in July for “serious misconduct” over the setting of Libor.

Libor – what is it and why does it matter?

Libor, the London inter-bank lending rate, is considered to be one of the most important interest rates in finance, upon which trillions of financial contracts rest, and the exposure of its rigging has shocked many beyond the world of finance. Here, the BBC explains some of the key facts.

  1. 1. What is Libor?
    A global benchmark interest rate used to set a range of financial deals. It is also a measure of trust in the financial system and the faith banks have in each other’s financial health.

    Mortgages
    Loans
    Inter-bank
    lending
    Indicator
    of trust
    Reflects health
    of banks

  2. 2. Why is it important?
    The Libor, or London Interbank Offered Rate, is used to set a range of financial transactions worth an estimated $300 trillion.

    $300,000,000,000,000

    Which is equivalent to approximately four and a half times global GDP

    4.5 globe icons

  3. 3. How is it set?

    Every day a group of leading banks submit rates for 10 currencies and 15 lengths of loan ranging from overnight to 12 months.

    The most important is the three-month dollar Libor. The rates submitted are what the banks estimate they would pay other banks to borrow dollars for three months. This is a simple example of how it works.

    Banks submit their rates 1% 2% 3% 4%
    The top and bottom quartiles are discarded 1%
    2%
    3%
    4%
    An average is calculated of the remainder 2.5% This is Libor

    4. How was it rigged?

  4. By traders

    Since the rates submitted are estimates not actual transactions it’s relatively easy to submit false figures.

    Traders at several banks conspired to influence the Libor by getting colleagues to submit rates that were either higher or lower than their actual estimate.

    Banks

    bank a bank b bank c bank d
    1% 2% 3% 4%
    1%
    2%
    3%
    4%
    2.5% Lower average
    bank b bank c bank d bank a
    2% 3% 4% 5%
    2%
    3%
    4%
    5%
    3.5% Higher average

    Libor and the financial crisis
    At the height of the financial crisis in late 2007, many banks stopped lending to each other over concerns about their financial health with some banks submitting much higher rates than others.

    Barclays was one of those submitting much higher rates, attracting some media attention. This prompted comment that Barclays was in trouble.

    Following much internal debate and a controversial conversation with a Bank of England official, Barclays began to submit much lower rates. You can see this in the graph below which compares the Libor rate with those submitted by Barclays.

    Barclays’ Libor 3-month sterling submissions vs daily Libor fix

    Graph showing difference between libor rate and Barclays' submissions

  5. 5. Consequences

    The Libor scandal has further undermined trust in banks. The deputy governor of the Bank of England called the Libor market a “cesspit”.

    While those paying interest on loans would have benefited from lower Libor rates, savers and investors would have lost out.

    Regulators in Canada, US, Japan, Switzerland, Britain are investigating the rate rigging.

    Lawsuits have been launched by US municipalities, pension funds and hedge funds.

Note: The estimated figure for the value of transactions connected to Libor has been revised down from $800 trillion following new figures in the Wheatley report on 28 September 2012.

Source: Explaining the Libor Scandal Infographics:  

#AFN2014

#britain, #libor, #london

` Bahrain Signs Investment Cooperation Deal with Russia with Washington showing their Concern ‘

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – May 01 – /ITAR-TASS/. U.S. Administration has rebuked Bahrain, a Gulf state with which it has a close strategic relationship, for signing an investment cooperation deal with Russia, which Washington and its European allies are trying to subject to punitive economic measures at the moment.

“With Russia continuing its efforts to destabilize Ukraine, this is not the time for any country to conduct business as usual (with Moscow),” an official at the U.S. Department of State told Reuters Wednesday.
He said Washington had raised concern over the signing with the Bahraini government.

Russian Direct Investment Fund issued a statement Tuesday saying it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain on expanding both countries’ investment opportunities.

The statement said, among other things, that the Bahraini fund’s CEO, Mahmood al-Kooheji would join the RDIF international advisory board and would help formulate its strategic guidelines.

The deal was signed at the end of Wednesday’s visit to Moscow by Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad al-Khalifa who was received by President Vladimir Putin.

International analysts point out the symbolism of the deal. According to Reuters, it suggests that Western sanctions “may not deter other countries from continuing to expand business ties with Russia.

#AFN2014

#ans2014, #bahrain, #bahraini, #london, #moscow, #russia, #russian-president-vladimir-putin, #ukrainian

` Standard and Poor’s Downgrades Russia’s Sovereign Credit Rating to BBB with Negative Outlook ‘

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – April 25 – International rating agency S&P has downgraded Russia’s sovereign rating from BBB to BBB- with ‘negative’ outlook.

S&P has explained downgrading of Russia’s sovereign credit rating from BBB to BBB – with capital flight from the country in the first quarter of 2014 and reduced capabilities to attract funding on foreign financial markets due to current Ukrainian political crisis, the agency stated.

“We believe that the complex geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine may lead to additional substantial outflow of both foreign and local capital of the Russian economy, undermining the already weak growth prospects,” S&P said.

#AFN2014

#ans2014, #london, #russias, #russian, #sovereign-rating, #standard-and-poors, #ukraine

` Question When will ` George Osborne ' Tackle Tax Avoidance and Not just Tax Evasion '

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – HMRC – April 12 – According to the article in the BBC News today George Osborne is intending to clamp down on tax dodgers or people with overseas bank accounts.

My first question does this include the tax authorities and MP’s that have companies, shareholdings or private trusts in offshore domains?

Or just as he put it only people who hide their money overseas to avoid paying tax.

His plan is that they will face bigger fines and could be jailed more easily under government plans to fight tax evasion, but no mention of tax avoidance (A legitimate way for those who are rich enough to AVOID) taxation. All in the name of business be it investment, reinvestment or company and corporate liability strategy.

He went onto say he intends to prosecute but at present, tax officials must prove a person holding income offshore has intended to evade tax.

Once again avoiding tax is not mentioned.

He continues – But under a new criminal standard officials would only have to show money was taxable and undeclared.
An onerous statement to say the least.
As no one would have to prove they owe it as according to HMRC Officials, they say under their new rules you do!
I imagine human rights organisations will have something to say about that change.

He then says – The changes would mean there was “no safe haven” for those evading tax.

No mention of not avoiding, once again.

But Labour’s shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury said the government was “failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion”.

A consultation will be held to let the public have their say on the plans.

Should you care to read his article it is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26998208

#AFN2014

#avoidance, #evasion, #george-osborne, #government, #hm-treasury, #hmrc, #labour, #london, #tax-avoidance-and-tax-evasion

` Conservative MP Peter Bone is Under Investigation for Expenses Claim Relating to his Second Home '

#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – April 11 – (BBC) – Conservative MP Peter Bone is under investigation for expenses claims relating to the upkeep of his second home, the parliamentary commissioner for standards has said.

The claims are understood to have been made between 2005 and 2009.

MP for Wellingborough told the Times he had “done nothing wrong”, adding that it was “not unusual for MPs to have their expenses challenged” http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4060463.ece

A spokeswoman for the commissioner declined to comment further.

The system for investigating alleged abuses of MPs’ expenses was reformed in 2009, after a string of scandals, but cases involving claims made before 2010 still invoke the previous investigatory system.

This means that the independent commissioner investigates the allegations before submitting a report to the standards committee.

The committee, which comprises 10 MPs and three members of the public, then has the final say on whether to accept the commissioner’s conclusions.

Read More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26986408

MP Peter Bone will not face benefit fraud charges http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/cps_decision_on_suspected_fraud_investigated_by_northamptonshire_police/

Back on the March 25 the (BBC) – Reported that Conservative MP Peter Bone and his wife will not face any criminal charges in connection with allegations of benefit fraud relating to his mother-in-law.

The police investigated claims that assets belonging to her were concealed so Northamptonshire County Council would fund time in a care home.

But the Crown Prosecution Service said “no element of dishonesty” could be proved and it would take no action.

The MP, who always denied the claims, said his family had been “vindicated”.

Details of the police investigation were revealed by the Times newspaper last month.

In response, Mr Bone – MP for Wellingborough – confirmed that police had raided his constituency office last year, confiscating parliamentary papers, including constituents’ letters.

He said he and his wife had been involved in a long-running dispute with Northamptonshire Council about what he said was “their failure to properly fund her elderly mother’s care needs”.

Read More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26729265

#AFN

#afn2014, #crown-prosecution-servicecps, #london, #mp, #northamptonshire-county-council, #peter-bone

` Pope Francis rules that the ` Vatican Bank ‘ will remain `Operational ‘ with Approved Recommendations ‘

#AceFinanceNews – ROME – APRIL 07 – Pope Francis has decided that the troubled Vatican Bank will remain operational and he has approved recommendations for its future, the Vatican said on Monday.

The bank “will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide,” Reuters reported, citing a Vatican statement.

Until now the Pope had not ruled out closing the bank.

Decades of Scandals:

Report by Aljazeera – October 02 2013 – The Vatican bank, dogged for decades by scandals and opaque dealings, has published the first annual report in its 125-year history.

The report covered 2012, a tumultuous year that saw the bank’s former president ousted in a boardroom battle and leaks of documents on internal disagreements on how it should be run.

Bank President Ernst Von Freyberg, who started his job this year, said the 100-page report released on Tuesday was an attempt to meet the commitment to transparency that Catholics around the world “rightfully expect”.

A five-member committee appointed by Pope Francis, who has promised to clean up the Vatican’s financial image, is also preparing a report on how to reform the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).

The IOR said that in 2012 it had a net profit of $117m, more than four times greater than the $27m profit in 2011.

It when onto say the institution, however, has been enmeshed in scandals in the past three decades, most notably in 1982 when it was caught up in the fraudulent bankruptcy of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano, whose president Roberto Calvi was found hanged under a bridge in London.

More recently, it has been caught up in an investigation by Italian magistrates into Money laundering, which the bank denies, and the arrest of a Vatican prelate who has been charged with money smuggling.

Pope Francis has not excluded the possibility of closing down the IOR but most likely it will soon see extensive reform.

#AFN2014

#catholic-church, #london, #money-laundering, #pope-francis, #rome, #vatican, #vatican-bank