Chancellor vows tax-dodge crackdown
THE Chancellor is to unveil a £154 million blitz on big-name global companies and wealthy individuals who dodge tax bills to claw back billions of pounds for the Treasury.
George Osborne will order Revenue officials to use some of the cash to draft in an army of investigators to target high earners who aggressively avoid or evade paying tax.
The funding will be confirmed in this week’s mini-budget, which is expected to deliver bleak news for benefit claimants as well as the wealthy.
Parties to discuss Leveson report
CROSS-PARTY talks on the Leveson report will resume today ahead of a major Commons debate on the highly divisive press reform recommendations.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller and Labour counterpart Harriet Harman along with the Lib Dems will attempt to thrash out a way forward on the proposals at a meeting this morning.
Labour last night upped the ante by revealing it had brought in a legal team to draw up a Bill within two weeks to counter claims that legislation would be “unworkable”.
Funding call for nursery education
NURSERIES and childminders should be given extra funding for the poorest children to help boost their achievement, a senior member of Ofsted will say today.
Sue Gregory, the inspectorate’s national director of education, is expected to call for a Pupil Premium-style scheme to be set up for children as young as two in a speech in London.
The Pupil Premium, a key initiative for the coalition Government, is extra funding attached to disadvantaged children, following them as they move schools.
Online retailers braced for rush
ONLINE retailers are braced for their busiest day of the year as consumers take part in the annual pre-Christmas shopping spree dubbed Cyber Monday.
Recent years have seen online shopping figures consistently peaking on the first Monday in December, probably because many UK consumers have received their last pay cheque before Christmas.
Visa Europe predicts £320 million will be spent on its cards alone as online transactions top 6.8m, an increase of 21% on last year, making December 3 this year the busiest online shopping day in history.
Concern over 12 trusts’ death rates
DEATH rates at 12 NHS hospital trusts in England were alarmingly high last year, according to an influential report.
The number of patient deaths are above expected levels at the 12 trusts, the Dr Foster Hospital Guide found.
Patient safety is also being risked because hospitals are “full to bursting”, with many regularly breaching the 85% limit set in place to protect patients.
Figures shows that in 2011-2012 occupancy was running at 88% in midweek, while averaging 90% for 11 of the 12 months, excluding quiet periods including Christmas.