On Tuesday, Ofcom’s consultation on the initial obligations for costs sharing relating to the Digital Economy Act closed. The consultation sought feedback on the fees that will be paid by copyright holders, ISPs and alleged infringers as part of the process outlined in the Digital Economy Act.
The Digital Economy Act was passed in the wash up prior to the 2010 election. A ‘graduated response’ was established as part of the Initial Obligations Code and Technical Obligations Code. Essentially, ISPs will impose technical measures on individuals or households accused of repeat copyright infringement that may include disconnection from the Internet among other proposals. Continue Reading
A quick glance at the NHS jobs website will tell you there are over 150 executive vacancies. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you think they are all essential, however when one of the new Commissioning Support Units requires two Customer Services Directors, paying £115K each, it does make you wonder.
The University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust is looking for a new Head of Environmental Sustainability. This is all to do with the Trust’s desire to reduce its carbon footprint in line with the Department of Health’s report ‘Saving Carbon, Improving Heath‘. This report was published in 2009 by the Sustainable Development Unit. Continue Reading
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has called for the Personal Allowance of tax free income to be increased to £10,000 by April 2014.
From April next year, we will have lifted two million people out of income tax altogether and provided a tax cut of almost £550 to over 20 million low and middle earners.
Lifting the personal allowance to £10,000 would provide a further £160 tax cut to low and middle earners and take hundreds of thousands more out of tax.
Last Monday myself and Matthew Elliott, along with Dan Mitchell from the Cato Institute in Washington DC and Zilvinas Silenas and Kaetana Leontjeva from the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, ventured into the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels. We were there to meet Algirdas Šemeta, the Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud, and discuss European Union proposals to introduce a new tax and harmonise existing business taxes.
The arguments that the Commissioner used to justify a Financial Transaction Tax were actually remarkably similar to those deployed by movie star Bill Nighy. My article here, with a video of our debate on the issue for Channel 4 News, is still a good summary of the state of the debate. We looked at it in more detail in Sections 5.1.3 and 6.1.3 of the Single Income Tax Report. I remain convinced that this tax would be yet another unwarranted burden on savers and reduce people’s wages. It would hurt Britain’s economy in particular and we shouldn’t put up with that any more than the French would put up with a European tax on red wine or the Germans would put up with a European tax on luxury saloons. Continue Reading
A Swindon TPA supporter draws our attention to the continuing farce of Croft School. As pupils enter the new school, they find it is still largely a building site—and one that is estimated to cost Swindon taxpayers a further £700,000 at least.
Swindon Borough Council blame the delay in finishing the primary school next to Croft Sports Centre on delays in getting planning approval. They originally meant to spend £4.5m, but now expect to take £500,000 from their contingency fund and a further £200,000 from their capital budget. A council spokesman also blamed groundworks problems caused by the wet summer as well as the additional cost of fencing off the building site to protect pupils and staff. Continue Reading