Conservative MP, David Mowat has used the FoIA to reveal that “around 3,000″ BBC workers have avoided paying PAYE tax by billing the BBC through personal service companies,reports the Telegraph. Furthermore, 31 of these have not had tax deducted at source from their £100,000 a year salaries. 318 on salaries of £50,000 reportedly have similar arrangements.
The Telegraph writes: “The true figure could be higher as the BBC said it excluded “talent” such as high-profile presenters and reporters, as well as people working in commercial subsidiaries”.
Stephen Barclay, a Tory MP on the Public Accounts Committee, said: “This [FoIA] reply shows that there is a need for much greater transparency at the BBC because the figures do not include so many people from BBC’s talent – which covers its main presenters – and its commercial operations.
The findings follow last month’s disclosure that Ed Lester, chief executive of the Student Loans Company, was potentially allowed to avoid paying thousands of pounds in tax by being paid through a private firm in a deal approved by the Coalition.
Thousand of paedophiles, drug dealers and violent thugs caught trying to get jobs as teachers.
“Paedophiles, violent thugs and drug dealers were among more than 4,000 offenders who applied to become teachers last year despite having almost 10,000 criminal convictions between them,” reports that Daily Mail.
In 2011, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) refused 4,098 out of 263,477 applicants for school jobs, who, between them, shared 9,493 convictions. These include 50 sex offences, 11 for arson, and two for death threats.
Separate figures showed that sex offenders and hundreds of violent criminals applied to work in nurseries last year. A CRB spokesman said: “Criminal records checks have helped to stop at least 130,000 unsuitable people from working or volunteering with children or vulnerable people”.
Spain moves towards freedom of information law amid outrage over corruption
Freedom of information in Spain has come one step nearer after newly elected government agrees to introduce bill, reports the Washington Post.
Spain is one of the few European nations without freedom of information legislation. However, the country’s cabinet has agreed to put forward legislation that will allow Spaniards to find out more about how their money is spent by government.
The goal of the new law is to make public officials at all levels much more accountable for how they spend taxpayer money. The Washington Post reports: “Under the new bill, information on subjects including senior public servants’ salaries and detailed data on government contracts and subsidies will be published online. Spaniards will also be able to file requests for other kinds of information providing it does not breach national security or personal privacy.”