What a rip-toff: Taxpayers spend £500m to send top Government’s officials kids to posh public schools
Taxpayers have forked out £500million in just three years to send top Government officials’ children to posh public schools such as Eton.
A Mirror investigation can today reveal the highly paid civil servants are getting a £26,000-a-year perk towards Britain’s most expensive education.
Just last year alone, the Foreign Office splashed out £27million for 717 children of diplomats.
The Ministry of Defence and Department for International Development are also spending tens of millions of pounds on the extravagant freebie.
[The Mirror’s] revelations – which can be disclosed after a year-long Freedom of Information fight was won this week – come as thousands of families have their child benefit payments slashed. Read more.
Steve Myall | The Mirror | 10th November 2012
Deadly weapons find at Commons
COPS guarding the Houses of Parliament have seized a huge arsenal of deadly weapons from visitors, The Sun can reveal.
Police have confiscated fake firearms, hundreds of knives and even swords at security checkpoints.
The shocking haul exposes cops’ daily battle to keep MPs and peers safe — and raises fears that a modern-day Guy Fawkes will one day beat the system. Our Freedom of Information requests reveal officers found 433 knives in the past three years as visitors passed metal detectors and X-ray scanners.
They also confiscated three fake guns, a knuckle-duster, a catapult, three telescopic batons, a cosh and a meat cleaver. This year’s haul includes a sabre and a sword. Read more.
Craig Woodhouse | The Sun | 11th November 2012
Scotland: A compelling case for transparency on radiation risk
The slow drip of worrying news about the radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay does nothing for the people of Fife but engender fear.
Today’s revelations in the Sunday Herald that Government scientists have discovered a near-doubling in the incidence of cancers among people living near the contaminated zone will inevitably cause disquiet locally.
With concern, though, comes frustration – and the people of Fife, indeed Scotland at large, have every right to be angry with the Ministry of Defence. If it wasn’t for this newspaper pursuing the truth about the level of radioactive contamination under Freedom of Information legislation, the public would still have no knowledge of local cancer rates. It is better to know the truth, however potentially unpalatable, than to remain ignorant of possible health risks. Read more.
Herald Scotland | 11th November 2012
The private litter firm dishing out 700 fines a week: Company pockets £1.6m from town hall deals
A private company is raking in cash by fining more than 100 people a day for dropping litter, according to a report.
Members of the public are being treated as ‘cash cows’ by over-zealous litter patrols who work for a firm that has signed lucrative commission-only contracts with councils, say critics.
At least 12 local authorities have employed one business, Xfor, to issue on-the-spot fines. It keeps at least £35 from each £75 penalty notice its staff hand out.
Freedom of Information requests show that the company, run by ex-Armed Forces personnel, has pocketed £1.6million of the money it has raised from tickets handed out by 51 members of staff. Read more.
Ian Drury | Daily Mail | 12th November 2012
Gwent Police pays £200,000 to informants
THE bill for paying informants by Gwent Police over the last five years was nearly £200,000, it has been revealed.
The force paid £193,760 for information, contributing to a total of almost £900,000 across the Welsh police forces.
The revelation comes after Freedom of Information requests by Plaid Cymru. Figures show that the top force for paying informants is the South Wales Police Force, paying out £530,755. Read more.
South Wales Argus | 12th November 2012