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‘Policy Paralysis’ as high street retail collapse hinders UK economy

‘Policy Paralysis’ as high street retail collapse hinders UK economy

Retail commentator Paul Turner Mitchell found the Treasury unable to answer Freedom of Information requests relating to bad debts suffered by HMRC for unpaid PAYE and VAT owed by insolvent retailers, with officials claiming they did not keep such statistics by industry sector.

Undeterred, he instead commissioned corporate health management specialists Company Watch to conduct independent research. Unearthed was the sheer scale of damage inflicted on the UK economy from some of the most high-profile retail collapses of 2012.

All in all, the research shows that the overall losses suffered by trade suppliers, landlords, employees and HMRC on the 20 largest retailers to file for insolvency since the  beginning of 2012 totals £1 billion. Within this total lies a £134 million cost to the UK taxpayer. Read more

The Information Daily | 10th April 2013

BBC staff have £750,000 worth of gadgets lost or stolen in three years

BBC staff have lost 785 laptops, tablet computers and mobile phones in the past three years, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Since 2010, BBC staff have misplaced or had stolen 399 laptops worth £598,500, 347 mobiles worth up to £104,100, and 39 tablets at £58,500, according to the FoI request.

And there has been a marked increase in the number of missing gadgets in the last year, with 350 laptops, mobiles or tablet devices lost or stolen in 2012, compared to 259 in 2011. Read more

Josh Halliday | The Guardian | 10th April 2013

Empty properties cost East of England landlords £100m in a year

LANDLORDS in the East of England have paid more than £100m in business rates on empty properties in the last financial year, the Taxpayers’ Alliance has revealed.

A Freedom of Information request for figures has showed that £100,978,346 was raised in business rates levied on empty properties in the region from 2011-12.

In East Herts, £1,351,284 was collected in 2009-10, £1,341,216 in 2010-11 and £1,607,146 in 2011-12. In Broxbourne, £912,662 was levied on empty properties in 2009-10, £1,018,597 in 2010-11 and £775,408 in 2011-12. Across Great Britain, more than £1.1bn was paid in empty property rates in 2011-12. Read more

Hertfordshire Mercury Business News | 10th April 2013

AUSTRALIA: Detention centre warns of violence

The company running the detention centre on Christmas Island has warned the government several times of a high threat of violence. Channel Seven reported on Wednesday that documents they obtained under freedom of information revealed services company Serco sent security intelligence summaries to the immigration department warning the threat of violence at the island’s centre.

Serco warned that tents could be used “as a source of weapons and a target for arson”. It advised the use of tents “as alternative or emergency accommodation should be reconsidered and an alternative sought”.

Three warnings were sent to the department in the latter part of 2012. An immigration spokesman told Seven on Wednesday the tents were still being used. Read more

The Sydney Morning Herald | 10th April 2013


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