Page 25

News Why World Change is Necessary

Barclays hit with £323 million fine for rigging energy markets a year after £300 million payout over Libor scandal

Thumb article 2367815 13e87499000005dc 626 634x444

Barclays has been plunged into further turmoil after being fined £323million for rigging US energy markets. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said the bank must pay £300million in penalties within 30 days and a further £23million of ‘unjust profits’ from electricity trading in California and other states. The fine adds to the long list of regulatory issues faced by Barclays. Last summer it paid a £290million fine to UK and US regulators for attempting to rig the Libor interest rate in London. Barclays has also set aside £2.6billion to meet compensation claims for mis-selling payment protection insurance. Another £850million has been set aside to cover claims for mis-selling complex interest rate protection swaps to small businesses.

Callers spent £56 MILLION on premium rate government phone lines last year (and half of it was on hold!)

Thumb article 2367796 1add2847000005dc 26 634x545

Callers spent £56million on premium-rate government phone lines last year – with half their time spent on hold. Factoring in the value of time waiting to speak to a ‘real person’ would bring the actual cost closer to £150million, said spending watchdog the National Audit Office. Its report found that despite attempts to limit them, ‘084’ numbers continue to be used ‘extensively’ across Whitehall.

McDonald's Budget Suggestions: No Food, No Heat, Get A Second Job

Thumb mcdonalds strikers

Disingenuously preaching “You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it,” the Czars at Mcdonalds have teamed with Visa to launch a website to "help" its workers budget on their massive paycheck of $18,000 and change a year, or $8.25 an hour, because clearly the only reason their workers are having a hard time making ends meet is because they're clueless and irresponsible, not because they Just Don't Make Enough Money To Live. Their "calculations" include $20 a month for health care, $600 a month for rent, nothing for heat, food, clothing or child care, and, oh yeah, a second job. The kicker: According to their own math, workers would need to make $15 an hour - roughly the amount they are now fighting tooth and nail to prevent - to survive. Last year, Bloomberg News found it would take the average McDonalds employee a million hours of work to earn as much as the company’s CEO.

2,500 British bankers on at least 1million euros despite the financial crisis

Thumb article 0 0930b4e8000005dc 66 306x464

Nearly 2,500 bankers in Britain earn more than a million euros a year despite the financial crisis, figures showed yesterday. A report by the European Banking Authority, an industry regulator, revealed that 2,436 UK bankers were paid at least €1million, or £865,000, in 2011. There were three times more millionaire bankers in Britain than in the rest of the EU combined. Just 739 on the continent were classified as ‘high earners’. Germany was ranked second in the bankers’ pay league with 170 earning over a million euros. France was third with 162.

'Desperate' unemployed mechanic and IT worker tries to sell himself on eBay with 99p starting price... but fails to get ANY bids

Thumb article 2365012 1ad54e51000005dc 199 634x551

An unemployed 58-year-old man tried to sell himself on eBay for 99p - but failed to get a single bid. Steve Sewell, of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, has had a range of jobs in his career - ‘from labouring to testing toilet paper’ - and went on eBay because he was prepared to do anything to get work. The married father of two insisted that age is working against him despite anti-discrimination laws.

RSPCA fatcat 'rakes in 45% more' than the previous boss - but the charity is spending LESS on animal welfare

Thumb article 0 0457ae1a00000514 294 306x423

Mr Grant, a former public relations executive and lifelong Liberal Democrat who is credited with helping Nick Clegg become party leader, began as RSPCA chief executive in January 2012.At the time, the charity refused to disclose his pay package, but yesterday its annual report revealed the figure to be between £150,000 and £160,000. The RSPCA still would not state his exact earnings. His predecessor, Mark Watts, earned £110,000 to £120,000, meaning Mr Grant is raking in between £30,000 and £50,000 more – a rise of between 25 per cent and 45 per cent. Two other unidentified bosses are earning up to £150,000 and £130,000. This is believed to be the first time pay has risen above £120,000 at the RSPCA.

'Charles pays less tax than his servants': MPs blast 'shockingly wrong' deal on Duchy of Cornwall's £19million profits

Thumb article 0 1ad3b8db000005dc 317 634x400

Latest accounts showed the portfolio of land, property and investments provided Charles with a record £19 million profit last year, on which he paid £4.4 million in tax made up of ‘voluntary’ income tax plus VAT. But Labour MP Austin Mitchell said it was equivalent to only 23.6 per cent of his total income, while the poorest quarter of the population paid 38 per cent in all taxes, and even the richest quarter paid 33.7 per cent, during the committee hearing the MPs argued the vast Duchy of Cornwall estate bears all the hallmarks of a corporation, and should pay the same tax as any other large profit-making organisation.

Thousands of elderly are losing their sight as NHS rations cataract surgery

Thumb article 2363857 0071a88700000258 241 306x481

Thousands of elderly people are being denied the chance to save their sight with vital cataract surgery. A report out today claims the life-changing procedure is subject to ‘arbitrary’ restrictions by the NHS across half the country. Patients in some areas have been told their vision is still ‘too good’ for an operation, even though their cataracts are so severe they cannot drive or read and can leave sufferers disorientated, at risk of falls, depressed and isolated. In other regions pensioners are told only one eye will be treated, or forced to wait eight months for surgery after referral by a GP. The stark regional variation in treatment – or postcode lottery – was exposed following an investigation by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) that found that in some areas there were four times as many cataract operations as others.

Centuries-old trees destroyed as rainforest is chopped down for Pope's visit to Brazil to allow pilgrims to celebrate mass

Thumb article 2363886 1ad19caf000005dc 700 634x475

Authorities in Brazil have denounced church leaders as criminals for chopping down more than 300 centuries-old trees in a national park - so pilgrims can celebrate mass during the Pope’s visit to Rio de Janeiro. Organisers of an event in the diocese of Sao Sebastiao de Itaipu, in the city of Niteroi, claimed they needed to clear an area of Atlantic rainforest to accommodate the expected crowd of up to 800 pilgrims.

Corridors of powder: Drug scandal at the Houses of Parliament after traces of cocaine are found on toilets across Palace of Westminster

Thumb article 2362866 0e04298c00000578 90 634x357

Tory MP Douglas Carswell was scathing about the find. He said: 'With decadence comes something rotten. It suggests there is something rotten about the institution itself.' A few days ago a Parliamentary watchdog said MPs should have an 11 per cent pay rise to £74,000 a year. In 2005 a German television station found traces of cocaine in 41 of 46 lavatories tested at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Hopelessness Will End With Basic Income Guaranteed

Thumb basic%2bincome

The current system does not provide a safety net for when things go wrong. People suffer severe consequences from accidents like crop failure and economic downturns. With a Basic Income Guaranteed, there is always a Plan B.

NHS facing ‘catastrophe’ as £30bn cuts to health services could lead to shortage of 16,000 GPs, warns top doctor

Thumb article 0 1ace365b000005dc 751 306x397

The NHS could face a shortage of 16,000 GPs by 2021 unless the government ring-fences more funds for primary care, a leading doctor has warned. Currently, there is a shortfall of more than 8,300 GPs across the UK, but that it set to almost double if the rate of spending and budget cuts continues. Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said the NHS is facing a 'catastrophe' unless more funding is directed into he struggling service.

The dirty secret of Britain's power madness: Welcome Home From the Wars, Drones!

Thumb article 2362762 1acd2acb000005dc 397 306x446

Polluting diesel generators built in secret by foreign companies to kick in when there's no wind for turbines - and other insane but true Eco Scandals. Moving to wind power is expected to cost £1 billion a year by 2015 Official figures on the size of the green economy are extremely misleading They exaggerate the worth of the sector by up to 700 per cent

Welcome Home From the Wars, Drones!

Thumb predator firing missile4 1

You create and take to your battle zones a wonder weapon that, according to the promotional materials, will make the targeting of human beings so surgically precise it might even end the war on terror as we know it. (Forget the fact that, in the field, drones turn out, according to the latest military study of Afghanistan, to be far less precise than manned aircraft if you’re measuring by how many civilians are knocked off, how much “collateral damage” is done.) Anyway, you use that weapon ever more profligately on distant battlefields in distant wars. You come to rely on it, even if it doesn’t exactly work as advertised. And then, like the soldiers you sent into the same war zones (who didn’t exactly work as advertised either), the weaponry begins to come home.

Migrant backlog soars to 500,000... and it will take 37 years to clear, say MPs

Thumb article 2320499 0d0f5ef000000578 126 634x473

It will take nearly four decades to clear up the mess left by Labour’s ‘open-door’ immigration policy, a devastating report reveals today. The true scale of the backlog in the immigration system is exposed by MPs who conclude it now tops more than 500,000 cases. The total is the equivalent of a city the size of Manchester. And at current rates of progress it will take 37 years to deal with, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said.

Huge rise in payday loan borrowers seeking help, says StepChange

Thumb a young man sitting on th 010

Debt charity says it has seen 30,762 cases in the first six months of 2013, one of which saw a debt of £150 rise to £15,000. The charity Citizens Advice called on MPs to back the bill, saying it had seen some "absolutely horrifying" cases involving payday loans in the past month. It said one borrower had contacted advisers saying they had contemplated suicide after being contacted 20 times a day by a lender who even called their employer to chase their debts, while another had been left with just £1.17 to live on after a lender drained their account.

Blogs Education and Solutions

Videos Views and Commentary

Load more posts