As the year draws to a close, there’s still time to reduce your 2012 tax bill and plan ahead for 2013. The following are a few potential tax-saving opportunities. While none of us can predict the outcome of the fiscal cliff drama unfolding in Washington — except to say that it will be torturous and prolonged and entirely satisfactory to no one — these strategies offer a way to [...]
The government is moving ahead with plans for a government-backed “business bank” to boost lending to UK companies.
The business secretary, Vince Cable, said he hoped such a bank would “shake up the market” and help boost overall lending to firms.
Also on Tuesday, a report by MPs criticised one of the government’s existing business support schemes.
The Public Accounts Committee called the Regional Growth Fund “scandalous”.
The committee said the £1.4bn scheme [...]
Government departments cut spending by £6.7bn more than they had planned in the year to March, according to official data from the Treasury.
Spending was down £11bn compared with 2010-11, but government plans had been for a reduction of £4.4bn, it shows.
According to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, only £900m of that will be carried forward to next year.
The rest of the money, which includes a £1.4bn reserve, [...]
Details of internet use in the UK will have to be stored for a year to allow police and intelligence services to access it, under government plans.
Records will include people’s activity on social network sites, webmail, internet phone calls and online gaming.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the change was needed to keep up with how criminals were using new technology.
But senior Tory David Davis said it was “incredibly intrusive” [...]
If one gets what one pays for, the UK is in for an interesting experiment:
Revealed: government plans for police privatisation
West Midlands and Surrey police offer £1.5bn contract under which private firms may investigate crime and detain suspects
Another example of the Commoditisation of Everything, of all human relationships becoming the subject of commercial dealing.
Actually, there’s one part of the world which already operates under something like this kind of commercial arrangement: Australia. [...]