George Osborne was served notice on Friday night that the UK’s AAA credit status will be downgraded for a second time when ratings agency Fitch said Britain’s lack of growth and rising debt mountain meant there was a “heightened probability of a downgrade in the near term”. [Read more...]
Up to two million people are to have their credit files secretly checked under a crackdown on tax evasion to be unveiled by George Osborne to help raise another £10 billion.
Credit reference agencies will cross-check details of the income people declare on their tax returns against their spending patterns to identify “high” and “medium” risks of both illegal and legal tax avoidance.
People identified to HM Revenue and Customs will then be subject to more detailed investigations. About two million people are expected to be scrutinised under the programme, which may lead to privacy concerns. [Read more...]
Article was authored by Ian Burrell and appeared on The Independent. Article is courtesy of i
The Government will announce details this month of a controversial national identity scheme which will allow people to use their mobile phones and social media profiles as official identification documents for accessing public services.
People wishing to apply for services ranging from tax credits to fishing licences and passports will be asked to choose from a list of familiar online log-ins, including those they already use on social media sites, banks, and large retailers such as supermarkets, to prove their identity. [Read more...]
The US must open itself to an independent investigation into its use of drone strikes or the United Nations will be forced to step in, Ben Emmerson QC said yesterday.
His comments came as Pakistani officials said that a US drone strike had killed at least four militants after targeting their vehicles in North Waziristan on Sunday. Attacks by American unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are deeply unpopular in the country, which claims they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment.
Only last week cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan vowed to defy Taliban threats to attend a rally in Pakistan’s tribal areas aimed at highlighting the human cost of US drone strikes [continue reading in new window...]
It is “an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance as in China and Iran”
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, intends to introduce legislation in next month’s Queen’s Speech which would allow law-enforcement agencies to check on citizens using Facebook, Twitter, online gaming forums and the video-chat service Skype.
Regional police forces, MI5 and GCHQ, the Government’s eavesdropping centre, would be given the right to know who speaks to whom “on demand” and in “real time”.Home Office officials said the new law would keep [Continue reading in new window...]