LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Britain slapped an extra 800
million pound ($1.3 billion) tax on banks for this year, taking
a harder line with the industry as it tries to strike a deal to
curb employee bonuses and encourage business lending.
Finance minister George Osborne said he hoped making the tax
position plain would hurry along the deal under the government’s
so-called Project Merlin.
LONDON (Reuters) – The government slapped an extra 800 million pound tax on banks this year, taking a harder line on the sector as it seeks to strike a deal to curb bonuses and free up business lending.
Chancellor George Osborne said he hoped that making the tax position plain would aid a possible deal with banks on increasing the amount they lend to businesses and limiting bonuses — known as Project Merlin.
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron’s flagship “Big Society” project is being undermined by deep council spending cuts that are “destroying volunteering,” the outgoing head of a training charity said on Monday.
The comments add to a growing chorus of disapproval for the Cameron project, which aims to reduce the role of the state and get volunteers to step in at a local level to provide services.
LONDON (Reuters) – Yobs could have personal items such as iPods confiscated under new plans to stamp out anti-social behaviour in the wake of the now discredited Asbos.
Police will also be forced to follow up complaints by victims who are persistently targeted, the government said on Monday.
LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Top British archaeologists are urging the government to rethink a law requiring human remains be reburied, warning it risks undermining years of research into the island’s ancient peoples and study of their DNA.
The row stems from the reinterpretation of a law introduced in 2008 by the Ministry of Justice. The rule states human bones discovered in England and Wales since that time, regardless of their age, must be re-interred after two years.
LONDON (Reuters Life!) – A 19th Century intruder sat on Queen Victoria’s throne, slept in one of her servant’s beds, hid under her sofa, read her private letters and even stole a pair of her voluminous silk knickers.
Yet he was just an ordinary 14-year-old boy — one of Britain’s first celebrity stalkers.
LONDON (Reuters Life!) – A mile-long floating walkway on London’s River Thames is being planned in the heart of the capital, allowing views of the city’s hidden alleys, wharves and landmarks dating back to medieval times.
The pontoon, known as the “London River Park,” will connect Blackfriars Bridge, on the western edge of the ancient city, and the Tower of London in the east.
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron vigorously defended radical government plans to overhaul the NHS on Monday as a necessary modernisation after health unions said the plans, being unveiled this week, were “potentially disastrous.”
The Health and Social Care Bill, to be published on Wednesday, will pave the way for the biggest shake-up of the health service in England for 60 years, experts say.
LONDON (Reuters) – The government said on Wednesday it wants to save 5,000 more cancer patients a year by 2015 and outlined 750 million pounds worth of extra spending on care over the next four years to improve survival rates.
The plan, Improving Outcomes — A Strategy for Cancer, focuses on early diagnosis, screening more people and enhancing treatment and support for sufferers.
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday he was prepared to talk to trade unions, but striking was counter-productive and the government would not be bullied into ditching deep spending cuts.
“I hope that people don’t go on strike because it never achieves anything,” he told BBC TV’s Andrew Marr show.