Just 300,000 people shoulder more than a quarter of the income tax
Nearly half of all Britons pay no income tax, leaving the wealthiest to shoulder the lion’s share of the burden, according to a Telegraph
A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the percentage of working-age adults who pay no income tac has jumped from 34.3% to 43.8% – about 30 million people. At the same time, the amount of income tax paid by the richest 1% has risen from 24.4% to 27.5%. That means that a quarter of the nation’s income tax is paid by just 300,000 people.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that the change was due to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s policy of cutting taxes for low earners and hiking them for high earners, the Telegraph
Britain racks up £650 million in penalties over misspent EU funds
The government has racked up at least £650 million in penalties over the last 10 years due to errors in how EU funds have been spent, the public accounts select committee has found.
The parliament’s spending watchdog found that the Treasury has failed to control how EU money is spent, according to The Guardian
. The committee said that government departments “only seem to have woken up to the problem recently.” And the EU penalties are costing the taxpayers, said committee chair Meg Hillier.
“Money intended to support projects and programmes in the UK is instead being lost,” she said. “The apparent lack of practical concern about this fact until recently will anger many people, whatever their views on Britain’s EU membership. As a priority, the Treasury and departments must identify the reasons they keep being penalised and take whatever action is necessary to rectify their mistakes.”
The report singled out several departments for misspending EU money and incurring fines, The Guardian
reported. Departments noted in the report included Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Rural Payments Agency.
Study: More than a million live in destitution in UK
More than a million people in the UK are so destitute they can’t afford to eat properly, according to a report in The Guardian
A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that 184,500 households in the UK lived at such a level of poverty in a typical week last year that they were forced to rely on charities for food, clothing, shelter and even toiletries.
In 2015, there were 668,000 destitute households, including 1,252,000 people – 312,000 of whom were children. And study authors said that was an underestimate, since the data didn’t count poor households that don’t use charity services.
More than three quarters of destitute people told the foundation that they sometimes went without meals, and more than half couldn’t afford to heat their home, The Guardian
Donald Trump sweeps 5 US states
Five states in the northeastern US went to the polls last night for primary elections, and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump swept all five, according to a Telegraph
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” the divisive candidate said. Trump also called for his only remaining serious competitors – Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich – to drop out of the race.
“Senator Cruz and Governor Kasich should get out of the race, absolutely,” he said. “They have no path to victory.
Trump also took pains to slam Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who won four of her five primaries., the Telegraph
“I think the only card she has is the woman’s card,” Trump said. “It’s the only thing she’s got going. If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 per cent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card. And the beautiful thing is, women do not like her.”
Cameron: Doctor strike is ‘the wrong thing to do’
David Cameron is backing Jeremy Hunt when it comes to the junior doctors’ strike, according to The Guardian
Seventy-eight per cent of junior doctors did not report for work Tuesday. The prime minister is throwing his weight behind the health secretary.
There is a good contract on the table with a 13.5% increase in basic pay – 75% of doctors will be better off with this contract,” Cameron told ITV news. “It’s the wrong thing to do to go ahead with this strike, and particularly to go ahead with the withdrawal of emergency care – that is not right.”
Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, is supporting the striking doctors, The Guardian
reported. “The government has an opportunity to settle this,” Corbyn said in a speech to protesters in Whitehall. “They should get on and do so.”
Big Ben will fall silent for months of repairs
Big Ben will fall silent for months as urgent repairs are carried out on the clock and Elizabeth Tower, The Guardian
The bell will fall silent as part of a 29 million programme to repair cracks in the tower’s masonry and corrosion on its roof. Repair work will also be carried out on the clock faces and mechanism, and the clock faces will be given a new colour scheme to reflect the original design.
The current black and gold colouring on the clock faces was applied in the 1980s, The Guardian
Downer of the day: Your dog hates being hugged
Love cuddling your dog? Congratulations – you’re a monster. Or at least, you’re stressing your pet out, if animal psychologists are to be believed.
Animal psychologists say dogs hate being hugged, according to a Telegraph
report. In a recent study by Dr Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, 250 photos of dogs being hugged were analysed. In eight out of 10 cases, the dogs looked visibly uncomfortable, the Telegraph
Animal experts say dogs hate being hugged because it prevents them from being able to run away if they choose.
“Dogs are often considered part of the family,” Caroline Kisko of The Kennel Club told the Telegraph
. “However, they are not human and may therefore react differently to interactions such as hugging.”