The British government has tried to raise tax revenues by raising tax rates on the highest income Britons. The January 2012 self-assessed tax returns were anticipated to provide more revenue because it was the first reporting period of the new, highest 50% tax rate for the highest earners. The Treasury, however, has reported that instead of tax revenues rising during that reporting period, revenues actually dropped from £10.86 billion in January 2011 to £10.35 billion in January 2012.
It seems the U.S. government is not the only one sporting a Big Brother demeanor. The British government is now revisiting previously considered plans to create databases that would enable spy agencies to monitor emails, phone calls, and text messages as well as websites visited by everyone in the United Kingdom.
Entitled the Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), the scheme would be set up under anti-terrorism laws, in much the same way the PATRIOT Act functions in the United States. UK officials contend that its goal is to closely monitor suspects before the 2012 London Olympics in July.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have started to ask questions about why taxpayers in the European Union (EU) are being forced to finance a giant homosexual lobbying group with past links to organizations promoting pedophilia. Gay and lesbian activists responded to the concerns by unleashing a wave of attacks.
Writer Bruno Waterfield’s claim that Germany has drawn up plans to deal with the inevitable Greek default was published in the British newspaper The Telegraph a little after 8 p.m. Saturday night. Within hours his claim was confirmed separately by blogger John Ward with times, dates, and consequences all spelled out by those drawing up the plans.
As the government intensifies its persecution of homeschoolers in Sweden, the president of the Swedish Association for Home Education (ROHUS) has finally been forced into exile with his family in neighboring Finland. The battle for human rights and homeschooling in the Scandinavian kingdom, however, is far from over.
Economists polled by Reuters predicted that the recession in Europe that began late last year would continue into the new year and they weren’t disappointed. Reuters announced that economic output in the 17-member eurozone declined by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2011, the sharpest since the second quarter of 2009 at the start of the recession. Those same economists are now predicting that European GDP growth will stay negative at least for the rest of the year with only modest chances of improvement in 2013.
The debt chickens are coming home to roost in Greece, and the hen house is collapsing. As the hard-pressed Greek parliament convened to vote on an enormously unpopular austerity measure insisted upon by international bankers with the power to prolong Greece’s agony with another bailout, furious mobs set Athens ablaze and fought pitched battles with police. On Monday morning, Greeks surveyed with horror the smoldering rubble of more than 90 buildings across the capital. The popular consensus: this is just the beginning.
Following the approval of fresh austerity measures in Greece demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to qualify for the next round of bailouts, furious rioters clashed with police and set dozens of buildings on fire in Athens. But despite the ongoing conflicts between law enforcement and protesters, the Greek police union has threatened to arrest senior EU and IMF officials, too.
Marta Andreasen (left), the courageous former chief accountant of the European Union, will not give up. In 2002 she was fired for refusing to sign off on the European Commission’s accounts. But she has continued to hold the EU politicians and eurocrats in Brussels to account, exposing fraud, waste and corruption on her website, http://www.martaandreasen.com. In 2009 she was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), an office she uses to shine the light of exposure on the dark dealings of the EU’s priviledged politicians and civil “servants.” In a January 26 article entitled “MEPs should hang heads in shame over ‘jollies,’” published by Public ServiceEurope, Ms. Andreasen exposed recent records of lavish spending by the eurocrats for foreign junkets.
“We need a larger firewall.” So declared Christine Lagarde (left), Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a speech in Berlin on January 23, in which she called on taxpayers of the world to chip in $1 trillion to the IMF to stave off a global crisis. “We need to act quickly or else we could easily slide into a 1930s moment,” Lagarde warned, in an obvious reference to the Great Depression.