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.... All but two of the landowners declined to answer. We also asked all local authorities in London for details of privately owned public spaces in their borough, via the Freedom of Information Act; most councils rejected the request. ... [Read full article on Guardian ]
Monday 24th of July 2017 06:30:29 AM
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Latest Finance News related to Freedom Of Information

Pension withdrawal shock: Fury as thousands overcharged as HMRC apply wrong tax code  image
.... . But 242,000 individuals made just one withdrawal from their pension in the three months to June 2016, according to data obtained from a Freedom of Information request. ...
Revealed: the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in London image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 24th of July 2017 06:30:29 AM
.... All but two of the landowners declined to answer. We also asked all local authorities in London for details of privately owned public spaces in their borough, via the Freedom of Information Act; most councils rejected the request. ...
London mayor blasts council over cut to affordable homes in Battersea revamp image
....”. The row has intensified as previously confidential documents regarding the development – obtained by the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act – show how councillors have ignored planning guidance and in effect negotiated away thousands of affordable homes to help support the profits of developers. ...
Ken Loach thinks Brexit will be bad for British films image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 5th of July 2017 12:03:52 PM
....A report commissioned by the BFI into the likely effects of Brexit found that, depending on the type of deal the UK government reaches with the EU, the British film industry could end up losing up to 14,100 jobs or gaining up to 5,000 more. But the report - which was gained under a Freedom of Information request by film blogger Stephen Follows last week - says that, based on the way the negotiations are most likely to go, the overall effect is likely to be negative. ...
Norfolk emerges as dating fraud hotspot in regional scam standings image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 15th of June 2017 11:01:53 PM
....Norfolk is a hotspot for reported dating fraud, while in Surrey investment scams are a particular concern and mid-Wales has relatively high levels of reported computer repair fraud, according to Which? analysis. The findings were revealed following a Freedom of Information Act request for thousands of reports made to Action Fraud during 2014, 2015 and 2016. ...
Turtle eclipse image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 31st of May 2017 10:37:47 AM
....Project Splatter, based at the University of Cardiff, is gathering evidence in the UK. Also in the UK, a Freedom of Information request last month found that deer, badgers and foxes were the most typical animals found beside motorways and major main roads. ...
Thousands of drivers caught despite mobile crackdown image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Sunday 28th of May 2017 11:04:33 PM
....UK police caught almost 6,000 drivers using their devices while driving in the four weeks after 1 March. The numbers were obtained by the Press Association under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. ...
SNP demands to see UK government's Brexit 'promises' to Nissan image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Saturday 11th of March 2017 12:57:04 AM
....Previously, it had expressed concern about future tariffs arising from Britain's decision to leave the EU. The SNP submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request last October, asking to see the Nissan letter. ...
Grandparents missing out on tax credits that would boost their pensions image
Source : Daily Express [Read Article] Wednesday 18th of January 2017 12:01:00 AM
. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by Royal London found only a low number of applications had been made for "grandparents' credit". ...
Car clampings for unpaid tax are up 80% in two years image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 21st of December 2016 05:00:02 PM
....Clamping of cars for non-payment of vehicle tax has soared since the paper tax disc was scrapped two years ago. Figures obtained by BBC News through a Freedom of Information request show an 80% rise to more than 9,000 clampings a month. ...
Facebook accused over WhatsApp takeover image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 20th of December 2016 11:45:31 AM
....The day after the new policy was announced, the UK's Information Commissioner (ICO) launched an immediate investigation to see if the alteration broke the UK's data protection laws. In September, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information told Facebook to stop collecting and storing the data of German users of WhatsApp. ...
Gangmasters agree to pay more than £1m to settle modern slavery claim image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 20th of December 2016 10:00:00 AM
....The legal case has raised questions about the extent of Noble’s information about the conditions endured by the Lithuanian workers it was using. In his defence filing, obtained after a Freedom of Information request, Darrell Houghton said Noble had required him to install a GPS tracking system in his minivans so that it could monitor where the chicken-catching gang were at any time. ...
Welsh Government property deals net nearly £7m profit since 2007 image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Sunday 11th of December 2016 06:43:05 AM
....Almost £7m profit has been made by the Welsh Government from properties bought and sold since 2007, new figures show. Details obtained via a Freedom of Information request showed it made more than £5. ...
Cuts undermining fire services, says Fire Brigades Union image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Sunday 11th of December 2016 02:23:43 AM
.... . However, 5live Investigates made a Freedom of Information request to all 48 fire brigades in England and Wales for the figures for 2015 and the first six months of 2016. ...
Information commissioner reopens file on construction industry blacklisting image
....However, it has long been feared that the practice is deeper rooted than the initial investigation found and that blacklisting continues. The ICO is best known for making sure that companies and the government adhere to the 1998 Data Protection Act, and for monitoring the correct use of the 2000 Freedom of Information Act. ...
Fires and spin image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 11th of October 2016 12:14:07 AM
.... The two parties have very different levels of resources, according to Mr Slaughter, but was any pressure put on local officials by the international corporation?. Twice my request under Freedom of Information laws was refused. ...
Adopt Swedish-style shareholder committee on pay, says MP image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Thursday 1st of September 2016 08:30:09 AM
.... . The Financial Reporting Council said in a statement: "The FRC discusses policy issues on a regular basis with central government, as this [Freedom of Information] response shows. ...
Hundreds of Pokemon Go incidents logged by police image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Monday 29th of August 2016 06:37:43 AM
....Has Pokemon Go passed its peak?. Data released to the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act revealed officers have dealt with complaints ranging from the disturbing to the bizarre. ...

David Cameron should save Larry the cat from his lonely life in Downing Street
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....com/UZVXn6WcUw. As I discovered when I used Freedom of Information legislation to get hold of Downing Street’s official files on Humphrey, Whitehall takes its cats very seriously. ...

Five-year-old girl accused of ‘sex attack’ amid surge in school allegations
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.... In practice she could not have been charged or prosecuted because she is under 10, the age of criminal responsibility 10 in England and Wales. Meanwhile two five year-old boys were also reported to police accused of “sexual activity” with girls, according to the data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the children’s charity the Plan International. ...

Hospital consultant earns £375k in overtime in a single year as NHS bill for extra hours increases by a third
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....A hospital consultant earned £375,000 on top of their salary in overtime payments in just one year, it has emerged. Spending on premium-rate overtime by hospitals has risen by more than a third in the past two years, a Freedom of Information request has found. ...

Two senior consultants investigated after NHS pays £1m bill for cancer patients they treated at ​their private clinic
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....Mr Pandey and Mr Lake also work at and own Worcestershire Bowel Clinic, which is registered to a Birmingham address and which is based at the private Spire South Bank Hospital in Worcester. Figures obtained by Freedom of Information requests show the trust paid the Spire £1,029,274 between September 2013 and March 2016 to treat NHS bowel patients who could not be treated at its three hospital sites in time to meet waiting time targets. ...
England's black market hotspots exposed image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 13th of July 2016 02:07:47 AM
....Our investigation revealed:. BBC News asked for records from the 10 most populated cities in England under the Freedom of Information Act. ...
Street fundraisers threatened with anti-social behaviour orders image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 13th of June 2016 07:00:03 AM
.... A spokeswoman for the council emphasised that it did not amount to a total ban on street fundraising, pointing to the focus on fundraisers acting in a “persistent manner”, and added that the order had resulted in “reduced presence in the city centre and a reduction in complaints”. Freedom of Information requests submitted by the Guardian have revealed that at least three other authorities have followed Newport’s lead, or are preparing to do so. ...
Federal Reserve was hacked more than 50 times in the past five years image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 1st of June 2016 05:08:21 PM
.... The Fed’s computer systems play a critical role in global banking and hold confidential information on discussions about monetary policy that drives financial markets. The cybersecurity reports, obtained by Reuters through a Freedom of Information Act request, were heavily redacted by Fed officials to keep secret the central bank’s security procedures. ...
How big tobacco lost its final fight for hearts, lungs and minds image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Sunday 22nd of May 2016 08:00:37 AM
....The court heard that the industry had commissioned two reports from KPMG codenamed “Project Star” and “Project Sun”, which purportedly showed that plain packaging was responsible for a rise in illicit sales of cigarettes in Australia. But in a letter to public health minister Jane Ellison, dated 2 May 2014 and released under the Freedom of Information Act, Robin Cartwright, a KPMG partner, admitted that: “The report we released recently, Illicit Tobacco in Australia – 2013 Half Year Report, has been somewhat misrepresented by others, without our consent, to suggest it supports the contention that plain paper packaging could lead of itself to an increase in tobacco smuggling and duty avoidance. ...
Why don't we talk more about the privatisation of social care? image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Thursday 12th of May 2016 07:25:55 AM
....Transparency test: This could stipulate that where a public body has a legal contract with a private provider, it must ensure full openness and transparency with no “commercial confidentiality”. In addition, non-statutory providers could be made subject to local political scrutiny processes and to the Freedom of Information Act, from which they are currently excluded. ...
Tate suffers blow in efforts to keep amount of BP funding secret image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 11th of May 2016 07:14:59 PM
.... He appeared particularly concerned at the evidence of Samuel Jones, head of the Tate Galleries director’s office, who indicated the arts organisation was unwilling to disclose financial information unless it was forced to do so under a legal ruling from a tribunal. Lockley said “if this is not contracting out [responsibility] to [the Freedom of Information Act], it is only a hair’s breadth away from it” – although he still believed the public interest for the particular disclosure sought by Platform and Request was relatively small. ...
Museums face ethics investigation over influence of sponsor BP image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Friday 29th of April 2016 02:59:48 PM
....“The Museum Association’s ethics committee will consider Art Not Oil’s claims if they wish to seek further guidance on this matter and will contact all parties involved to seek their views,” he added. The documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Art Not Oil alliance show:. ...
Councils 'give workers gagging orders' image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Sunday 3rd of April 2016 07:12:19 AM
....". The 5 live Investigates programme made a Freedom of Information request to all 433 district, city, county and regional councils in the UK. ...
Why do the Tories want to hide who owns our country’s land? | Charles Arthur image
.... Selling the Land Registry is foolish dogma that risks creating a private monopoly over what should be publicly available data. It would mean squandering long-term income for short-term gain; putting vital information beyond reach of the Freedom of Information Act; and creating a future where we can’t find out how our country is owned without stumping up fees of unknown size. ...
Bernard Hogan-Howe is wrong: victims of online fraud are not to blame | Richard Lloyd image
....Which? found that banks were inconsistent when dealing with fraud. Our Freedom of Information request revealed that the Financial Ombudsman Service upheld around one in four complaints relating to fraud and disputed transactions in favour of the customer. ...
UK car pollution checks dropped in 2011 image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Friday 25th of March 2016 12:44:45 AM
....The Department for Transport used to take random cars off the road and then test the levels of dangerous gases coming from the exhaust pipe. But a Freedom of Information request for the BBC shows that the spot-check scheme was dropped in 2011. ...
Row over 'secret' Hinkley Point documents set to reach tribunal image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Sunday 20th of March 2016 04:09:13 PM
....50 a megawatt hour for Hinkley’s electricity, double the wholesale price when the deal was reached. Greenpeace and Request Initiative, a Freedom of Information Act specialist, has been trying since 2014 to obtain the contents of seven documents that are understood to contain further details about the subsidies for Hinkley. ...
PPI compensation is still the biggest cause for complaints against banks image
Source : Telegraph [Read Article] Tuesday 23rd of February 2016 05:00:46 AM
.... . Recent Freedom of Information data showed that despite a wave of complaints about packaged bank accounts, the majority of cases brought through claims management firms were thrown out last year. ...
Treasury should stop trying to meddle with the OBR, say MPs image
Source : Telegraph [Read Article] Monday 22nd of February 2016 12:01:20 AM
.... Robert Chote, head of the OBR, has insisted his reports are independent of Treasury influence  Photo: PA. After one email chain was released under Freedom of Information laws last September, the Treasury Select Committee pushed the OBR to reveal more such incidents. ...
Power of attorney: complaints soar as banks and other firms bungle image
Source : Telegraph [Read Article] Friday 19th of February 2016 08:11:54 AM
.... . New complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service about the service rose from 71 in 2010 to 178 in 2015 – the highest number on record, according to a Freedom of Information request by law firm Nockolds. ...
How the cost of a funeral has soared 90pc image
Source : Telegraph [Read Article] Wednesday 10th of February 2016 04:07:57 PM
.... . According to Freedom of Information figures obtained by the BBC, local authorities are also having to provide more pauper’s funerals, with the overall bill rising 28pc to £1. ...
Council staff punished for net abuse image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Monday 25th of January 2016 07:58:40 AM
. There was a rise in the number of UK council workers suspended last year after being accused of breaking social media rules, according to a Freedom of Information request made by BBC Radio 5 live. ...
Women’s state pension age rise: an unfair burden or a necessary reform? image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Saturday 9th of January 2016 07:01:11 AM
.... The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started sending out letters from April 2009 onwards. Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the DWP revealed that some women did not find out until they were 59 that their SPA of 60 had been delayed. ...
Royal Mint mooted 60p jubilee coin image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Thursday 31st of December 2015 11:13:39 AM
....But papers from the Royal Mint Advisory Committee show the plan was shelved as the commemorative coin programme was already "sufficiently comprehensive". The plan came to light following a Freedom of Information request to the committee by the Press Association. ...
Sports Direct: Labour to demand government investigation image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 16th of December 2015 07:25:08 PM
....” He added that the group would ask David Cameron for a government response that included HMRC and the health and safety executive. In September, a Freedom of Information request made by the BBC revealed that ambulances were called to Sports Direct’s headquarters more than 80 times in two years. ...
Google's meetings with UK Government over driverless cars revealed image
Source : Telegraph [Read Article] Saturday 12th of December 2015 07:47:56 PM
.... . The US internet giant has held five face-to-face meetings with the Department for Transport (DfT) in the last two years about autonomous vehicles, according to records made available under the Freedom of Information Act. ...
Wealthy foreigners shy away from UK as investment threshold hits £2m image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 9th of December 2015 06:00:47 AM
....A breakdown of the nationalities of the 3,340 applications to the scheme between its introduction in June 2008 and the end of June 2015 show that Chinese people accounted for 37% (1,220) of applicants. A fifth of all applications were made by Russian residents (705), followed by citizens of the US (205) and the United Arab Emirates (170), according to data published under the Freedom of Information Act. ...
USDA scrambles to investigate egg lobby as CEO resigns image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Friday 23rd of October 2015 05:36:06 PM
....5bn-a-year egg industry. “[R]ecent news reports have brought to light a series of emails, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act [Foia], that contain compelling evidence that AEB leadership, including the Egg Board’s president and CEO, may have violated the federal laws and administrative regulations governing checkoff programs,” Lee wrote in a letter to agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, calling for the investigation. ...
£525m house-building budget not spent image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 14th of October 2015 11:43:29 PM
...."Work on nearly 13,000 homes stalled by the 2008 housing crash are set to be restarted thanks to half a billion of government investment," the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said in September last year when it announced 160 schemes had been shortlisted for funding. But a response to a BBC Freedom of Information request the HCA revealed only two schemes, in Cornwall and Essex, have benefited so far:. ...
Ambulances called to Sports Direct HQ more than 80 times in two years image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 5th of October 2015 11:52:08 AM
....Ambulances were called to Sports Direct International’s headquarters more than 80 times in two years, according to a report. From January 2013 to December 2014, 76 ambulances or paramedic cars were sent to the postcode for Sports Direct’s distribution centre, according to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC. ...
Dozens of 999 calls from Sports Direct image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Sunday 4th of October 2015 11:01:37 PM
....A further seven calls for ambulances were made but cancelled. The figures, which came from a Freedom of Information request made by the BBC's Inside Out team to East Midlands Ambulance Service, also revealed the service received three calls about women having pregnancy difficulties, including one who gave birth in toilets at the site. ...
Budget watchdog in 'buzz off' warning image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 15th of September 2015 11:58:26 AM
....". The emails published under a Freedom of Information Request showed Treasury officials had suggested changes to the OBR's analysis. ...
Government delays revealing identities of RBS share buyers image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 7th of September 2015 03:24:12 PM
.... UKFI is also considering whether to release the terms of the sales mandate handed to the bankers handling the sale. UKFI has confirmed it holds the information but said that it was exempt from disclosure under sections of the Freedom of Information Act that relate to protecting commercial interests. ...
US-appointed egg lobby paid food blogs and targeted chef to crush vegan startup image
....Dalkin did not respond but an email bounceback said she was out of the country. The cache of 600 pages of AEB emails, first reported last week, was obtained by Ryan Shapiro, a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Washington DC-based Foia specialist attorney Jeffrey Light. ...
The best way to boost your state pension: should you top it up, or defer it? image
....” . Despite the generosity of the deal, few people actually choose to defer – only around 8pc do so, according to data obtained by Mr Higham under a Freedom of Information request. ...
Secrecy over plan for new nuclear plant is 'disgraceful', says veteran campaigner image
....5bn. The documents were requested under Freedom of Information legislation, but Decc is unwilling to release them. ...
Watchdog group calls for less processed meats in school cafeterias image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Monday 31st of August 2015 04:41:10 PM
....Six of those companies, including chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride and American Beefpackers, received the bulk of the funds, roughly $331m. The findings were based on public bidding contracts and figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. ...
Cremation costs rise by a third image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Wednesday 19th of August 2015 02:44:47 AM
.... . An adult cremation costs an average of £640, according to Freedom of Information responses from local authorities that run crematoriums in the UK. ...
Borrow from the council to pay care fees? image
Source : Telegraph [Read Article] Tuesday 18th of August 2015 07:27:33 AM
.... Tens of thousands of homes have been signed over to local authorities as a way of paying care bills - and the number is rising. According to the latest research, which is based on Freedom of Information requests and therefore likely to be an underestimate, local authorities now have a claim against almost 20,000 properties. ...
Housing is the nation’s most urgent and complex challenge. Yet we’re paralysed | Matthew Taylor image
....And every week there are further dazzling additions to the statistics. Last week’s big news, courtesy of a study carried out by Inside Housing magazine, from figures released by 91 councils under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that 40% of homes purchased under the right to buy scheme in England are now rented out, most of them to tenants relying on housing benefit. ...
Crackdown on illegal migrant employers image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Monday 10th of August 2015 07:24:30 AM
....Last week, it was announced landlords in England would be expected to evict tenants who lose the right to live in the UK, or potentially face prison. According to figures obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act, a pilot scheme - launched last December in the West Midlands - to fine landlords for renting homes to illegal immigrations has caught just seven people. ...
Almost 80,000 overpaid student loans by £850 last year: Here's how to get money back  image
. Almost 80,000 borrowers were left out of pocket by an average of £850 last year, showed a Freedom of Information (FoI) request made to the Student Loans Company (SLC) by accountancy firm Baker Tilly. ...
Student Loans Company overcharges 78,000 graduates image
Source : Telegraph [Read Article] Friday 31st of July 2015 10:02:53 AM
.... . The figures, obtained under a Freedom of Information request by accountancy firm Baker Tilly, show the Student Loans Company took an extra £45. ...
Lloyds shareholders demand release of HBOS takeover documents at high court image
....Lawyers are also seeking the disclosure of communications between directors and the Treasury, the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and officials from the then regulator, the Financial Services Authority. A Freedom of Information request relating to the case has been turned down. ...
Faulty goods 'cause 12,000 fires' image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Sunday 14th of June 2015 05:01:03 AM
....Which? is urging people to register appliances they buy with manufacturers so they can be alerted of any recall. The government figures, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, cover January 2011 to March 2014. ...
The obscure legal system that lets corporations sue countries | Claire Provost and Matt Kennard image
....If states do not pay up after the decision, their assets are subject to seizure in almost every country in the world. In Guatemala, internal government documents obtained through the country’s Freedom of Information Act show how the risk of one of these cases weighed heavily on one state’s decision not to challenge a controversial gold mine, despite protests from its citizens and a recommendation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that it be closed down. ...
Shell sought to influence direction of Science Museum climate programme image
....The company also wanted to know whether a particular symposium at the museum was “invite only” – as that would ensure “we do not proactively open up a debate on the topic [of Shell’s operations]”. The concerns are raised in a series of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and once again raise awkward questions about the influence of fossil fuel companies over Britain’s most valued cultural institutions. ...
Ofgem to investigate pre-pay meters image
Source : BBC [Read Article] Tuesday 26th of May 2015 12:24:13 AM
....Read more: Pre-payment energy meters - Q&A. The figures, supplied by Ofgem in response to a Freedom of Information request. ...
Shell handpicked auditor to sign off on government's Arctic drilling renewal image
.... Gregory Julian of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the auditor had met the agency’s standards and approval before being allowed to take on the role. Greenpeace has filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain details of the first part of the audit, but the information’s release has been delayed. ...
Weekly Money image
Source : Independent [Read Article] Thursday 21st of May 2015 03:15:26 PM
Revealed: BP's close ties with the UK government image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Wednesday 20th of May 2015 05:34:23 PM
Revealed: Grocery watchdog's fury at lack of powers image
Source : Independent [Read Article] Sunday 17th of May 2015 11:56:24 PM
....The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) office, headed by Christine Tacon, was set up two years ago, but was only given the power to fine 1 per cent of UK revenues earlier this year, despite repeated promises from ministers that legislation would be passed. Emails seen by The Independent, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show the GCA was deeply frustrated at not being kept informed and being fobbed off with excuses for the delay. ...
Network Rail splashes out millions on flights to save on train fares image
Source : Guardian [Read Article] Tuesday 28th of April 2015 09:31:27 AM
....NR said on Tuesday that staff were allowed to travel in business class on any flight longer than five hours. The figures on staff travel were obtained by the Sun under a Freedom of Information request. ...
Mistake on your tax return? HMRC is increasingly likely to say you did it on purpose image
.... . Mike Down, a tax investigations expert at accountant Baker Tilly, obtained the data from HMRC under a Freedom of Information Request. ...
Half a million more people summoned to court over unpaid council tax, after benefits scrapped image
....Almost three million people in England were taken to court by local authorities in 2013-14 because they had not paid council tax. This was an increase of more than 25 per cent on the previous tax year, according to the figures obtained via Freedom of Information by False Economy, which is brought to you by local campaigners about the cuts and their effects. ...
Overcharged for your student loan? Tax delays mean £40m is wrongly deducted each year image
.... . The findings were disclosed in a Freedom of Information request published by the Student Loans Company, the Government organisation that provides finance to students. ...

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