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February 23 - March 1 2011
μWorld News PAGES 15-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
Third time lucky Diana’s brother Earl Spencer is to wed Canadian divorcee
London calling Will Mubarak join list of exiles who have sought a haven in city?
Open book Men don’t mess with me, says the new literary face of BBC
Brace yourself Families should start preparing for interest rate rises, says Bank
11 5 15 26 29 32 6 16 26 32 34 46
Bonus Ball 49
Bonus Ball 33
There were no winners of Saturday’s £4.8m jackpot and one winner of Wednesday’s £2.1m prize
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By Harry Wilson and Alistair Osborne BARCLAYS paid out just £113million in corporation tax in 2009, despite making a pre-tax profit of £11.6 billion, according to Bob Diamond, the chief executive.
The disclosure came in a letter to Chuka Umunna MP, a member of the Treasury Select Committee (TSC), who put Mr Diamond under pressure to declare how much of the £2 billion in tax paid by Barclays to HMRC was corporation tax.
The vast majority of the tax paid by Barclays was pay-asyou-earn and National Insurance contributions, while corporation tax accounted for 5.7 per cent of the total bill. Mr Umunna said it was “shocking” that Barclays paid so little in corporation tax in 2009.
“This revelation underlines the Government’s failure to take the robust action needed to make sure the banks that caused the crash pay their fair share, and will stick in the stomachs of small businesses struggling to borrow and ordinary people feeling the pinch of the Government’s austerity measures,” said Mr Umunna.
Mr Diamond’s letter explained the amount of corporation tax Barclays paid was a result of it being able to reduce its bill due to “UK
Tax declaration: Bob Diamond losses brought forward principally arising from credit write-downs”. Most of these write-downs are understood to be related to losses Barclays made on holdings of US sub-prime debt securities that crashed in value.
Under UK tax law, companies incorporated in Britain are legitimately allowed to write off losses against their tax bill. About £7 billion of the profit the bank made in 2009 related to a one-off gain on its sale of the fund management business BGI.
According to an answer given to the House of Lords by the Treasury minister Lord Sassoon, HMRC expects Britain’s large banks to pay £20 billion in tax for the year 2010-11, 80 per cent of it in the form of employee contributions and 20 per cent in corporation tax.
Continued from page 1 Mr Cameron said standards in public services – on cancer survival rates, school results and crime – have been slipping against comparable countries for too long and that “complete change” was needed.
“We will create a new presumption – backed up by new rights for public service users and a new system of independent adjudication – that public services should be open to a range of providers competing to offer a better service,” he said.
“Of course, there are some areas – like national security services or the judiciary – where this wouldn’t make sense. But everywhere else should be open to real diversity, open to everyone who gets and values the importance of our public service ethos. This is a transformation: it ends the state’s monopoly over public services.”
Some of the changes to encourage competition are already being introduced through education and health legislation. However, when taken with the new Open Public Services White Paper,
Downing Street believes the plans are a “battering ram to break open monopolies”.
Sources said Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, was fully “on side”, and the plans have been developed with Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Last Friday, the Coalition claimed that almost three million people were employed by councils after an “explosion” in “crazy non-jobs”.
Local authorities have taken on an extra 180,000 workers since 1997, with the total number not employed in traditional front-line roles now standing at almost 750,000, according to ministers.
The Coalition is highlighting the figures at a time when councils are threatening to cut basic services and increase charges because of cuts in central government funding.
Bob Neill, the local government minister, said: “These figures reveal the explosion in town hall jobs and bureaucracy under Labour and reinforce the need for some councils to
Giving evidence to the TSC last month, Mr Diamond said Barclays had paid out £12.5billion in UK tax in the past six years. In a statement, Barclays said it complied with “taxation laws in the UK and in all the countries where we do business”.
“This is proof banks live in a parallel universe to the rest of us – paying billions of pounds in bonuses and unhampered by the inconvenience of paying tax,” said Max Lawson, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, which is calling for an increase in the amount of tax banks must pay.
In 2009, Barclays paid £3.7 billion in upfront and deferred bonuses to staff. Last week, the bank reported its results for 2010, showing £6.1billion pre-tax profits, with a bonus pool of £3.4 billion across the whole bank.
Barclays said: “The corporate tax affairs of an organisation with the global footprint of Barclays are complex and not reducible to simplistic comparisons; any link between Barclays Group profits and the amount of tax paid to the UK Government is inappropriate – there is no direct correlation between the two.”
Barclays declined last week to say how much UK corporation tax it paid in 2010.
Business, page 33
start cutting out middle management.
“Crazy non-jobs like cheerleading development officers and press officers tasked with spinning propaganda on bin collections provide no value to the public.”
According to the data, the number of people employed by local authorities in Britain stood at 2,728,000 in 1997 when Labour came to power. Last year the figure was 2,907,000.
There were 741,702 people on council payrolls who were not in traditional “front-line” jobs, such as those in education or health. Ministers said that, even if trade union predictions that Coalition cuts would lead to 162,000 job losses in local government were correct, it still meant that the number of town hall workers would be higher than when Labour came to office.
Among the jobs that have been spawned by the boom in “non-jobs” were a “bouncy castle attendant” on a salary of £13,000 at Angus council in Scotland and a “cheerleading development officer” in Falkirk.
VICTORIA BECKHAM, the former Spice Girl and her husband, David, are among the celebrities invited to the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William in April. They were two of the 1,900 guests who found a goldembossed invitation on their doormat at the weekend.
The Beckhams are invited because of David’s work with the Prince on England’s 2018 World Cup bid.
There was no word on whether Barack and Michelle Obama have been invited, but it is thought unlikely. As the prince is not yet heir to the throne, the wedding is not classed as a state occasion, so elected foreign leaders should not expect an invitation.
The Duchess of York is definitely not on the list. Reports, pages 11 and 15
BRITONS will be warned that they must cut their consumption of red meat to reduce the risk of cancer, following advice from the Government’s scientists.
Consumers will be told to eat no more than 500g (1.1lb) of red or processed meat each week under recommendations to be issued by the Coalition this week.
A Government source said: “It is important that people are not put off eating red meat entirely – but it would be irresponsible to ignore the potential health risks.”
The recommendations will follow the publication of a full report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. The findings are expected to state that lower consumption of red and processed meat would probably reduce the risk of bowel cancer.
SUMMER evenings are poised to become longer and lighter under a historic move to shift the nation’s clocks forward by an extra hour.
A new “tourism strategy”, to be published by the Coalition within days, is expected to contain plans to move the country to “double summertime”.
Putting the clocks forward by an hour to British Summer Time +1 (equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time +2) would provide lighter evenings in the summer months, but darker mornings.
Other proposals in the tourism strategy are expected to include scrapping the May Day bank holiday for another date.
Tourism chiefs back a bank holiday in October that could be called “UK Day” — or “Trafalgar Day” in recognition of the 1805 battle. telegraph.co.uk/expat
February 23 - March 1 2011
Middle East in crisis
Main picture, a crowd gathers in Benghazi, Libya,
and protesters take to the streets in Bahrain (right)
and in Rabat, Morocco (left)
By John Bingham, Nabila Ramdani in Cairo and Richard Spencer THE US government accused Britain of legitimising the Gaddafi regime on Sunday night after the massacre of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in Libya.
Up to 300 demonstrators are thought to have been killed after forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi attacked them with sniper fire, knives and heavy artillery.
The eastern city of Benghazi was said to be in a state of “civil mutiny” after forces, believed to be African mercenaries, attacked crowds attending mass burials of the dead from earlier violence. The unrest, following the overthrow of the rulers of neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt and protests in Bahrain, had spread to other Libyan cities, including the capital, Tripoli, on Sunday night.
Thousands of Britons began an evacuation from the country as Benghazi was described as a “war zone” by senior figures in the regime.
Hundreds of people died over the weekend as forces loyal to Col Gaddafi, who has ruled for 42 years, used highvelocity sniper rifles, machine guns and even anti-aircraft artillery against protesters.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the dictator’s second son and heir apparent, on Sunday night warned of “rivers of blood” and said Libya was on the brink of a civil war that would burn its oil wealth.
Estimates of the dead varied widely, from 173 by Human Rights Watch, to more than 300.
“Benghazi is a war zone — the situation is very tense,” said a highly placed source in Tripoli. “Troops including mercenaries are being sent there by plane. The fighting is intensifying.
“Lots of people are being killed, including members of the security forces. The figures are certainly above 200, with many thousands more injured.”
A Libyan journalist claimed that a group of women and children jumped to their deaths from a bridge in Benghazi to escape the mercenaries. “They’re vicious. People are so terrified that they’ve been doing everything possible to get away,” he said.”
Mona Rishmawi, legal adviser for the UN High Commission on Human Rights, said there was a “real question mark” over arms sales to the regime.
“We are very concerned about any possibility of complicity in human rights violations,” she said. Last week Britain announced it was revoking more than 50 arms export licences for Bahrain and Libya, including items such as tear gas.
Louis Susman, the US ambassador to London, suggested moves to repair relations with the Libyan dictator had only served to give him “greater stature” on the world stage.
Downing Street said David Cameron was “gravely concerned by reports of escalating violence and large numbers of civilian deaths”.
“We condemn any use of force by the Libyan authorities against peaceful protesters. Such repression is unacceptable, counterproductive and wrong,” said a statement. “The Libyan government must listen to the views of its people and respond to them.”
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, voiced his concerns in a telephone call to Col Gaddafi’s British-educated son, Saif.
“The world should not hesitate to condemn those actions,” he said. “What Col Gaddafi should be doing is respecting basic human rights, and there is no sign of that in the dreadful response, the horrifying response, of the Libyan authorities to these protests.” Despite the criticism of the violence, both Mr Hague and Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, defended new multi-millionpound trade links with Libya, opened following Tony Blair’s “deal in the desert” in 2007. Mr Clarke told the BBC: “I don’t think we’ve made a mistake in having investment there.”
Mr Susman said: “I would suggest that to deal with him, to give him greater stature, greater ability on the world front to look like he is a good citizen is a mistake.”
Col Gaddafi briefly appeared on state television in a pro-government rally, but has otherwise remained silent. In a televised statement, his son Saif acknowledged the army made mistakes during the protests, but denied reports that “hundreds” were killed. He said the regime was willing to remove some restrictions and discuss the constitution.
By Adrian Blomfield in Manama THE king of Bahrain came under heavy opposition pressure to prove his newly stated commitment to reform on Sunday by sacking his unpopular uncle, the world’s longest-serving prime minister.
Shia opposition leaders said they would resist a government offer of dialogue until the kingdom’s Sunni rulers made a significant gesture by sacrificing Prince Khalifa, who has held his position since Bahrain’s independence from Britain in 1971. They also called for the release of political prisoners.
A day after King Hamad was forced to call his army off the streets after a brutal military crackdown that killed at least seven people failed to quell the protests, the opposition has sensed momentum swinging its way.
They are also hoping to take advantage of rumoured rifts in the Al Khalifa dynasty that have pitted hardliners, including the prime minister, against a group of reformists around the king and his son, Crown Prince Salman.
The desire to see Prince Khalifa ousted is almost universally shared by the tens of thousands of protesters who reoccupied Pearl Monument, the symbolic centre of the capital Manama, after the security forces withdrew last Saturday night.
The prime minister is widely blamed for the economic and political marginalisation of Bahrain’s Shia majority, which accounts for up to 70 per cent of the population. Regarded as one of the richest men in the state, he is seen by many as a symbol of the corruption allegations that have blighted the ruling family.
“After 40 years of being in power, the time has come for him to step down,” said Jawad Fairooz, a senior member of the main Shia opposition party, Wefaq. With Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, adding her voice to international calls for reform, King Hamad has instructed the Crown Prince to begin negotiations with the opposition. It is demanding a constitutional monarchy, genuine political representation and a fairer deal for Shias.
By Richard Spencer POLICE and Basij militia locked down the centre of Tehran on Sunday night after crowds of anti-regime demonstrators tried to converge on central squares from across the city.
Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of the former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was arrested briefly, accused of “provocative behaviour”, though she was later released.
Opposition and exile websites claimed there were clashes between police firing tear gas and protest groups, and reports of gunfire.
The government insisted the city was “peaceful” though the deputy police chief admitted special forces had been deployed.
The past week has seen a resurgence of the opposition Green Movement, which during the 2009 presidential election rallied around MirHossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the defeated candidates.
Two people have died in clashes between demonstrators and progovernment forces. Opposition groups in exile claimed rallies had taken place in other cities, including Isfahan, Shiras and Tabriz.
Elsewhere, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, facing an 11th consecutive day of protests, called for dialogue with the opposition.
Mr Saleh has promised not to stand for a new term in 2013 but protesters are demanding he step down now.
Tunisia’s interim government asked Saudi Arabia to extradite Zine alAbidine Ben Ali, a month after he was deposed. The government, which is facing fresh calls for it to resign, made the official request to Riyadh, where Mr Ben Ali fled on January 14.
There were more protests by members of the “bidoon” or stateless community in Kuwait. Bidoons, who number in the hundreds of thousands in countries across the Gulf, are residents who have never been granted citizenship.
In Morocco, thousands of people marched through the capital, Rabat, and also Casablanca, calling for limits to the powers of King Mohammed V.