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Fraudsters jailed for £107m 'cynical' green tax scam

Fraudsters jailed for £107m 'cynical' green tax scam

Business
Six men who orchestrated an "audacious and cynical" tax fraud have been jailed for between 11 years and 20 months.They persuaded wealthy people to invest in environmental projects in exchange for tax breaks, but then used the money to fund lavish lifestyles, buying overseas property and luxury holidays.HM Revenue & Customs said it could have lost up to £107m as a result.HMRC's Simon York said the men showed "complete disregard" for the ecological causes they claimed to be supporting."These individuals thought they had worked out the perfect fraud," he said, adding that work had started to recover the proceeds of their crime.'Bare-faced dishonesty'HMRC said the group, led by "self-styled ringleader" and scientist Michael Richards, enticed 730 high earners to invest in research and devel
Buying and renting: Your biggest financial decision – in 10 charts

Buying and renting: Your biggest financial decision – in 10 charts

Business
Buying a home is the most significant financial decision in most people's lives. For tenants, paying the rent is the biggest monthly outgoing.So it is little wonder that house prices are an obsession for some, and a source of frustration for others.The financial crisis had huge implications for those wanting to buy or sell property.Here is the story of what has happened to the UK housing market in the past 10 years. 1. House prices are rising... or are they?The price of the average UK home has risen in the past 10 years, as you would expect. Prices of goods and services in general, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation, have increased faster.So, in real terms, the average UK house price has fallen compared with a decade ago.2. Price rises or falls depend on where yo...
Broadband firms agree automatic compensation

Broadband firms agree automatic compensation

Business
Broadband and landline providers have agreed a new system of automatic compensation when customers suffer poor service, the telecoms regulator has announced.Ofcom said that issues such as slow repairs and missed appointments would result in money back from the company responsible, without it having to be claimed.It calculated the change would bolster levels of redress to customers - including many small businesses - by 900% because compensation was currently only paid in about one in seven cases.The watchdog's plan contains set compensation levels for certain failures. They include £25 for an engineer missing an appointment or failing to give 24 hours' notice of a cancellation, and £5 for each day missed through delays to a new contract.But Ofcom cautioned that it would be at least 15 mont
Uber loses appeal over workers' rights ruling

Uber loses appeal over workers' rights ruling

Business
Uber has lost an appeal against a landmark ruling on the employment rights of its drivers.Two drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, won a case against the ride-hailing app last year after arguing they were workers and entitled to the minimum wage, sick pay, paid holiday and breaks.During its failed attempt to overturn the decision at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London, Uber claimed the ruling could deprive drivers of the "personal flexibility they value".The company, which is also battling Transport for London over its licence to operatein the capital, said it would appeal against Friday's judgment.In a statement, it said: "Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed.Image:The tech firm claims its drivers are 'partners' ...
Navy contracts with Bell Helicopter for two AH-1Z Vipers

Navy contracts with Bell Helicopter for two AH-1Z Vipers

Business
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Bell Helicopter Textron has been awarded a contract modification for the manufacture and delivery of two Bell AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopter to the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense announced on Wednesday.The deal is estimated to be worth more than $ 38.3 million and is classified as a fixed-price-incentive-firm contract, meaning that once performance on the contract is complete, Bell Helicopter Textron and the U.S. government will renegotiate the final cost of the deal.The Bell AH-1Z Viper is built to meet the requirements for the United States Marine Corps, and frequently is deployed as a part of a Marine Air Ground Task Force.The AH-1Z Viper is the only attack helicopter in the world with a fully-integrated air-to-air missile capability, Bell says. The Bell...