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Posted by: Ian Piper


Theresa May is the first foreign leader to meet with Donald Trump to discuss new trade deal. Talks will take place in the Oval Office today and here are the key points being discussed: First in line are trade deals, both Leaders will seek to find a common ground on trade and lay down the groundwork for a new deal after Britain leaves the European Union. Second is defence, Mrs May is keen to ensure that Trump remains fully committed to the Nato military alliance, which is vital for keeping Russia in check in eastern Europe. The final topic is Russia; both will discuss the west’s concerns over this. Additionally Putin and Trump will speak over the phone this weekend for the first time since the US president’s inauguration. Prior to today’s meeting Mrs May stopped over in Philadelphia where she addressed Republicans during her speech. During this speech she made a bold statement ‘Relations between the UK and US have defined the world.’ (Source – Telegraph)

The UK’s super rich appear to get special deal from HMRC. Britain’s wealthiest are apparently receiving preferential treatment from HMRC and are not being pursued for their outstanding tax bills. This in turn is undermining confidence in the whole system. HMRC’s specialist unit whom collect tax from high net worth individuals with more the £20m found that the amount of tax paid by these individuals has actually fallen by 1bn since the unit was set up in 2009. HMRC‘s reluctance to be open will see the public lose faith in the system, and to prevent this HMRC must have fairness at it’s heart. HMRC have said their pursuit of high net worth individuals had resulted in the collection of an additional £2.5bn in revenue. But they were unable to explain why the income tax they paid fell by 20%, from £4.5bn in 2009-10 to £3.5billion in 2014-15, when the overall income tax take rose to £23bn. HMRC aren’t doing enough to investigate tax avoiders and has a ‘dismal’ record when it comes to prosecuting the very wealthy for tax fraud in criminal courts. (Source – The Guardian)

The government must try harder to enforce the law to ban sexist dress rules at work that discriminate against women. Nicola Thorp was sent home from work in December 2015 for not wearing heels and her parliamentary petition on the issue gained more than 150,000 signatures. Ms Thorp argued that wearing heels requested to be within 2-4 inches in height all day is damaging to her feet – and that male colleagues were not asked to do the same. The current system appears to favour the employer and not the employees. The MPs report recommends that a publicity campaign be launched to ensure that employers know their legal obligations and employees know that they can complain effectively. Key recommendation is that the existing law should be enforced more vigorously, with employment tribunals being given the power to apply bigger financial penalties. (Source – BBC)   

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