HMRC was too hasty to cut staff before expected cost savings from a shift to digital materialised – something that should act as a cautionary tale for its current "digitisation" plans, the National Audit Office has warned.To offset the spending reduction, HMRC planned to increase automation of the PAYE system and move customers from traditional channels to less expensive contact through the expansion of digital services, said the report.The findings echo concerns raised over recent moves to digitise HMRC services.Last year HMRC was granted £1.3bn by George Osborne to spend on digital investment over the next four years, which is expected to yield £1bn in extra tax revenue after 2020.It is hoped those "digitisation" savings will plug the £717m per year in cuts, including a headcount reduction of 21 per cent by 2019-20."This does not change the fact that they got their timing badly wrong in 2014, letting significant numbers of call handling staff go before their new approach was working reliably.
Accounts for the year to September 26 showed that the tax bill for Apple s two UK entities rose 9pc last year from £11.8m from a year earlier.The latest figures come as the European Commission is set to announce the results of a long-running investigation into Apple s tax arrangements in Ireland, and after Facebook and Google have pledged to pay more corporation tax in the UK.Apple chief executive Tim Cook Credit: BloombergApple, the world's largest company, has been accused of paying less than what critics claim would represent a fair share, given that UK shoppers spend billions on Apple's products.Accounts for Apple UK, the tech giant s UK operations arm, showed a 4.6pc rise in revenue but a slight fall in profit to £78m, resulting in corporation tax payments declining to £6.5m.Apple Retail UK Limited, the arm that runs Apple s network of stores, reported a 12pc increase in revenue to £1bn and a profit of £6.4m.Google agreed to pay £130m in back taxes earlier this year, while Facebook said it will book more advertising sales in Britain in response to George Osborne s diverted profits tax, a new levy on income generated in the UK.
Once enacted, there follows a negotiation period on the terms of the UK s relationship that can last up to two years.One in five are considering moving some of their operations outside of the UK and just one per cent will bring operations back.The founder and chief technology officer of British tech success Alfresco Software John Newton illustrated the uncertainty UK firms now face.These include investigating the opening of offices in Ireland and to think finance.It warned on investment, particularly in tech and R, and in regional funding that will now disappear without the EU."Many businesses in the science and technology sectors receive EU research funding, while in poorer regions Local Enterprise Partnerships feed EU money to small business through loans and grants.
The leaders of European heavyweights Germany, Italy and France will huddle later Monday to discuss a strategy to handle Britain's exit, trying to hone a common message that negotiations need to get underway quickly on the exit so as not to continue the uncertainty.In the first direct reflection of the uncertainty hitting business confidence, a leading business group said 20 percent of its members plan to move some of their operations outside of the U.K.Bank shares were particularly hard hit, as they are considered a mirror on the larger economy.Osborne also said he had been working closely with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, fellow finance ministers and international organizations over the weekend.In another move to cushion market reaction, Osborne stressed that only Britain can invoke Article 50.He insists he will run in any new leadership contest, and said he has the support of the party's grassroots.
A good thing too, because the country needs to start mapping out a new economic policy, and fast.Let's start the reasoning with this piece of data: one in every five German-made cars is sold in Britain.Transit services – that is the buying and selling of rides and associated costs such as ticketing – are worth $3trn £2.2trn, €2.7trn a year globally, according to Ford.Every country should make stuffHowever, less people are going to buy big ticket items such as carsCompanies will buy less big ticket items such as plants and machinery
Chair of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee tells Chancellor it is essential the UK has access to EU research grants and overseas talentChancellor George Osborne has been urged to ensure that public and private sector research is not hampered by any end to the UK s membership of the European Union EU by the chair of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee.Nicola Blackwood said the UK received more EU money for science and technology research than it contributed, receiving 15 percent of all funds available from the EU s Horizon-2020 initiative – second only to Germany.Earlier this week, IT industry body BCS warned that universities and research labs faced an €8.8bn funding shortfall if the UK does leave the EU.One way of achieving this, Blackwood claimed, was to ensure the UK remained in the European single market.Read More: What does Brexit mean for tech?
British Finance Minister George Osborne, the UK has rejected its objective the achievement of budget surplus by 2020. As the Bank of England said yesterday that the referendum result is expected to mean a significant negative shock to the British economy, "Osborne said, referring to Mark Carney's opinion. It's how we respond to this will determine the effects on human jobs and economic growth. " Osborne, the UK is now helvennettävä uncertainty and develop as quickly as possible a new relationship with Europe. Britain is to be competitive and open for business, as well as free trade, he defined.
Here are highlights of Sunday s top breaking stories from around the world:U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne wants to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent to keep companies from leaving after the country voted for the separation from the European Union.French leaders are working to induce entire markets, such as euro clearing, to leave the U.K. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the U.K. should take its time about leaving, and that the will of the people is entitled to change.One of London s law firms said only Parliament, not the prime minister, can invoke the clause necessary to leave the EU and is threatening to sue if the executive branch acts on its own.And just as quickly as Theresa May emerged as the favorite to succeed David Cameron as prime minister, opponents pounced, wondering whether she had any standing to seek the job since she backed staying in the EU.Notwithstanding that his signature anti-Wall Street proposals made it into the Democratic Party platform that Hillary Clinton must run on, defeated primary opponent Bernie Sanders is unhappy he didn t get more.In a newspaper opinion article, he said he ll push for opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a point on which Sanders agrees with Clinton s presumptive opponent, Donald Trump.Abu Dhabi s two largest banks at last sealed the deal on a merger that had been on the cusp for weeks, creating a Middle East lending powerhouse with  $175 billion of assets.The one unexpected wrinkle is that both CEOs will step aside.Tesla Motors s second quarter deliveries fell well short of its own forecasts, which didn t stop the electric-car maker led by billionaire Elon Musk from making another ambitious forecast: 50,000 deliveries in the second half of 2016.
Theresa May's reshuffle last week resulted in higher pile of bodies than a Game of Thrones wedding.Among a number of big hitters to be axed, including George Osborne, was digital and cultural minister Ed Vaizey.Vaizey had held that position since 2010 and is succeeded by former Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock.He was subsequently unceremoniously booted onto the backbenches as MP for Wantage, Faringdon and Didcot.Vaizey, a vocal Remainer, tweeted: "Looking forward to supporting the government from the backbenches vexit"On the face of it, a move to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport DCMS from his perch in the Cabinet Office looks like a demotion for Hancock.
Much worse than a smartphone zombie Credit: AlamyI have been interested in the recent correspondence about the menace of people reading books while walking along the street, becoming so engrossed that they bump into each other – or into us innocent passers-by.In my experience, it is the fiction addicts who are the worst.I ve seen a man so enslaved by a biography of Napoleon that mothers with buggies were forced to swerve and, on one appalling occasion I watched as someone, distracted by William Hague s life of William Pitt, seriously inconvenienced a small child on a micro-scooter.And of course they go on and on about their latest acquisition.You see them in the local library with their noses stuck in some volume, ignoring the vibrant life all around them – the gossip, the pilates classes and kids drama groups.
Some commenters are saying the EC Apple Tax ruling has created huge opportunities for the UK to attract large multinational tech firms to these shores – what will the UK Government do next?These efforts require robust digital infrastructure, fibre in the ground for high speed broadband and mobile telecoms infrastructure for seamless digital access, a strong indigenous tech sector built on access for entrepreneurs to seed and growth capital and the ability to attract large global tech firms to invest in the UK.What others do will have an impact on investment decisions.One question is if Apple s treatment at the hands of the European Commission is supposed to open the floodgates for foreign tech direct investment into the UK economy, then why didn t ex-Chancellor George Osborne s £130m tax deal with Google parent Alphabet have the same affect?For those wishing to promote the UK s tax leniency there is a nice symmetry between 13bn Euros and £130m.This very day sees the UK Government Cabinet having a Brexit brain storm session at the Prime Minister s official country residence.
The UK is going to be fighting the war against cyber attacks from a new HQ in London.The Evening Standard has revealed that the new National Cyber Security Centre NCSC will be based near Victoria Station, and the centre will be tasked with protecting the UK from cyber attacks all over the world.It was reported that specialist teams from the City, Whitehall, intelligence and security services, energy, telecoms and other parts of the national infrastructure and businesses will be joining the NCSC in the fight against cyber terrorists and criminals.In total, the NCSC will have 700 staff and more than half will be based at the new HQ.The creation of the new agency was announced by then-chancellor George Osborne, in November last year.He also pledged to increase the country s cyber security budget, because of the threats from abroad, while also adding new staff to the UK s intelligence agencies.
The new Digital Economy Bill, referenced in The Queen’s Speech, has now been debated at its Second Hearing in Parliament and is now going through the process of eventually becoming law.Part of the Digital Economy Bill includes amending the Electronic Communications Code (ECC).The ECC has, among other provisions, guidelines for arrangements between landowners and mobile mast owners including restrictions for mast height and location.The ECC has not been drastically overhauled since it was written in 1984 over three decades ago; well before the advent of anything resembling modern mobile technology.So what does the telecoms industry need to know about these proposed amendments?The reform of the Electronic Communications Code was proposed in the last Digital Economy Bill by Ed Vaizey, former Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.
WIRED Security is a new one-day event from WIRED, curated to explore, explain and predict new trends, threats, and defences in cyber security.To find out more and to book tickets, click here.The Doughnut – GCHQ's vast, Cheltenham-based nerve centre – is a building straight from the pages of a spy novel.Visitors are seldom allowed inside the building which, Edward Snowdon's NSA leaks, is the centre of government mass surveillance in the UK.There's even going to be a Shake Shack on the ground floor.Announced by then-chancellor George Osborne in November 2015, the NSCS is the first government agency devoted solely to cyber security.
Crucially this isn t new money - Hammond s predecessor George Osborne had announced this in November 2015, during the last spending review.What was new was the pledge Britain would go on the offensive against attackers and not simply turn the other cheek.The alternative, Hammond, warned was armed war.Also new was a sharper focus, announced by Hammond, around tactics and strategy around cyber security to protect the nation s critical national infrastructure and business.In October defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said Britain had used cyber warfare against ISIS as part of the bid to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul.We will deter those who seek to steal from us, or harm our interests, Hammond told Microsoft s Future Decoded conference in London on Tuesday.
Former Chancellor George Osborne thinks the government will be as good at protecting society from future technological developments as it was at solving Victorian London's "horse shit" problem —Osborne appeared on a panel with "futurists," tech staff, and academics in London on Tuesday night titled "A glimpse into the future?," organised by early stage tech investors Force Over
The Autumn Statement was the chancellor s first opportunity to set the UK s spending priorities since June s vote and the appointment of Theresa May as prime minister in July.As the Office for Budget Responsibility has scaled-back its growth estimates for the economy in the wake of Brexit, the statement revealed that the country will have to borrow an additional £122 billion between now and the 2020/21 financial year.Hammond also revealed that the Government no longer expects to make a surplus until "some time in the next parliament".His predecessor, George Osborne, originally aimed to eliminate the UK s deficit by 2015, but Hammond s revisions mean the country might not be in the black until 2025.Accelerating the industry s expertise in this exciting new intelligent mobility space is critical if we are to improve the lives of city-dwellers everywhere and build on the UK s global reputation for design, development and engineering, he said.A further £80 million will go towards smart train tickets for commuters in the UK s major cities.
Silva joined the Treasury after graduating from university and became a policy advisor to David Cameron and George Osborne while they were in opposition.Then he converted a former carpet factory off Brick Lane into a futuristic office space filled with 2,000 plants and a 1.5 tonne U-shaped table that can rise and fall as needed.
Funding of £13m has been awarded to compound semiconductor research - the technology behind smartphones, tablets and satellite communications.The EU grant will help to build, equip and run a "state-of-the-art" clean room at Cardiff University's Institute for Compound Semiconductor.Its research will be developed into new products and services.The university said it would "generate prosperity in south Wales through industrial innovation".The centre, set up by the university and St Mellons-based hi-tech company IQE in 2015, brings together scientists and businesses to work on innovations.In January 2016, the then Chancellor George Osborne revealed plans to invest £50m in the "ground-breaking new innovation centre".
We just had to check it's not the first of April, because George Gideon Osborne – Cameron's Chancellor, sacked by May – has been declared the new Editor of London's Evening Standard.“I am proud to have an editor of such substance, who reinforces the Standard’s standing and influence in London and whose political viewpoint – socially liberal and economically pragmatic – closely matches that of many of our readers.George is London through and through and I am confident he is the right person to build on the fantastic legacy of Sarah Sands.”In fairness, he attempted journalism before becoming an MP, but if being Gideon – son of Sir Peter George Osborne, 17th Baronet of Ballentaylor, and Felicity Loxton Peacock, daughter of artist Clarisse Loxton Peacock – a privately-educated Oxford graduate and a Bullingdon Club member is "London through and through" – well, that's a London I've never been to.The City of London, maybe.