The scale of ‘furlough fraud’ and other fraudulent activity linked to the Government’s coronavirus support schemes is starting to become apparent.
According to HMRC, the cost of fraud against the Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) alone could run to £3.5bn and the National Audit Office has estimated that as much as £26bn could have been doled out to fraudsters in the form of loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (CBBLS) during the pandemic. But how did this happen and how might business owners be affected?
Recent revelations aired by the BBC have highlighted the relative ease with which professional criminals have managed to set up ‘ghost’ companies, or employ ‘ghost’ workers, in order to ‘steal’ money directly from public coffers by making fraudulent applications.
Recognising the extent of the problem, HMRC has promised to crackdown on furlough fraud and some early arrests have been made. A man in the West
Private rents in London have dropped for the second quarter in a row, with some areas posting sharp falls of up to 34% year on year, while other cities led by Edinburgh have also reported a decline during the pandemic.
Although Covid-19 restrictions were eased over the summer, the rental market in the capital and other cities struggled to recover, according to the house-sharing website SpareRoom. The average monthly rent for a room in London fell to £725 between July and September, down 7% from £780 in the same period last year.
Excluding London, rents across the UK rose 2% to £492, on average. Scotland was the only other UK region where rents fell, by 2% from £490 to £481.
The rise in homeworking since the outbreak of the virus has led to increasing numbers of homeowners and renters moving out of big cities to suburbs, smaller towns and more
The Wall Street Journal has published a news story that refutes claims made by its opinion page about presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, reports Gene Maddaus of Variety.
Maddaus reports, “The conflicting versions — the opinion columns hyping the story and the news pages playing it down — comes amid ongoing tension between the two sides of the paper.
“In July, more than 280 Journal and Dow Jones staffers signed on to a letter to the publisher attacking the opinion pages’ ‘lack of fact-checking and transparency, and its apparent disregard for evidence.’ They faulted the opinion page for running an editorial from Vice President Mike Pence, claiming there was no second wave of the coronavirus. They argued that the opinion page was hurting the paper’s brand, and called for a clearer separation between the two departments.
“In response, the editorial board vowed not to bow to ‘cancel culture pressure’ from