Archives for July 24th, 2001

CUSTOMS SLOW TO PLUG ALCOHOL LEAK

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 July, 2001

Customs and Excise have been criticized by the National Audit Office for failure to stem the flow of duty free alcohol on to the UK market. The NAO estimates that between 1993 and 2000 some 668 million pounds of excise duty and VAT was lost by organized criminal gangs literally driving lorries through the customs controls.Duty and VAT on alcohol does not become payable until the products, mainly in this case spirits, enter the UK market. Where the alcohol is destined for countries overseas no duty or VAT is payable. The creation of the Single European Market in 1993 removed restrictions on the movement of goods between EU Member States with the aim of making trade easier. At the same time Customs discontinued their regular physical checks of goods and adopted a risk-based approach both in order to facilitate trade and target their resources better so that staff numbers could be reduced.

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INNOVATING TO GET BETTER WORK – LIFE BALANCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 July, 2001

Health bodies, local councils, police, prison service, schools, universities and organizations in the voluntary sector will each receive between 20,000 and 55,000 pounds to promote innovative working practices so their workers can enjoy a better work-life balance. All the organizations were successful in securing funding from the Work-Life Balance Challenge Fund which provides free consultancy support for employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors who want to develop and implement good policies and working practices for their workforce which, in turn, benefits their organization.The aim of the Challenge Fund is to promote a better quality of life and help people to cope with the demands of work with family commitments or other pursuits, while at the same time benefiting employers with a more committed workforce who are more productive and are more likely to stay with them for longer.

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