Immigration

Two stories dominate today’s papers.  The first is the migrants who stormed the Channel Tunnel in an attempt to reach the UK.

The Express claims around 150 migrants are threatening lorry drivers.

BRITISH truckers have been forced into long queues on the motorway again after 150 migrants tried to storm the Channel Tunnel in a desperate bid to get into Britain.

Traffic was disrupted and long queues of cars formed after dozens of migrants tried to enter the platforms just after 10.30pm local time.

“From 10:30pm, around 150 migrants attempted to enter the platforms,” a Calais spokesman said.

A Eurotunnel spokesman added that it “suffers from attempted intrusions every night”.

He said: “We have adapted our transport system to ensure the best level of security and keep our trains running.”

The BBC says:

Migrants entered restricted areas on the French side overnight, delaying and cancelling services, Eurotunnel said.

A spokesman for the firm called for “immediate action” from authorities to protect the tunnel and provide a solution to the migrant crisis.

Lorries are being stacked on the M20 in Kent but passenger services should now be back to normal, Eurotunnel said.

A spokesman for Eurotunnel said there had been “huge numbers of migrants” in and around the area on Friday night.

They said: “Up to 150 migrants stormed the tunnel which caused disruption to services leading to delays and cancellations for customers.

“Eurotunnel wants immediate action from authorities to protect the tunnel – not enough is being done to stop the migrants.”

Kent Police initiated phase two of Operation Stack – where freight traffic is queued on sections of the M20 – and closed roads at about 01:00 BST.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said freight services had still not returned to normal.

Inheritance tax

The other story is the budget leak that Chancellor George Osborne is set to raise the Inheritance Tax threshold to one million pounds.

The Telegraph reports:

The Chancellor is expected to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1million but announce plans to protect people who want to downsize but are worried that their families will miss out on the benefits of the new tax break.

Parents will be able to downsize their property without fear of their children missing out on the inheritance tax break promised by the Conservatives, George Osborne will announce this week.

The Chancellor will use his first Budget after the election to announce that the Government will raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1million from 2017.

However, in an unexpected move, Mr Osborne is expected to say on Wednesday that the Conservatives will protect people who want to downsize but are worried that their families will miss out on the benefits of the new tax break.

 

The Express says:

THOUSANDS of families will be lifted out of the inheritance tax net in next week’s Budget.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to scrap the hated death tax for homes worth up to £1million.

In a victory for the Daily Express crusade, he will use the first Tory Budget for nearly 20 years to keep a promise made five years ago in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

That pledge had to be shelved during the Coalition because the move was vetoed by the Liberal Democrats.

More than 350,000 readers signed a petition launched by the Daily Express in 2006 calling for the abolition of the death duty. The crusade, supported by dozens of MPs, put the issue on the political agenda.

Among a raft of measures expected to be unveiled in the Budget on Wednesday will be a £175,000 tax-free allowance per person on top of the current £325,000 death duty threshold.

As a result, an individual will be able to pass on a family home worth up to £500,000 without being taxed.

 

The Mail reports:

Millions of family homes will be lifted out of inheritance tax in next week’s Budget.

Honouring a pledge first announced eight years ago, George Osborne is to raise the threshold for couples to £1million.

All but the richest will now be able to pass on their homes to their children without a huge tax bill. The Chancellor will also unveil provisions that mean people who downsize should not miss out.

The change, which is expected to come into effect in 2017, will ensure that 94 per cent of families will pay no inheritance tax at all.

Other announcements in Wednesday’s Budget are likely to detail how the welfare bill will be trimmed by £12billion. It also emerged yesterday that:

Inheritance tax is currently levied at 40 per cent on assets above £325,000 for a single person, or £650,000 for a married couple. Mr Osborne will raise that threshold to £500,000 for singletons and £1million for married couples. The increase in the allowance will apply only to the value of the main home, and not to other wealth.

Polls have found that death duties are the most unpopular of all taxes – even among Labour voters.

And, because the threshold has stood still as property prices have risen, IHT is affecting record numbers of families.

The Guardian says:

The chancellor, George Osborne, first pledged to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1m while in opposition. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

George Osborne is planning to use his first Conservative budget to lift all but the very richest households out of inheritance tax on the same day he sets out billions of pounds in welfare cuts.

The move will allow a couple to pass a house worth up to £1m to their children or grandchildren. The chancellor will create a £175,000, tax-free allowance per person for their main property on top of their existing £325,000 allowance that can be applied to all assets.

His intention to lift all but the wealthiest homeowners out of inheritance tax was first revealed when sensitive Treasury papers were leaked to the Guardian before the last budget, which concluded that it would “most likely benefit high income and wealthier households”.

The Conservative proposals were later confirmed by David Cameron during the election campaign and became a key plank of the Tory manifesto championing a “Conservative dream”.

The BBC reports:

George Osborne promised to make the change during the election campaign

Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget is to confirm the end of inheritance tax on family homes worth up to £1m.

He is expected to tell MPs on Wednesday that the threshold at which the tax is levied will rise for couples from £650,000 after April 2017.

Writing in The Times, PM David Cameron and Mr Osborne said those who worked for their homes should be able to pass them on to family members.

The move fulfils a key pledge made in the Conservative’s election manifesto.

The policy will be funded by limiting the amount of tax relief on pension contributions given to those earning more than £150,000 a year.

In a joint article, Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne write: “As we promised in our manifesto, we’ll take the family home out of inheritance tax for all but the richest.”

They add: “It can only be right that when you’ve worked hard to own your own home, it will go to your family and not the taxman.”

Mr Osborne has been keen on the idea for nearly a decade, BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said.

Before the election, the chancellor told the BBC the plan “supports the basic human instinct to provide for your children”.

The £1m allowance will be transferrable on the death of one spouse.

Non-doms

City AM reports on another aspect of next week’s budget.  It claims the Chancellor plans to crack down on non-doms.

George Osborne wants to clamp down on non-doms in his July Budget, a move which could raise £5bn by cutting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

In a political statement suggesting the rich will shoulder some of the burden of deficit reduction, the chancellor is planning to increase annual penalties paid by those with non-dom status and tackle abuses in the sector.

The non-domicile rule allows some UK residents to limit the tax paid on foreign earnings. These tax privileges exist for people whose permanent home elsewhere.

When Ed Miliband proposed scrapping the 200-year-old non-domicile rule before the election, Osborne reportedly said he would look at big reforms short of abolishing the status.

Many tax experts are sceptical about whether changing the rules would raise significant sums for the Treasury, with some suggesting it could actually lose revenue. Non-doms are likely to respond to severe changes by making themselves “non-resident” in the eyes of the law.

 

Independence Day

In other news, the Guardian claims the display by the Red Arrows at a USAF base in Norfolk has been scrapped because of security fears.

The US Air Force has cancelled an Independence Day event at a UK base over security concerns.

The Royal Air Force’s aerobatic team the Red Arrows had been due to perform on Saturday at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk, during a two-day public event hosted by USAF members based at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.

A statement on the RAF Lakenheath website said: “The decision was made due to the most current local threat assessments. The base continually surveys the security environment alongside host nation counterparts and must take appropriate measures based on those assessments.”

US Colonel David Eaglin, vice commander of 48th Fighter Wing, said: “While we were certainly looking forward to this year’s celebration and hosting the US and UK communities at RAF Feltwell, we have to put public safety first and foremost.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this cancellation has caused and we will continue to work with our UK counterparts – both military and civilian – to make sure we keep our airmen and the local communities safe.”

Colonel Robert Novotny, 48th Fighter Wing commander, told the BBC the show had been cancelled “out of prudence” but would not confirm whether it was related to the Tunisia beach attack which killed 38 people, including 30 Britons.

He said: “What we learned over the last 48 hours … gave us a great pause as to whether we wanted to have a large mass gathering on a military base.

“We cancelled our picnic – we haven’t cancelled a single combat sortie. We haven’t taken our foot off the throat of the enemy – none of that has changed.

“So if the terrorists consider us cancelling a picnic as a victory, I think they should readdress their calculus.”

Britain in the EU

Breitbart reports a comment by Business Secretary Sajid Javid who criticized the Confederation of British Industry for its claim that Britain should remain in the European Union “no matter what”. 

Javid points out that making such statements while Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to negotiate a better deal for Britain will only undermine his efforts. The pro-EUGuardian newspaper said their comments will be “exploited by any half-alert EU politician or Brussels bureaucrat.”

The CBI claims to speak for 190,000 British businesses and has recently told its members to “turn up the volume” on the so-called ‘benefits’ of EU membership. They often claim “the large majority of those companies believe the benefits of EU membership outweigh the disadvantages.”

This claim, however, comes from a survey they conducted in 2013 in which only 415 British businesses responded. Perhaps they were too busy with burdensome EU red tape to respond! It is preposterous to claim the majority of British companies want to stay in the EU based on a survey of less than 0.25 per cent of its members.

Their research – as flawed as it appears – suggests 50 per cent of businesses would like to reform the regulatory burden on them, which is a staggering amount considering that only five per cent of British businesses trade directly with the EU.

It is hard to underestimate the vast amount of European regulations which now apply to the UK. According to the Government: “50 per cent of all UK legislation with a significant economic impact originates from EU legislation.”

Over the last 40 years, thousands of EU laws have automatically been placed on the UK statute books, while treaties have passed control of key areas of national concern (such as VAT and policy regulation) to the European Commission.

Bank guarantees

Sky News reports that a European directive is blamed for a reduction in the bank guarantee.

Bank and building society customers stand to get £10,000 less if the financial institution they save with goes bust, the Bank of England has announced.

Deposits have been protected up to £85,000 since 2010, under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

But the Bank said this level of compensation will be cut to £75,000 on 1 January because of a European directive.

The move has been slammed as “bonkers” and “absurd” by experts, who said it was another blow for savers, who have suffered with years of poor returns on their money.

Nigel Farage

City AM report our leader’s comment on the Prime Minister’s initial attempts at renegotiating our relationship with the European Union.

“By all accounts, Cameron got to say something at the renegotiation summit when the coffee was served. And as soon as he started to speak, Hollande went out for a pee, which shows you how seriously it was taken,” scoffs Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

The renegotiation summit to which Farage refers took place last week in Brussels, where Cameron was hoping to allay his European counterparts to side with him on renegotiation. Of course, the summit was overshadowed by the Greek crisis and migrant Mediterranean crisis- the knock-on effect of which was seen in Calais over the last two weeks.

Still: “I was at the summit for the whole thing, and Cameron got to speak for seven minutes at a two day summit. It reminds me of the boy at the back of the class with his hands up – ‘please sir, can I say something?’ – and the teacher snapping ‘what is it?’. It’s absolutely humiliating,” says Farage.

“Humiliating” may also be how his opponents view his election defeat, both in constituency of South Thanet, as well as in the UK as a whole. Despite garnering four million votes, and coming third in England and Wales, behind only the Conservatives and Labour, the party won only one seat.

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