Asylum seekers in Britain are being housed in publicly-funded accommodation despite earning a wealthy income while parking fines could be reduced and grace periods introduced
Concern over asylum seeker housing
Asylum seekers in Britain are being housed in publicly-funded accommodation despite earning an income above legal thresholds, a spending watchdog investigation has found.
Individuals or families may be occupying flats or houses to which they are not entitled, taking resources away from asylum seekers more in need, warned the National Audit Office (NAO).
Housing officers who see signs of wealth during inspections, suggesting the occupant may have a higher level of income, have a contractual duty to report this to the Home Office within one working day.
Benefit cap ‘returning fairness’
Nearly 33,000 households who were claiming more than £26,000 in benefits have had their payments capped, the Government has announced.
The controversial policy limits total household income from a range of benefits to £500 a week for couples and lone parents and £350 a week for single adults and is a key plank of government welfare reforms.
Around half of all homes affected since its introduction in April were in London and of the top 20 local authorities with the highest number of households affected only two - Birmingham and Manchester - were outside the English capital.
Check ‘won’t tackle unfit doctors’
Checks aimed at identifying poor-performing doctors will do nothing to help find or stop them, according to a poll of more than 5,600 doctors.
More than 80% of hospital doctors and 67% of GPs also pointed to variations in care, saying there are certain doctors they would not want to treat their friends and family.
The survey, by doctors.net.uk as an exclusive for the Press Association, was carried out among more than 4,600 hospital doctors and a further 1,000 GPs.
Terrorists face tougher sentences
Offenders convicted of training as terrorists will face life sentences under tough new plans being drawn up.
Ministers are also understood to be looking at ending automatic early release and introducing a "two strikes and you're out" policy for serious terror offenders.
Current sentencing restrictions that allow a maximum 14 year sentence for terror training offences would be increased to life for anyone jailed for weapons training linked to terrorism as well as making or possession of explosives.
Met chief urged to probe corruption
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will be asked to ensure corruption no longer exists in the force after a confidential report into organised crime infiltrating Scotland Yard was leaked to a newspaper.
The Independent said organised criminals "were able to infiltrate Scotland Yard at will by bribing corrupt officers", according to the results of the secret internal report written in 2002.
It said the likes of "underworld king'' David Hunt were able to corrupt police and access sensitive information to help evade prosecution.
Peers consider EU referendum bill
A Conservative bid to lay down in law the need for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU begins the next stage of its perilous Parliamentary journey today.
The House of Lords meets at 10am to begin the first debate on the European Union (Referendum) Bill with about 75 peers currently listed to speak.
Peers' working day is likely to be extended beyond its normal 3pm finish as Conservative peers bid to get the legislation over its first hurdle in one day.
Foreign Office stretched, warn MPs
The Foreign Office is being stretched "almost to the limit" as it attempts to cut spending at a time of international turbulence while having to cope with additional demands such as the London Olympics, MPs have said.
The Foreign Affairs Select Committee called for William Hague and his department to adopt a "more realistic approach" to what could be achieved given the cuts imposed in the 2010 spending review.
The MPs also raised concern about the future funding of the BBC World Service and strongly opposed plans for its wider commercialisation.
Labour slam ‘botched privatisation’
Labour has accused the government of a "botched privatisation" over its controversial Royal Mail sell off, saying taxpayers have been short-changed by hundreds of millions of pounds.
Three months after the flotation, the opposition said the postal group's share price was more than 70% higher than the 330p at the time of privatisation last October.
The price has remained above 500p, "dramatically" higher than the figure set by the coalition, said Labour, adding that Business Secretary Vince Cable had maintained that judgment should be passed on the sale price of Royal Mail after three months.
Parking fines ‘may be reduced’
Parking fines could be reduced and grace periods introduced, the Government has said, following criticism local councils use parking enforcement as a "cash cow".
The Department for Transport is considering legal options to abolish the minimum rates for parking penalty charges to allow local authorities to lower fines for minor parking violations.
It also wants local authorities to publish their parking accounts in a bid to create more transparency around fines.