Business and Other Briefings

HMT: The Government has published a discussion document (closes on 20 April 2010)on proposals for reforming the UK tax treatment of controlled foreign companies (CFCs). The proposals set out in the discussion document are intended to enhance the competitiveness of the UK, while providing adequate protection of the UK tax base.
The document sets out the overarching framework of the new rules & proposals for how monetary assets and intellectual property could be treated.  The controlled foreign company rules exist to protect the UK corporation tax base and apply in situations where UK groups move profits into low tax jurisdictions to avoid UK tax.
Press release ~ Controlled Foreign Companies (CFCs)
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has set out a package of measures that will help to ensure that mortgage holders in arrears are treated fairly and which reinforces the FSA’s stance in its battle against mortgage fraud.  The proposals strengthen existing rules on arrears handling - one of the urgent issues flagged in the Mortgage Market Review discussion paper last October.
Approved Persons: The FSA proposes creating a new category of approved person (customer function CF31), which will be for all individuals who advise or bring about home finance business now & in the future.  This is whether on behalf of an intermediary firm or a home finance provider. Consultation closes on 30 April 2010.
Press release ~ Mortgage Market Review: Arrears and Approved Persons ~ Mortgage Market Review discussion paper ~ FSA refers firms to enforcement in clampdown on poor mortgage arrears handling
Newswire – EA: A new flood warning service for infrastructure owners & operators has been unveiled by the Environment Agency. The Flood Warnings for Infrastructure (FWFI) service will provide infrastructure operators (such as utility companies & transport) with individually tailored warnings allowing organisations to take actions earlier to protect crucial assets.   
55% of water treatment works & pumping stations and 14% of electricity infrastructure in England are situated in flood risk areas, along with some 4,000 km of roads and 2,500 km of railway. FWFI is a new way of delivering flood warnings and the service is suitable for any type of equipment, development or network, including sewage treatment works, telephone exchanges, offices or depots, motorways and railways.  Any organisation which owns or operates fixed assets or networks is eligible to adopt the service. 
Press release ~ EA: Flood preparation guide for your business
ScotGov: The First Minister has hailed as ‘inspirational’ the publication of a new report, which puts Scotland's science & research base as among the best in the world. The report examines the research base in universities, research institutes, industry, the NHS and compares publication rates and impacts with competitor countries.
Many of the measures in the report are scaled to allow for the size and relative investment in research in different countries, so that fairer comparisons can be made. A similar report, also by Evidence Ltd, on the whole of the UK has been published by the UK Government annually for several years, with the report for Scotland closely following the methodology & presentation used.
Press release ~ International Comparative Performance of Scotland's Research Base ~ Science images on flickr ~ Saltire Prize
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