Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

The Home Office's new Identity and Passport Service has published a ten-year plan outlining how it will combat identity fraud. The document, released by Home Office minister Andy Burnham on April 21, sets out 16 measures that will be rolled out as part of the National Identity Scheme, which will introduce ID cards to Britain. It details plans to introduce biometric passports and to hold in-depth interviews with some new applicants, as well as enhanced background checks on others.

Emergency legislation to enable the Northern Ireland Assembiy to be recalled on May 15, and imposing a deadline of November 24 for forming a power-sharing executive, has been published by the government. The next Assembly elections would be postponed until May 2008 if the executive were restored by this date. Failure to meet the deadline would mean that Assembly members' pay would end the following day. Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Main said: 'We are determined to do all we can to get back to devolved institutions but it is for the parties to make it happen.'

BBC managers plan to close the corporation's final salary pension scheme and raise its staff pension age to 65 from 2016, as part of a cost-cutting plan. New staff will join a new pension scheme where payments are based on a career-average salary. Existing pension scheme members will also be asked to pay more into their scheme - contributions will rise from 5.5% to 7.5% from 2007. Scheme trustees are also considering an additional rise from 2008.

Legislation on gender discrimination needs a 'radical overhaul1 if it is to prevent the unlawful sacking of some 30,000 pregnant women a year and close the pay gap, according to a Fawcett society report, Gender equality in the twenty-first century. …

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