UK news in brief

High rate taxpayers face child benefit fines

High earners could be fined if they do not declare they have a partner who recieves child benefit, according to the Treasury. The “penalties” would  be given in cases of non-disclosure of earnings when cuts are introduced in 2013.

The confirmation of the penalties follows reports that a plan to stop child benefit payments to couples with one higher rate earner is unenforceable, which Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said was “nonsense”.

Baby P


Baby P doctor can challenge GMC hearing

A doctor who faced a disciplinary hearing from the GMC after being accused of failing to notice signs that Baby P was being abused has won the right to legally challenge the hearing.

Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat is looking to overturn a GMC ruling that did not grant her “voluntary erasure” from the medical register on health grounds. Her challenge will be heard by the High Court in November.

Air Passenger Duty to rise

Air taxes are to rise on Monday by up to 55%, which will make some trips unafforable according to the travel industry. A family of four faces paying 33% more APD (Air Passenger Duty) on an economy flight to the US. APD on premium class fares is double the economy rate.

Flights under 2,000 miles in economy class will have £11 of tax, journeys of 2,001-4,000 miles will have £60 tax and 4,001-6,000 miles are priced at £75 of APD. Flights of over 6,000 miles will cost £85 in tax in economy class.

7/7 firefighters were “hostile”

Firefighters at the Aldgate tube bombing in July 2005


The 7/7 terrorist attack inquests have heard that firefighters at the Aldgate bombing were “hostile” and “quite upset”. Paramedic Anthony Kamner, who was in the first ambulance to arrive at the Tube station after the attack told the hearings that firefighters “did not understand the role” of the initial ambulance which was to report to the control room describing the situation.

Mr Kamner said firefighters were “demanding” that he take some of the injured to hospital straight away.

Take That ticket sites crash

Ticket websites have struggled to cope with the number of Take That fans bombarding them to buy tickets for next summer’s tour, the first in 16 years to feature the full band line-up including Robbie Williams.

Sites including Ticketmater, Gigs and Tours, Ticketline and The Ticket Factory crashed as fans rushed to get their hands on tickets for dates in Sunderland, Manchester, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, Birmingham and London.