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Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2010 to Jun 2014

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2010 to Jun 2014
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

  • There were 2,100,162 actively trading businesses in Australia in June 2014.
  • The number of actively trading businesses in Australia increased by 1% between June 2013 and June 2014.
  • The business entry rate increased from 11.2% in 2012-13 to 13.7% in 2013-14.
  • The business exit rate decreased from 14.0% in 2012-13 to 12.7% in 2013-14.
  • 61.7% of the businesses that were actively trading in Australia in June 2010 were still operating in June 2014.
  • Half of the businesses that started operating in 2010-11 were still operating in June 2014.

Legalized Tax Fraud: How Top US Corporations Continue to Profit Through Offshore Tax Havens

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Legalized Tax Fraud: How Top US Corporations Continue to Profit Through Offshore Tax Havens
Source: U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget (Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today called on America’s leading corporations to stop sheltering profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens. He also urged them to stop lobbying Congress for additional tax breaks as the Business Roundtable, an organization representing some of the largest corporations in the country, is expected to do tomorrow.

Sanders issued a new report that provides a fresh glimpse into the far-reaching corporate tax avoidance strategies of large and profitable companies represented by the Business Roundtable, including what he calls the “legalized tax fraud” of sheltering profits in offshore tax havens.

The report shows for the first time how more than 50 percent of the companies represented by the Business Roundtable are collectively holding more than $1 trillion in profits in offshore tax haven countries where it is not subject to U.S. taxes.

The report also shows that several of the companies have been profitable for years but pay nowhere near the 35 percent income tax rate that nominally applies to corporate profits. In fact, according to a report last year by the Government Accountability Office, the effective tax rate for large, profitable corporations was just 12.6 percent in 2010, a figure that Sanders is asking the GAO to update today. The report also points out that a number of huge corporations – including General Electric, Boeing, Duke Energy and Verizon – not only have paid nothing in federal income tax in recent years, they received refunds from the IRS.

UK — Choice in end of life care

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Choice in end of life care
Source: Department of Health

The independently led Review of Choice in End of Life Care has provided advice to Government which includes:

  • establishing a ‘national choice offer’ focused on individual’s end of life care needs by April 2020
  • providing an additional £130 million funding for end of life health and social care services
  • establishing 24/7 community end of life care by 2019 in all areas
  • implementing shared electronic end of life care records by April 2018 in all areas
  • a named responsible senior clinician for all people approaching the end of life

In Focus: European Shipping Week 2015

March 3, 2015 Comments off

In Focus: European Shipping Week 2015
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Our focus this week is on shipping, with EU policy makers and stakeholders meeting in Brussels for EU Shipping Week. The shipping industry is a solid pillar of the EU economy, with almost 90% of EU external freight trade carried by sea, and short-sea shipping representing 40% of intra-EU exchanges in terms of ton-kilometers. EPRS has a number of publications available to help keep you up-to-date with the different economic, social, environmental and technological issues facing EU shipping.

Constitutional Provisions on National and Religious Identity

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Constitutional Provisions on National and Religious Identity
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains information on provisions in constitutions and other founding documents specifying an ethnic or religious identity for an Asian or European country. Section I covers twenty countries and includes those indicating an ethnic identity and in some cases also a religious one. Section II covers four countries for whom those documents mention only a religious identity, not an ethnic one, and whose constitutions indicate that the specified religion is the basis for legislation. Section III covers thirteen countries that specify a religion, without necessarily indicating that religion is the basis of legislation and without any single ethnic identity.

Country Analysis Brief: Nigeria

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Nigeria
Source: Energy Information Administration

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa, holds the largest natural gas reserves on the continent, and is among the world’s top five exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Nigeria became a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1971, more than a decade after oil production began in the oil-rich Bayelsa State in the 1950s.1 Although Nigeria is the leading oil producer in Africa, production suffers from supply disruptions, which have resulted in unplanned outages as high as 500,000 barrels per day (bbl/d).

15 Minutes to Leave: Denial of the Right to Adequate Housing in Post-Quake Haiti

March 2, 2015 Comments off

15 Minutes to Leave: Denial of the Right to Adequate Housing in Post-Quake Haiti
Source: Amnesty International

Five years on from a devastating earthquake in Haiti, tens of thousands of people remain homeless as government policy failures, forced evictions and short-term solutions have failed many who lost everything in the disaster.

The new report, “15 Minutes to Leave” – Denial of the Right to Adequate Housing in Post-Quake Haiti, documents worrying cases of people being forcibly evicted from temporary, make-shift camps. The report also explores how the influx of development aid that came in the wake of the disaster failed to be transformed into long-term, secure housing solutions.

According to the latest data, 123 camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) remain open in Haiti, housing 85,432 people. While the number of those in camps has reduced significantly since 2010, more than 22,000 households are still without adequate housing.

Conditions in many IDP camps are dire. A third of all those living in camps do not have access to a latrine. On average 82 people share one toilet.

Forced evictions from camps are a serious and ongoing problem. More than 60,000 people have been forcibly evicted from their shelters in makeshift camps since 2010. The vast majority were not offered any alternative locations where they could resettle, pushing them again into poverty and insecurity.

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