Jul 26, 2021 - UK will be paying for Covid for decades, say MPs

Taxpayers will bear the costs of Covid "for decades" - and an inquiry will not come soon enough to learn lessons from the pandemic, MPs have said.

In the cross-party reports published on Sunday, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the taxpayer would be exposed to "significant financial risks for decades to come" with the estimated cost of the government's measures having already hit £372bn in May.

The MPs also attacked government spending on unusable protective kit. The Department of Health said there were "processes" to ensure spending gives taxpayers value for money.

UK government debt ...

Jul 23, 2021 - Asylum camp staff were working illegally, inspectors say

It’s not the most damning part of yesterday’s inspection report on the asylum seeker camp at Napier barracks, but it’s certainly the most ironic. Some of the staff charged with running the camp were themselves migrants working in breach of their visa conditions, according to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

In a letter to the Home Office appended to the report, the inspector says that

when the [inspection] team visited Napier on 17-18 February they found that some employees were living onsite in squalid and unsafe accommodation and were seemingly working in breach of...

Jul 23, 2021 - New “High Potential” Visa With No Job Offer Required

“High potential individuals” will in future be able to come to the UK to work without a job offer, the UK government has announced.

The move, building on previous promises to provide an unsponsored work route under the Points Based Immigration System for business visas, comes as part of the UK Innovation Strategy published yesterday.

The document says:

the UK government will introduce a new High Potential Individual route to make it as simple as possible for internationally mobile individuals who demonstrate high potential to come to the UK. Eligibility will be open to applicants who have grad...

Jul 21, 2021 - UK property sales at new record as boom peaks

Property sales in the UK hit a new record level in June, official figures show, but analysts say it may mark the peak of the housing boom.

An estimated 213,120 sales were completed during the month - more than twice the total in May, data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shows.

Commentators said there was a "frenzied rush" before the withdrawal of some of the stamp duty concessions.

But. with demand outstripping supply, they expect prices to keep on rising.

Record sales

In June, sales hit their highest monthly UK total since comparable figures were first collected in April 2005.

The figure w...

Jul 21, 2021 - UK borrowing leads to record interest payments

The UK government spent a record £8.7bn in interest on repaying its debts last month, official figures show.

The figure was more than three times as much as the £2.7bn in interest payments seen in June 2020.

The reason was a surge in inflation, which raised the value of index-linked government bonds.

Overall borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - was £22.8bn, which was £5.5bn lower than June last year.

However, the figure was the second highest for June since records began.

Borrowing has been hitting record levels, with billions being spent on measures such as furlough pa...

Jul 21, 2021 - Home Office refuses to explain secret sham marriage algorithm

The Home Office has rebuffed Public Law Project’s (PLP) the latest attempt to find out more about the secret algorithmic criteria used to decide whether a proposed marriage should be investigated as a “sham”.  Sham marriage investigations can be invasive and unpleasant, and it appears that they are targeted at some nationalities more than others. PLP is concerned about the lack of transparency and possible discrimination involved in the automated triage system, and we would like to make contact with people who may be affected, as well as organizations that support them. 

Jul 21, 2021 - Visit visas can count towards ten years’ long residence

Recently the Court of Appeal in R (Mungur) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1076 has weighed in on what kind of permission to be in the UK can count towards the necessary ten years. Mr Mungur is a citizen of Mauritius who first came to the UK in April 2001 on a visit visa valid until September 2001. He left the UK a few weeks before that visa expired to make a student visa application from abroad (as he was unable to switch into this category from a visit visa while in the UK). The Home Office granted his student visa application, and he returned to the UK in October 2001. Mr Mungur subsequently extended his visa multiple times and it was common ground in the appeal that he had resided lawfully in the UK between 5 October 2001 and 13 July 2011, at which point he became an overstayer. 

Jul 20, 2021 - The UK Government announces simplified tax reporting for self-employed and small businesses

Reforms to the tax system that will make it easier for small businesses to fill out their returns have been announced by the government today (20 July 2021).

The changes, which will come into force by 2023 and have been drawn-up alongside representatives of small businesses, will mean businesses will be taxed on profits arising in a tax year, rather than profits of accounts ending in the tax year. It should help them spend less time filing their taxes - aligning the way self-employed profits are taxed with other forms of income, such as property and investment income.

Financial Secretary to th...

Jul 19, 2021 - Home Office can revoke settlement over historical deception

In another reminder that leave obtained by deception can be revoked, we have the Upper Tribunal decision in R (Matusha) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (revocation of ILR policy) [2021] UKUT 175 (IAC). The case confirms that there “must be clear and justifiable evidence of deception and evidence to show that the deception was material to the grant of leave”.  Section 76 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 allows the Home Office to revoke indefinite leave to remain if it was obtained by deception, but it’s not an absolute rule. In this case, the dispute arose in relation to a Home Office policy which said that “indefinite leave would not normally be revoked where the deception in question… occurred more than five years ago”.

Jul 16, 2021 - The Borders Bill and the Refugee Convention

Under the sub-heading “Interpretation of Refugee Convention“, clauses 27-35 of the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 seek to accomplish four main tasks:

  1. Translate some EU asylum law, currently residing in secondary legislation, into primary legislation.
  2. Turn back the clock on core principles of asylum law in relation to the identification of a “particular social group”, and the test and standard of proof for asylum claimants.
  3. Remove the protection against penalising refugees in Article 33(1) of the Refugee Convention from some asylum claimants.
  4. Lower the threshold for the defi...