Barometer

Barometer

21 September 2013

9:00 AM

21 September 2013

9:00 AM

Vitamins and the veil

A judge at Blackfriars Crown Court allowed a niqab-wearing defendant to identify herself only to a policewoman, and a Birmingham college reversed a ban on students wearing veils on the campus. While the debate rages, the Jordanian Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics has identified a hazard associated with the garments: vitamin D deficiency. A study of 5,600 Jordanians revealed that 36.5% of niqab-wearers and 37.9% of hijab-wearers suffered from low levels of vitamin D, compared with 29.5% of women who wore no head covering. Just 5% of men suffered from low levels of vitamin D.

Who gives

A poll by the Charities Aid Foundation concluded that 76% of the population account for virtually all charitable giving, and that 9% of the population account for 66% of all giving. How does this compare with income tax? According to HMRC:
14% of taxpayers account for 61.3% of all income tax receipts
1% account for 26.5% of all income tax receipts
— When taxes and benefits are taken into account, 40% of the population are net contributors to the public purse

Who takes


More benefit cheats are to be prosecuted under the Fraud Act. How much of a problem is fraud? According to the Department for Work and Pensions:
£1.2 bn (0.7% of total bill) was lost to fraud in 2011/12
£1.6 bn (0.9% of total bill) was lost to excessive but not fraudulent claims
£0.7 billion (0.4% of total bill) was lost to mistaken overpayments by officials

The worst benefits for fraud or error were:
Pension credit 5.5
Housing benefit 5.3%
Income support 4.6%
Jobseeker’s Allowance 4.2%

Staying down

The cruise ship Costa Concordia was due to be refloated, ending its status as one of the world’s largest wrecks. Some others which remain:
Amoco Cadiz. Sank off Brittany in 1978. Rests in 100 ft of water
Titanic. Sank 90 miles off Newfoundland in 1912. Rests in 12,415 ft of water
USS Oriskany Former US aircraft carrier deliberately sunk to create artificial reef off Florida. Rests in 135 ft of water
MS Estonia. Sank in storm between Tallin and Stockholm, 1994. Rests in 260 ft of water

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