Bank Account Raid Powers Needed Or Taxes Will Rise – Cameron

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,292.75, EUR 938.95 and GBP 765.08 per ounce.
Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,289.00, EUR 933.25 and GBP 762.54 per ounce.

Gold fell $0.50 or 0.04% Friday to $1,288.70/oz. Silver slipped $0.02 or 0.1% to $19.15/oz. Gold and silver were both down for the week 0.74% and 1.54% respectively.

Gold recovered on Monday after falling 0.5%. Safe haven demand from escalating geopolitical tensions in Ukraine is supporting gold. Gold is a proven safe haven at times of political and economic uncertainty.

Spot Gold Price in U.S. Dollars, 1 Month – (Thomson Reuters)

Gold in euros has eked out marginal gains again after the European Central Bank said it was ready to loosen monetary policy even further next month. European gold buyers have realised that the euro is not going to be a store of value in the coming years.

In Ukraine, pro-Moscow separatists declared a resounding victory in a referendum on self-rule for eastern Ukraine. Fighting is increasing in a conflict increasingly out of control.

Spot Gold Price in U.S. Dollars, 10 Years – (Thomson Reuters)

Chinese demand remains very robust and looks set to surpass 2,000 tonnes in 2014. Chinese gold premiums over the global benchmark have climbed to about $3 an ounce after trading at a discount for most of the last two months on weak demand, showing continuing demand.

Bank Account Raid Powers Needed Or Taxes Will Rise – Cameron
Taxes will have to rise unless officials are given new powers to raid people’s bank accounts, David Cameron told Sky News yesterday.

The Treasury select committee warned that allowing HM Revenue and Customs to remove cash from bank accounts without court orders is “very concerning” because of its history of mistakes according to The Telegraph.

The committee said that taxpayers could suffer “serious detriment” if officials are able, either by mistake or through an “abuse” of power, to take money from people who have done no wrong.

Mr Cameron bizarrely claimed that the alternative was to “put up taxes”.

“We have a choice here. If we don’t collect taxes properly and make sure people pay their taxes properly we look at the problems of having to raise tax rates. I don’t want to do that, so I support the changes the Chancellor set out in the Budget which is to really say that not paying your taxes is not acceptable.”

“It is very clear that they can only do this if there is a debt of over £1,000, they can only do it if there’s £5,000 or more in the account after this has been completed. The general principle – do we want to pursue every avenue of making people pay their taxes they are meant to pay before we put up taxes, because that’s the alternative – absolutely, yes we do.”

Yesterday, chartered accountants noted that monies should only be taken with citizen’s approval or by a court order. ICAEW, the body representing accountants, said that members are worried the about government “mistakes and misuse”.

Under these proposed new measures, tax officials will have an automatic power to take money from a bank account when the holder has failed to act on four formal warnings requiring payment. Presently, monies can only be removed with the with the consent of a magistrate or judge.

The UK Treasury claims that the new power is only used against those who have repeatedly refused to pay their taxes. However, MPs say in their report:

“The ability directly to have access to millions of taxpayers’ bank accounts raises concerns about the risk of fraud and error. This policy is highly dependent on HMRC’s ability accurately to determine which taxpayers owe money and what amounts they owe, an ability not always demonstrated in the past. Incorrectly collecting money will result in serious detriment to taxpayers.”

The UK Revenue has faced repeated criticism over the accuracy of its tax records and its handling of sensitive personal data.

This is another example of creeping powers that pose a real threat to bank deposits. These risks highlight the importance of diversifying and having some of your wealth outside the vulnerable banking and financial system.

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