One night in August 2015, after a long shift at the Bubbles car wash in east London, Sandu Laurentiu was washing himself in the rat-infested shared flat provided by his employer. Shaip Nimani, 53, originally from Kosovo, had illegally bypassed the electricity meter at the property in Bethnal Green and tampered with the fuses to stop them blowing. The plumbing in the damp bathroom was not earthed. While he used the decrepit power shower, Laurentiu was electrocuted and killed. The death of the 40-year-old Romanian labourer renewed concern about conditions at thousands of hand car washes across the country. The washes, which have mushroomed in petrol stations, car parks and empty forecourts, offer cleaning for as little as £5. Often they employ as many as a dozen workers and are open for up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week. There are suspicions of minimum wage, environmental, planning, and health and safety violations, tax evasion – as well as labour exploitation and modern … [Read more...] about What is the true human cost of your £5 hand car wash?
What is the rent
THOUSANDS watch the Trooping the Colour parade at Buckingham Palace - held to mark the Queen's Birthday. Queen Elizabeth II has never missed the occasion. Read on to find out if you need a ticket to watch it... What is Trooping the Colour? Trooping the Colour is an annual event that dates back to Charles II in the 17th century when regiment colours were trooped in front of soldiers so they could recognise their unit in battle. The Queen has taken the salute every year since her coronation in 1953, apart from 1955 when there was a national rail strike. When is Trooping the Colour 2018? Trooping the Colour is traditionally held on the second Saturday of June. Trooping the Colour 2018 will take place on June 9. At around 9.15am, Household Guards troops begin to form, but the Queen will not leave Buckingham Palace until around 10.45am. She will then take a Royal salute from officers and inspect the troops before the Regimental Colour (flag) is carried down the ranks. After Foot … [Read more...] about When is Trooping the Colour 2018, what is the Queen’s official birthday parade and do you need a ticket to watch it?
This tricky little reform was not popular when it was first introduced back in 2013. If you're affected by the ' spare bedroom tax ', or the spare room subsidy as the government refers to it, it means you will be losing out on part of your housing benefit. But who exactly does it affect and what does it mean? Here's all you need to know. What is the bedroom tax? The under-occupancy penalty, spare room subsidy or bedroom tax as it's more commonly known, is a welfare reform that sees housing benefit reduced if a tenant has a spare bedroom. It came into effect under the coalition government in 2013 as part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The policy was introduced to encourage council tenants living in houses too big for their needs to move to smaller properties, thereby freeing places for large families living in cramped conditions. During the 2015 election campaign, Labour pledged to repeal the act after concerns arose that the policy would force more families into the more … [Read more...] about What is the ‘bedroom tax’ and who has to pay it?
THE Queen’s income is set to increase by eight per cent from £76million in 2017-18 to £82.2million the following year. So how has Her Majesty made her incredible fortune and what's our head of state's net worth? What is Queen Elizabeth II’s net worth? Forbes has estimated the Queen’s private net worth at around £415million. This cash comes mostly from the Duchy of Lancaster which is made up of 18,454 hectares of land in England and Wales. The Queen is also believed to have her own private investments, jewels, cars, horses and royal and historic items of value. However, most of the Queen's household income - covering her personal and family expenses - comes from an annual government grant. The cash is a small fraction of the profits from the Crown Estate, a vast property empire that belongs to the monarch but whose revenues go to the Treasury. The Queen also gets to enjoy the assets that are technically attributed to the Crown, including Buckingham … [Read more...] about What is the Queen’s net worth and how much does Queen Elizabeth II earn a year?
SHOCK claims saw dozens of MPs accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. As new sanctions to punish MPs for harassing their staff are announced, here's the lowdown on the saga. What is the dossier of Conservative MPs accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour? A dossier was compiled by Tory aides detailing allegations against of sexual impropriety against Conservative MPs. The list included six Cabinet Ministers. Accusations ranged from affairs to more specific claims such as one Minister said to be "handsy with women at parties", and a backbencher who is "perpetually intoxicated and very inappropriate with women". The list accused two MPs of using the services of prostitutes while a well-known female MP was accused of having extramarital sex with young male researchers. One former senior Tory was said to have propositioned his secretary by asking her to “come and feel the length of my c**k”. Amid the most startling claims was … [Read more...] about What is the Westminster sex scandal, which MPs have been involved and what are the new sanctions?