|Wednesday 19 June, 2013 Edition #4064|
Investigators say Spain is number one for “benefit fraud abroad”
So investigators from the Department of Work & Pension have today (17 June) issued a fresh appeal to British expats to report anyone they suspect of fraudulently claiming UK benefits whilst living in Spain, to help stop taxpayers’ money being wasted on benefit thieves, when it could be spent on valuable public services such as hospitals and schools.
Married couple Peter and Marilyn Flanders from Exmouth, Devon lied to benefit officials about having no income or property in order to claim a variety of means-tested UK benefits including housing and council tax benefit.
It later transpired that the couple owned a villa in Spain that, if declared, would have made them ineligible for the benefits. In total they had fraudulently claimed over £30'000 of UK taxpayers’ money. They were given confiscation orders and ordered to repay the money they had stolen or face imprisonment. David Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, said: “Taxpayers’ money should be going to the people who need it most, not lining the pockets of criminals. The vast majority of British people overseas are law abiding. But those who are fraudulently claiming benefits while living abroad are committing a crime. We are determined to put a stop to it.” Investigators say the three most common types of benefit fraud in Spain involve people who:
l are on means-tested benefits going abroad but failing to declare their absence.
· have undeclared property abroad. l are working while claiming sickness benefits.
In Spain, claims for Income Support or Pension Credit are the most frequently investigated for fraud.
Benefit fraudsters are thieves, so if you suspect someone of committing benefit fraud in Spain call the free and confidential fraud hotline on 900 554 440, or fill in the online form available at www.dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves-spain.
Four Britons appear in court after Punta Ballena street battle
The four were arrested shortly after 4am, when a Guardia Civil patrol spotted them hitting and kicking anyone who happened to cross their paths and some of the innocent victims apparently needed medical attention.
When the Guardia Civil moved in, the four ran into the crowds in Punta Ballena and sparked a running street battle, by throwing chairs and tables at their fellow compatriots in an attempt to give the police, the slip. However, they failed and were subsequently arrested.
Yesterday, the four, two of which are minors, were charged with resisting arrest, public order offenses and personal injury.
The date for the court hearing has yet to be set.
Carrefour Property will open its new S’Estada complex in 2015
160 million euros is going to be invested in the new complex and, according to Sebastian Palacios, the Director of Operations for Carrefour Property in Spain, once the S’Estada “the business strategy behind it, its design and architecture will make it one of the most outstanding, commercial sites, in Majorca and overseas.” Carrefour Property, will be responsible for investing 120 million of the total 160 million euros, the rest will come from the 120 retailers who are going to be opening stores on the cite.
Palacios said that project, which now has all the necessary planning permission and licenses, will “totally revolutionise” Majorca’s commercial sector.
He also said that consumers will also benefit from new brands and products which until now, were not available in Spain.
The retail park will cover an area of 65'000 square metres and will offer an underground car park and a further 2'800 parking spaces above ground.
The new S’Estada complex will be built on the site where Carrefour already has a hyper market and once complete, the entire commercial complex will spread out over an area of 125'023 square metres.
Construction work is due to start at the end of this summer holiday season and Palacios said that they expect around 12 million people, to visit the complex, every year.
And, the site, which will have a very Mediterranean feel, will create 1'500 direct jobs and a further 2'000 auxiliary positions.
VAC2 IS HOME SAFE AND SOUND
Dan Stevens who owns Mount Batten Ferries, said: “It’s epic to bring her back into British waters. It’s brilliant. “I’m glad that I was in a position to save such an historic boat.”
Dan already has big plans to restore the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II to her former glory.
He will race her in the Cowes, Torquay, in September and the ‘round Britain race’next year.