The financial crisis has fuelled a huge expansion of organised crime in Europe, with 3,600 criminal syndicates active across the continent, profiting from such prosaic products as household detergents, the head of Europol has warned.
Growing numbers of people are being conned out of their pension pots by unscrupulous financial advisers. Cases of workers under 55 being persuaded to “unlock” or “liberate” their pension savings have mushroomed in recent months, in spite of warnings from the police, the insurance industry and regulators.
A focus on short-term fixes by successive governments over the past 50 years has exacerbated the failure of the housing market, according to a report by RICS housing commission. The body was set up in February to find ways to address the housing crisis called yesterday for an end to “short-term and partial policies”.
Ministers have been accused of botching a policy to tackle youth unemployment after fresh evidence emerged that employers were failing to take up a subsidy to hire jobless young people. In a survey of 200 employers by the Recruitment and Employment Federation, none said that they has used a wage incentive of £2,275 on offer for employing a young person who had been out of work for several months. The subsidy is part of the £1bn three-year Youth Contract launched in April 2012 and championed by Nick Clegg.