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UK Budget Allows Bank Accounts To Be Raided

 -- Published: Tuesday, 1 April 2014 | Print  | Disqus 

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,286.50, EUR 932.45 and GBP 772.67 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,294.00, EUR 939.86 and GBP 777.78 per ounce.

Gold fell $9.40 or 0.73% yesterday to $1,283.30/oz. Silver remained unchanged at $19.79/oz.

Gold hovered near a 7 week low in London as investors await the jobs report Friday and clarification regarding the Fed’s policy stance after mixed signals from Yellen in recent days. While gold fell in March, it logged a 6.8% gain for the first quarter and is one of the best performing assets year to date.

Gold in U.S. Dollars. Q1, 2014 (Thomson Reuters)

Fed Chair Janet Yellen comments yesterday were dovish but failed to support gold. She said that the U.S. will need increased monetary stimulus for “some time” ahead of U.S. manufacturing data today.

The Fed Chair said March 19th that the central bank may start raising the benchmark interest rate about six months after terminating its bond-buying program later this year. However, many doubt if the struggling U.S. economy is robust enough to handle any more tapering and even mildly higher interest rates.

Silver in US Dollars. Q1, 2014 (Thomson Reuters)

Geo-political risk is, for the moment, again being ignored however the smart money is remaining diversified in anticipation of further tension between Russia and the West, in the Middle East and in the Far East.

UK Bank Accounts Can Be Raided After Budget
HM Revenue & Customs will be able to directly access taxpayers’ bank accounts in order to recover unpaid tax, under measures announced in this month’s Budget speech.

The little noticed move gives HMRC similar powers to raid bank accounts and recover tax and tax credit debts in excess of £1,000.

In the Budget Red Book, the measure is described as follows:

“The government will modernise and strengthen HMRC’s debt collection powers to recover financial assets from the bank accounts of debtors who owe over £1,000 of tax or tax credit debts, have the financial means to pay, and have been contacted multiple times by HMRC to pay.”

At the moment, if HMRC want to seize your property or cash, they have to take you to court, win and then get a court order. Now, after a couple of warning letters and a phone call, they can do it in conjunction with your bank, with a touch of a button.

Crucially, there’s no safeguard built into this system. There should be a transparent and fair process and an appeals process.

Now, if HMRC officials decide you owe them cash, they can just take it directly from your bank account. If you haven't managed to reach agreement with them, then you'll just wake up one morning, check your bank account, and find your cash is gone. No insolvency proceedings, asset freezes, debt collection agencies or court proceedings. Just the government taking out whatever it believes it is owed.

The significant HMRC legislation change was buried deep in the Budget document and comes amid preparations by international monetary and financial authorities and the Bank of England for bail-ins.

The UK government can now confiscate UK citizens money directly from bank accounts while it decides if you have broken the law or not. This is a significant power grab and this and the real risk of bail-ins are another reason to own physical gold outside the banking system, in jurisdictions that respect private property.

Webinar: Dr Marc Faber On Gold, Silver and Asset Allocation In An Uncertain World
This Friday only, April 4th, Dr Marc Faber will give insights into his strategies for protecting and growing wealth in 2014 and beyond.
Register today and don't miss this opportunity to hear one of the world's most respected investment experts.

In this webinar, some of the topics covered with Dr Faber include:

Asian Century? - Western collapse or stagnation?
Events in Ukraine - Allocations to precious metals?
How to own precious metals?
Dollar cost average or lump sum?
Take profits/ rebalance or buy and hold for long term?
When to sell?
Favoured asset allocation?
Other investment and business opportunities?

Please join us for Dr Faber’s webinar this Friday, April 4th, 2014, at 0900 BST.

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 -- Published: Tuesday, 1 April 2014 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source:

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