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THE RAIN TODAY IN SPAIN ... IS BAD!
27 April 2013

A guy on Entre Naranjos, outside San Miguel de Salinas, Costa Blanca, just posted THIS video of Entre Naranjos roads on FB!

Many are posting photos & messages about the torrential rain where they are in the Torrevieja area & further afield.



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SPAIN’S CONTROVERSIAL asset declaration law and its “discrimination” against expats
26 April 2013

 SPAIN’S CONTROVERSIAL asset declaration law and its “discrimination” against expats will be discussed by a Costa Blanca council.

The independent CIBE party of Benissa is calling for the government in Madrid to rethink the rules because of the “unsettling effect” it is having on non-Spanish residents.

And although the meeting will be after the 30th April reporting deadline, the initiative has been welcomed by the Valencia-based protest group Concerned European Citizens.
A spokesman for the group said: “It is an effort that could and should be replicated to good effect in other towns on the Mediterranean coast and inland where there are large percentages in the local population of non-Spanish, especially EU residents.

“It might encourage other local politicians to present similar motions to their town councils. Benissa may be more vulnerable to a sudden egress of non-Spanish residents. According to a recent report published by the Spanish National Institute for Statistics, Benissa already has the fourth highest percentage, 44%, of empty houses in all of Spain.”

He said Alvaro Mendoza, leader of CIBE, was a lawyer dealing with non-Spanish residents who could testify to the “anxiety” of many expats being compelled to provide sensitive personal information with no guarantees the data would be protected against misuse or unauthorised disclosure.
Under the declaration rules, Spanish nationals and expats who are tax residents in Spain must disclose assets of more than 50,000€ - or face prohibitive penalties.

PETITION
The Concerned European Residents group has already sent a petition to Brussels alleging the declaration broke EU laws and discriminated against non-Spanish residents.
The group is also fearful of a ‘tax grab’ in the future under a law that is designed to clamp down on money flowing out of Spain and concerns of tax evasion and money laundering.

And the protest has won the backing of the powerful and influential European Citizen Action Service in Brussels, which has submitted its own complaint to the European Commission over the “failure to comply with EU law by the Kingdom of Spain”.

It is signed by ECAS’s legal supervisor Anthony Valcke, as is a similar petition to the European Parliament.
Concerned European Citizens says it is grateful for the “well-founded” ECAS interventions and for its “understanding and assistance”.

The spokesman added: “What is key is that this gets to the Finance minister in Madrid without delay if there is any hope of his introducing a degree of flexibility for those who stand to suffer from the asset declaration process and what may follow.”
He believes many Spanish citizens “as before” simply ignore their government’s demands. “It is the expat community which is in peril now.”

Source: RTN


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Health matters discussed
26 April 2013

 STRICT RULES over accessing Spanish healthcare for British residents and visitors are being clearly explained in key question and answer sessions.

The new European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) Outreach Campaign is a unique partnership between the Department of Health team based at the British Consulate in Alicante and Spanish Colleagues at the Valencia Health authority.

And the campaign is aimed at outlining the correct use of EHIC for visitors – while encouraging those who live mainly in Spain to register for healthcare in other ways to insure they are fully protected.
The campaign, which is partly funded with EU cash, rolled into Javea on Tuesday where a third of the population is British – with 9,000 Brits registered with the town hall and an estimate 10,000 more resident in the town but yet to sign the Padron.

Martyn Standing, of the Department of Health team, said the phenomenon of “people who live here but don’t live here” was repeated across Spain.
And he said of EHIC. “We have ‘swallows’, people who spend part of the year here quite legitimately and people who live here – if you live here and use this card, it is not the correct way to access health care.”

RUMOUR
He said it was rumoured that the UK did not pay Spain for British citizens receiving healthcare but in 2011/12 the British Government had paid Spain 237 million euros for its commitments to fund the EHIC scheme and those entitled to care funded by the UK.

“It paid 4,267€ for every pensioner who is registered for healthcare, regardless of how much the healthcare costs – you may not have seen a doctor or received hundreds of thousands of euros worth of treatment.”
He told the meeting an EHIC was for people on a temporary stay in Spain and entitled people to all the medical treatment necessary during that time.

Martyn explained what was “medically necessary” was decided by a doctor and would be given on the same basis as a person paying contributions in Spain
He added: “It can include routine treatment or the monitoring of an ongoing condition and can also include oxygen and dialysis but we recommend you plan this is advance.”
He said pensioners living in Spain were issued a UK EHIC for healthcare when they were outside Spain.

PENSIONERS
The UK Government pays for the healthcare of pensioners and people on long-term sickness benefit living in Spain and also paid for early retirees for a short period, usually 30 months depending on National Insurance contributions.

Martyn said last year Spanish healthcare was reformed and its management taken from individual anonymous governments to the central INSS, the National Institute of Social Security.
He said people entitled to Spanish healthcare were those working and paying contributions; those in receipt of Spanish benefits or a pension; people who previously worked in Spain; those who qualify for healthcare funded by the UK; and the dependants of these groups.

“If you are not covered but you held a residency certificate issued before 24th April 2012, you can qualify for healthcare as a resident and do not need to have paid anything into the social security system,” added Martyn. “It is on condition you are not covered by any other means.”

And the audience was told that any problems using an EHIC card within Europe should be reported to Brussels to the European Commission. “They take EHIC refusal very seriously; they don’t like it at all. If you have been refused treatment you should write to Brussels.”

Expats resident in Spain can visit website healthcareinspain.eu to find out how to register correctly.

Source: RTN



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Corvera Airport in Crisis?
19 April 2013

 Corvera airport has been completed for 15 months, yet is still not open. A combination of factors have caused delays: issues over airspace use, the bureaucratic difficulties in opening a new customs point, the complex paperwork required to open a new airport, but above all, the failure to agree terms with Aena to transfer operations from San Javier to Corvera.

The concessionary is unwilling to open without the closure of San Javier, but the Ministry for Development is refusing to move without compensation and neither the regional government nor concessionary have a spare 70 million to pay them. This week it's been reported that the concessionary is ready to throw in the towel, leaving the regional government with an unopened airport and a 200 million loan that it too, can´t afford to pay.

More info in link in blue below.

Source: Murcia Today



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Benijofar vet charged with murder
18 April 2013

 IT’S NOT often that the small town of Benijofar, population, 4,200, makes world wide news. But this week, the town entered infamy because local vet Marcelo Gurruchaga has been charged with the murder of his wife. Two days later, after being questioned by his children where their mother was, he went to the Guardia Civil with a box of ashes in his hands. Inside the box were the ashes of his wife, Argentina 46, who had died earlier in the week. The woman died on Holy Thursday, allegedly from a drug overdose after going into depression because of her ongoing fight with obesity. 


Gurruchaga told police that he unsuccessfully tried to revive his wife for three hours. He then dismembered her body and took the remains to an animal incinerator company, telling them the bags contained dog remains for cremation.

The husband took a week to notify the Civil Guard that his wife had died of a drug overdose, although other press reports say that possibly some sort of home liposuction process was being undertaken at the time. Those who knew the victim do not lend credence to the story that Argentina died during a botched liposuction performed by her husband at the clinic.

The pet business, Pet Care was going well, according to his neighbours. Gurruchaga and his wife opened the modern clinic, in 2007, after emigrating from Argentina. They had built a strong customer base of mainly British and German clients from the nearby developments and Benimar Ciudad Quesada. He was responsible for operations and Argentina attended at the store and the pet hair salon.

The alleged killer presented himself at the Civil Guard barracks in Almoradí (Alicante) to give his version of the death of his wife a week later. He had chosen one of the most effective methods at its disposal to destroy traces of a corpse. "This takes time and determination. Typically, these acts are committed by people who have something to hide" explains Professor of Criminology at the University of Valencia (UV) Vicente Garrido. "If you really committed suicide, why get rid of the body?" The Professor of Criminal Law at the UV José Luis González Cussac says: "Without the body it is very difficult to get a conviction for murder." He added that the accused could face a penalty of illegal exhumation exiguous.

A bizarre case that will put the town of Benijofar on the Google map for all the wrong reasons.
 
Source: RTN

 



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Spain cracks down on home rentals to tourists
16 April 2013

 Thousands of homeowners in Spain will no longer be able to rent out their properties to tourists on a short term basis if Spain's Senate approves a new law that would make the practice illegal.

Spain's Senate are set to vote in the coming week's on a law that would make it illegal for homeowners to rent out their properties to tourists on a short term basis.

Authorities believe around 20,000 properties will be affected.

The law is aimed at cracking down on the thousands of people who currently rent out their homes independently to holiday makers over the internet, a practice which hotel owners have long criticised for undermining the country's tourist trade.

"It would be a declaration of principle against renting out property for a certain number of days. Now all that needs to be done is to create the rules that would make it illegal to offer an apartment for holiday rental," said Eliseo Martinez Secretary General of Asotur, an organisation which deals with property rental for tourists.

Spain's housing crisis has resulted in a proliferation of apartments that are being rented out "irregularly" to tourists for a certain number of days. In Madrid around 3,000 properties are believed to be on the rental market unbeknown to authorities.

The new legislation, which has already been approved by Spain's Congress, would hand the power of regulating the renting of properties to regional governments and would make temporary leasing by a private property owner illegal.

Short-term renting to tourists, whether for the summer period or on a day-by-day basis, has up to now been a civil right enshrined in Spain’s Urban Rental law (LAU).

But the government appears to have finally listened to the pleas of hotel owners.

In its new National Tourism Plan, the Spanish government stated “there has been a significant increase in this type of leasing” and described it as “unfair competition” for the country’s traditional tourism model.

Property owners in Spain however fear that everyone will be tarred with the same brush, even those who rent their properties legally.

"It’s true that there are a lot of underground deals, but we’re against that", Asotur president David Tornos told 20 minutos.

“We pay our taxes and stick to the law, but hotel owners say we’re pirates. We want to be monitored and to be allowed to do our jobs."

Source: THE LOCAL SPAIN NEWS IN ENGLISH



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The high speed RENFE trains will begin to arrive in Alicante this summer
11 April 2013

HIGH SPEED rail links to the Costa Blanca are vital to the future of the tourist industry and the region’s economy – including the creation of jobs – it was claimed this week.

The Valencia Government undertaking a feasibility study to investigate extending the AVE rail network to Denia and Benidorm, the two centres linked by the narrow gauge TRAM line.

The high speed RENFE trains will begin to arrive in Alicante this summer after the direct line between the city and Madrid finally opens – making it possible to travel directly by rail from northern Europe.


President of the Valencia Generalitat Alberto Fabra announced the government’s commitment for the project named ‘Train of the Coast’.

Valencia is already linked to the AVE network but the mainline south from Spain’s third largest city ends at Gandia, yet for decades there have been calls for the line to be extended to its historic terminus at Denia – a move that remains controversial.

And the high speed spur between Alicante and Spain’s most famous resort, Benidorm, has been planned for a number of years.

ESSENTIAL

Last year the regional government announced a programme of engineering works along the TRAM line between Benidorm and Denia after claims it was to be closed. Thousands of people signed petitions calling for the link to be maintained, saying it was essential for both commuters and holidaymakers.

Mr Fabra said a direct rail link between Valencia and Alicante was “essential” to open up new opportunities for tourism in the region.

And he said the coastal train service would be fully integrated into Valencia’s transport system and the Spanish rail network – part of a protocol signed by central government, RENFE, and Valencia in 2011.

“This is strategically important for both tourists and for improving the quality of life of residents who live here or want to live here with us in the coming years,” he said.

Mr Fabra said the new age of the train was fully supported by town halls because of the visitors it would bring to the whole region.

And he said visitor numbers to the Costa Blanca as a whole were expected to leap in June when the Ave line between Alicante and Madrid opened.

INTERNATIONAL

He said it was a “qualitative and quantitative” jump in the accessibility of the coast to tourists – a region which had “one of the best international airports in Spain” in Alicante’s El Altet Airport and a comprehensive network of motorways linking it to Europe.

The president said tourism remained one of the main assets of the Costa Blanca and the whole of Valencia’s coastline – the Costa boasting 120 Blue Flags for the quality of its beaches.

“We are confident tourism is a sector we can continue to grow and develop – it remains a key area for us because it remains our past, our present and our future.”

Calpe Councillor Carole Saunders was with Mr Fabra as he outlined the proposals for the future of the railway network on the coast.

“It appears the Gandia to Denia extension remains the most controversial section because of its likely environmental impact,” she explained.

“Unfortunately, you have to weigh the cost of any environmental damage against the number of jobs being created and bringing more tourists to the area – tourism is our most important industry now.”
 

Source: RTN



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SEMINARS TO BE HELD REGARDING WORLDWIDE ASSET DECLARATION
11 April 2013

 SEMINARS TO BE HELD REGARDING WORLDWIDE ASSET DECLARATION.

Seen on Facebook...

"I have received a number of emails requesting more information about my statement of the law coming from the EU.
Many have said that no other country has this law, Yes, that may be correct at this moment and normally Spain drags its feet re directives but not this one.

For more information please visit www.agenciatributaria.gob.es/AEAT.sede/tramitacion/GI34.shtml
With regards to the now two seminars (see further down the page for details) at each venue, there will be a Gestor supported by senior staff to supply you with the forms and assist you in completing them.

I realize we are approaching the dreaded date of April 30th, but better late than never, as the fines are really shocking. Let’s face it Spain is seeking money to support their economy, so you can imagine that non disclosures will be heavily fined. 

I agree with everyone else, when they state that it is frightening and an intrusion into their lives and privacy. However, it is not just the expat community who is having to make a declaration, but the Spanish Nationals as well, and sadly there is no way around it. 

I mentioned last time that I am now associated with the de Vere Group the largest independent financial company in the world. I am delighted at long last that I seem to have finally managed to obtain some excellent people and companies to support Ex Pats Services, which will offer a service, on the everyday requirements to be able to live legally in Spain along with your financial requirements.

Andy Oliver who is in overall charge of De Vere Spain together with a member of JP Morgan asset management will help and advise you on which documents are required to present the declaration of your worldwide assets. In addition to the declaration, they will also be discussing how you can protect your investments and maximise the benefits of living abroad, tax benefits and the potential of leaving your pension in total to the beneficiaries of your choice. Things change so rapidly in the financial world, that what was beneficial yesterday is not necessarily so today. 

The two venues are, on the 18th April the Hotel La Laguna on the Lemon Tree Road, off the CV 895 at 18.30 , drinks will be served from 18.00 hrs.

The second venue will be in the Parador Hotel in Javea on 25th April at 11.30 am and to be repeated at 18.30 hrs, please come 30 minutes early and have a drink with us.

My ladies/gents will be on hand to assist you with any insurance matters or just to say hello. We look forward to seeing you.

It would be helpful if you could telephone Ayla on 965 326209 or Mandy on 966 461690 or email to ayla@expatsservicesspain.co.uk to reserve your seat."

Source: Facebook 



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Baroness Thatcher 87 died this morning.
08 April 2013

Former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died of a stroke today aged 87.

 

Her spokesman Lord Bell revealed the news that the former politician had passed away peacefully after a long battle with poor health.

 

Lord Bell said: 'It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.

 

'A further statement will be made later.'

 

Britain’s first and only woman prime minister, who won three consecutive general elections, has been in fragile health since she suffered a series of minor strokes more than a decade ago. 

 

She suffered acute short-term memory loss and had a series of strokes over a decade.

 

She spent 11 years in Downing Street, the longest run by any 20th century prime minister.

 

In 1990, a leadership challenge forced her to leave No 10 and two years later she was made a life peer, as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.

 

In recent years she has led a quiet life cared for by her loyal housekeeper Kate. She suffered a minor stroke in 2002 which left her with short-term memory loss. 

 

Her beloved husband Denis died in 2003 and her children Mark and Carol both live abroad.

 

Her health was thrust into the global spotlight this year with the release of a Hollywood film about her with Meryl Streep in the lead role.

 

The Iron Lady drew criticism from David Cameron and others for concentrating on the dementia she has suffered. Miss Streep won an Oscar for the role.

 

Lady Thatcher was not well enough to join the Queen for a lunch with former and serving prime ministers as part of the Diamond Jubilee this summer. And two years ago she missed an 85th birthday party thrown in her honour by Mr Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

 

In October she was sufficiently well, however, to mark her 87th birthday with lunch at a restaurant in London’s  St James’s district with Mark and his wife.

Iron Lady Baroness Thatcher, the grocer's daughter, who became the longest serving British prime minister of the 20th century, is expected to be honoured with a full state funeral at Wesminster Abbey. 

 

Not since Winston Churchill has a politician been granted such a tribute. During her 11 years at Number 10 she changed not only the face of Britain but the entire world.

Source: Daily Mail



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BESEIGED EXPATS fighting Spain’s draconian new asset declaration law have found allies in Costa Blanca town halls.
04 April 2013

 Local politicians fear their expat residents will be driven away by the controversial legislation and new immigrants choose other countries for a new home in the sun – hitting the fragile economies along the coast.


And town halls are worried that the legislation, which demands the declaration of overseas assets worth more than 50,000€, is ill conceived and has already spread “havoc and panic” in their communities.

Passed by Royal Decree last November, the rules require Spaniards and expats classed as fiscal residents to make a declaration by 30th April or face prohibitive penalties that could exceed the value of any undisclosed holdings.

Expats facing being caught up in Madrid’s trawl through the country have already branded the law “the new Spanish Inquisition” and believe the declaration is a forerunner for new taxes or levies in a “money grab” by the recession hit state.

Enter a White Knight. Oscar Anton is Deputy Mayor of Javea and its councillor for Finance. Supported by other town halls he is calling on Madrid to rethink its new law.

The leader of Xabia Democratica – a political party supported by a large number of expats in the Marina Alta town – he has organised two meeting with finance experts, the second was last night (Thursday) to help explain the declaration rules.

TARGET

However, Mr Anton believes the asset declaration exercise is missing its intended target – Spanish citizens moving money abroad to avoid taxes – and instead hitting foreign residents keen to abide by the rules.
“People living here and paying taxes must declare assets over 50,000€. Why? Because the government is not thinking of the expats but the Spaniards sending money out of Spain,” he said.

“Madrid wants to know how much is going to Switzerland or Germany or wherever. But what has happened? In this area and mainly in places where there are large numbers of expats facing this situation of having to declare everything. They are already paying their income taxes.

“I want to present a motion explaining to Madrid that they don’t realise what they have done to the expat – the spirit of the law was for the Spanish not foreign residents.”

Mr Anton said the declaration did not mean new taxation but added: “Everyone is in a panic because of the economic situation (in Spain) and this kind of thing does not help.”

He said he would underline the importance of expats to local economies and how much money they brought into the country.

QUESTION

“I want to say to Madrid that we are not happy about the law and the government must limit things because in future people will not choose Spain to make a new home because the state will be asking you a lot of questions,” said the politician.

“People are coming here to retire and relax or to work – they pay their taxes, we do not want more taxes from them because they spend their money in our shops, restaurants and bars and for our services. It is wrong to get to these people.”

Meanwhile the fight back by worried expats against the directive continues to gather pace with a ‘manifesto’ being prepared to show the extent of fears in the foreign community.

A petition is also being urgently being prepared for Brussels raising important questions with the European Parliament regarding legitimacy of the declaration process under European Union law and complaints have also sent to the European Commission – with the possibility of a challenge in the European court of Justice.

Part of the draft manifesto states: “We are now becoming increasingly concerned that we are being targeted under the terms of recent anti-fraud and asset declaration laws being forced to reveal in great detail sensitive personal information and data tom others including authorities with no guarantees that this information will not be used in a tax or asset grab to follow from the declaration or to conduct detailed reassessments of past tax returns.

“We are further concerned about the disproportionate penalties for even minor reporting errors, when these derive from information provided under different reporting systems and are passed via third parties in a form few of us understand.”

Source: RTN 




 



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£8,795 Toyota Landcruiser 4.2 TD VX 5DR AUTO 2001(IN LEICS IN UK)
02 April 2013

This is a vehicle my friend's selling.


 5 Doors, Automatic, Station Wagon, Diesel, 73,946 miles, Blue, MOT Feb 2014, 3 Owners.

This is the top spec model with every toy and accessory ...

includes cruise control, electric body lift, comfort control, electric windows all round, electric mirrors and electric fold away, air con, overdrive, sports mode, power speed mode, electric heated seats with 2 driver memory settings, face off radio with cd multichanger, heater controls for front and rear, auto climate control settings, auxillary 12v.

3 owners from new.

This has just had an MOT on 22/02/13, it only needed rear brake pads which were done. Think fob batteries need changing. Body work in very good order.

Runs great with very low miles.. not to be missed. Cannot find any faults what so ever. V5 present this was stolen from UK and recovered from Portugal, insurance cleared and had to have a full police inspection to be clear to make sure it wasn't cloned which the vehicle is untouched, all the info and paperwork to prove this will be supplied with police contact details.

All offers will be considered. Insurance Group:15, please call Revs Leicester on 0116 251 8463.

£8,795 ono

Please note that there are more details, Vehicle Summary, Performance & Economy & Dimensions in the advert in >> AUTOTRADER << 

 



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Expats are the target of a new law on worldwide asset declaration
02 April 2013

 A recent report on national Spanish TV makes it clear that expats have good reason to be worried about a new law obliging them to declare their assets outside of Spain.

The new law “affects all residents in Spain, including the 1 million foreigners who make tax declarations in Spain,” explains the news clip, which was aired on the national news (RTVE) on March 17th.

According to Spain’s new reporting requirements all residents have to declare assets abroad worth €50,000 or more (per category) before the end of April.

Relatively few Spaniards have assets outside of Spain, but hundreds of thousands of retired European expats living in Spain have properties, bank accounts, trusts, and pension funds back at home. This law hits them harder than anyone else. Experts suggest it was designed to do so.

“We think this law goes for the collective of retired foreigners resident in Spain, who live on our coasts, and who normally maintain links with their country of origin…. bank accounts, properties,” explains Estebán Raventós, a partner of the prestigious international law firm Baker & McKenzie (starting at 0.16 in the clip). “Watch out! These people are obliged to report [their assets] before the 30th April this year.”

Source: SPI



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Web licence to be compulsory for ALL internet users
01 April 2013

 Internet users have been dealt a huge blow after documents leaked to MoneySavingExpert.com reveal EVERYONE who browses the web will have to buy a yearly internet licence from next April, or face a hefty fine.

The likely £50/year licence will be imposed on anyone who accesses the internet, be it on a computer, mobile, tablet or via their TV.

The move will be a blow for hard-pressed consumers faced with rising bills across the board — already today, water bills, dental certificates and English prescriptions are all rising in price.

Closing the loophole

The Government, which it is believed to be set to announce full details tomorrow, is understood to want to introduce the licence partly to stop the growing number of people who are legally watching TV without a licence.

The rules state anyone who watches or records live TV, on a TV set, computer, tablet or mobile needs a TV licence. However, if you only watch on catch-up TV such as iPlayer or ITV Player, even if programmes are broadcast in advance of TV transmission, no licence is necessary (see the MSE TV licence guide for more information).

The current TV colour licence costs £145.50 a year, while a black and white one is set at £49.

As with the TV licence, you'll only need one internet licence per home. It's initially expected to be priced at a flat £50, and this will cover all devices within that property to access the internet — whether black and white or colour.

The new internet licensing company will have detector equipment and officers out and about which can tell whether or not you're using the internet. It can then check if you're registered on their system.

If you don't have an internet licence, but you're caught using the web outside of your workplace (which will also need a licence), you can be fined up to £1,000.

MoneySavingExpert to help its users with the fee

MoneySavingExpert.com creator Martin Lewis says: "The introduction of this internet licence is a disgrace. However, to help those who use our website a lot, we're considering a new scheme for regular users where we will contribute towards their web licence. This should help take some of the financial pressure off consumers looking to save cash.

"We're still working out the exact costs to determine who we'll be able to help, but hope to be able to provide an update by lunchtime today."

We contacted the Free Web Alliance. Its spokeswoman, Eileen Johnson, told us: "This whole thing is one massive joke. The internet has been free to use ever since it was founded, it's one of its binding principles. This is the thin end of the wedge."

Comment/Discuss

Discuss this MSE news story: Web licence blow

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IMPORTANT update, 12.01pm. After a successful campaign by MoneySavingExpert.com, the Government backed down from this proposal at 12:01pm, 1 April. Martin Lewis, creator of MoneySavingExpert.com, says: "We've battled hard since midnight to stop this foolish folly, and thankfully its been confirmed the web licence idea has been canned, as is should be."



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