The independent du 01-07-2022
238 pages

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238 pages
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Publié par
Date de parution 01 juillet 2022
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 40 Mo


T H U R S DAY 3 0 J U N E 2 0 2 2 W W W.I N D E P E N D E N T.CO.U K
Nato promise Britain to commit 1,000 extra troops to Estonia
Kim Sengupta Ellie Fry Louis Chilton Clemence Michallon
Britain can cut off Women’s rights are TV’s most puerile Enduring mystery of
Putin’s oil money under fire here too show is finally axed the Alcatraz escape
Wimbledon dream over for Raducanu
Britain’s No 1 makes a second-round exit from the Championship yesterday with a straight-sets loss
The firms cashing in on
housing for vulnerable
More than £130m handed to companies exposed by regulator
housing providers that have that huge sums in housingINVESTIGATION
been named and shamed by benefit for “exemptSIMON MURPHY AND MAY
the regulator, it can be accommodation” have beenBULMAN
revealed. An investigation by given to organisations despite
More than £132m in taxpayer The Independent and judgments or notices from the
money has been handed to openDemocracy has found Regulator of Social Housing.THURSDAY 30 JUNE 2022
N e w s
E d ito rials
Nato must not scrimp on
vital cash for Ukraine
It’s hardly unusual to spot a chasm between the well-meaning,
brave and inspirational text that emerges from an international
summit and the actual reality of the situation the declaration
purports to cover. This has been consistently true of the various
climate summits and their disappointing aftermath over the
years and seems all too true of the Nato summit in Madrid.
Volodymyr Zelensky would be well advised to ask to see the
colour of the Nato leaders’ money.
Literally so, in fact. Even now, many Nato members spend a
pitifully small proportion of their national income on national
defence and collective security. Some have long been nowhere
near the Nato guideline of 2 per cent of GDP, most notably
Germany, a state that could transform the security of
eastcentral Europe if it applied itself (as it is now beginning to do).
Wealthy Luxembourg seems especially stingy; as is Canada. The
west has an obvious technological and tactical advantage over
Russia and its client allies such as Belarus; but as the Ukrainians
are experiencing, it makes up for that deficit with sheer numbers
and by targeting civilians. It is also a nuclear power.Much has been done since February when Vladimir Putin
launched his cruel war, but much more will need to be done to
help Ukraine contain and push back the invader. At least Nato
was still around to assist in that. It now needs to back its
ambition with hard cash.
One of the most dispiriting aspects of Nato in recent years was
its slide into irrelevance and disillusionment after the Cold War,
and its failure to deal with the rise of Isis and the various small
wars started by Vladimir Putin. The low point was Donald
Trump openly questioning its very usefulness in a world where,
so he deluded himself, Russia could be a useful and agreeable
Since then, of course, the world has been taught some harsh
lessons, and Nato has, suddenly, become more vital to defence
and security policy than at any point in the past 30 years.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a bonfire of the vanities,
and the west is rediscovering the virtues of military strength and
the power of deterrence.
Finland and Sweden are now joining, almost all Nato members
are eagerly arming Ukraine and sanctioning Russia, and troops
and equipment are moving to create a new Iron Curtain, from
Tallinn to Istanbul. It is more than a match for Russia’s badly led,
barely trained and poorly equipped forces.
This is all admirably reflected in the Nato declaration, which
unequivocally states: “We will continue and further step up
political and practical support to our close partner Ukraine as it
continues to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity
against Russian aggression.”
And yet the Ukrainians are still short of the kind of anti-missile
defence systems that would help them prevent or lessen attacks
on their shipping centres and apartment blocks. The port of
Odesa is full of grain and cooking oil ready to feed the
developing world, but food supplies are being blockaded and
stolen by the Russians to fund their war machine.
European states are still buying Russian gas, which also pays for
the bombs that kill Ukrainian children. Ukraine needs moretanks, more munitions, more intelligence, more of everything to
finish the job. The longer it takes to send the supplies, the less
chance there is of winning this war. The Russians are making
slow but steady advances, and they need to be stopped. There
seems some reluctance about recognising that fact.
Increasing the supply of armaments to Ukraine requires not just
political will, but money. It may hurt to state it, but then
President Trump was right to raise the issue years ago, even if he
overstated his case (as ever). It turns out he was also right about
how risky it was for Germany to be so dependent on Russian
Although honourable, the effort to habilitate Russia into the
international community and become a trusted conventional
partner failed, and Russia is now a lethal threat.
Rearmament is terrible but necessary in the face of Russian
aggression, and appeasement will not work. There is just the
suspicion that in some European capitals the idea is to get
President Zelensky to some place where he will accept a Russian
offer of ceasefire, and thus permanent occupation of much of his
If so, then Nato is heading for a defeat just when, if it held its
nerve and its member states made the sacrifices, it is assured of
victory. After all that has happened, and with the certainty that
President Putin will only be encouraged by such weakness, there
can be no betrayal of Ukraine.
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N e w s / I n v e s t i g a t i o n
The housing bosses cashing
in on a benefits loophole
Rogue providers among those receiving huge sums to house
vulnerable people, reveal May Bulman and Simon Murphy
Organsiations have been warned by the regualtor about conflicts of interest (Getty/iStock)
More than £132m in taxpayers’ money for housing the country’s
most vulnerable people has been handed to providers that have
been named and shamed by the regulator, it can be revealed. An
investigation by The Independent and openDemocracy has foundthat huge sums in housing benefit for “exempt accommodation”
have been given to organisations since 2018 despite judgments
or notices from the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH).
The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act,
cover 95 of more than 300 English local authorities, meaning
the true figure is likely to be far higher. Some bosses of
nonprofit organisations have even exploited a loophole in
regulations in order to cash in themselves, our investigation
Exempt accommodation is supported housing available to
women fleeing domestic violence, those with substance abuse
issues and people leaving care, for which providers can claim
higher rates of housing benefit. Providers can also charge
residents service fees on top of this, which are designed to cover
support in the properties.
It is a booming industry – the number of households in exempt
accommodation in Britain rose from 95,149 in 2016 to 156,868
as of May 2021, according to figures uncovered by housing
charity Crisis. But it is also beset by problems, with concerns
raised by charities, police and government about the quality of
support available to those in exempt accommodation, as well as
cases of violence and sex work within properties.
Under regulations, providers of exempt accommodation must
be not-for-profit entities such as housing associations or
registered charities providing “care support or supervision”.
However, our investigation has uncovered examples of these
non-profit companies making large payments to private firms
linked to their own directors or founders.
Expensive cars and a yacht in the Algarve
Pivotal Homes Group was set up by husband and wife Denis and
Fiona Dixon in 1999. One part of the group, Pivotal Housing
Association, received more than £1m from councils in the
southwest from 2019 to this year for exempt accommodation.
But the housing association’s most recent accounts show
£225,598 in “costs” paid to Pivotal Support Group Ltd in the
year to March 2021. That firm is in turn owned by Pivotal GroupHoldings, of which Denis Dixon is the co-owner. His wife was a
director of Pivotal Support Group from March 2005 to
December 2017.
Meanwhile, another firm for which
Denis Dixon is director and co-owner,
Charles Terence Estates Ltd, was paid
more than £400,000 in “rentals” for
hostels occupied by the association in
2020 and 2021. A further £390,107
from the association was recharged to
Charles Terence Estates for the year to
The Dixons in a photo
March 2021, accounts show.posted on social media
Charles Terence Estates, meanwhile,
has paid dividends totalling £12.9m since 2018 on its overall
revenue, according to the company’s accounts. In March last
year, the RSH reported a series of failings at Pivotal Housing
Association, including that it was “unable to provide adequate
assurance” that its accommodation met the government’s social
housing requirements.
Noting that the housing association managed units across five
local authorities, the regulator said: “Rents and service charges
for Pivotal’s tenants may have been, and may continue to be,
overcharged. As some of the cost of these rents has been met
through housing benefit and universal credit, there may also be
implications for the public purse.”
The Dixons live in the Algarve on
Portugal’s south coast, and social
media offers a window into their
luxury lifestyle of sailing, fast cars andDenis Dixon’s Facebook
post next to a picture of a skydiving. Denis Dixon’s Facebook
Bentley (Supplied)
page shows pictures of the couple’s
yacht, the Navigo, as well as Bentleys he describe

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