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Published:Wednesday | March 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM


One in six disability claims in Greece fake

Health Ministry officials say nearly one-in-six disability allowances will be cancelled at the end of the month after discovering thousands of payments were based on false claims - including of drivers registered as being legally blind and bogus cases of leprosy.

Deputy Health Minister Markos Bolaris said Tuesday that some 36,000 allowances will be stopped, saving the government €110 million ($145 million) per year in the crisis-hit country. The action was taken on the results, announced Monday, of a compulsory survey for beneficiaries.

Bolaris said the government is expected to save a further €120 million ($158 million) in annual payments following a more detailed benefit-fraud inquiry.

Airlines warn over rising oil prices

The International Air Transport Association warned that the global aviation industry could run up losses of over $5 billion this year if oil prices spike.

The industry trade group said a conflict with Iran, which Western powers are pressuring in light of its nuclear programme, would wipe out all profits for the industry this year.

Tony Tyler, IATA's chief executive, called the industry "fragile", and said it would not take much of a shock for airlines to see modest profits turn to losses. That shock could be a surge in oil prices, he said. Still, the worst-case scenario in Europe appears to have passed and the group's outlook is still not as pessimistic as it was earlier.

Just $31b from 'Buffett rule' tax on rich

Congress' official tax analysts say President Barack Obama's proposed 'Buffett rule' on taxing people earning over $1 million a year would yield $31 billion over the next 11 years. That would be a minuscule percentage of the federal budget deficits projected during that period, which are expected to exceed $7 trillion.

The figure comes from an estimate by Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation of a bill introduced last month by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. The Rhode Island Democrat and others in his party intended to enshrine Obama's proposal in law.

Obama has proposed requiring that people earning at least $1 million annually pay at least 30 per cent of their income in taxes. It's named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has said that taxes on the wealthy are not high enough.

- AP stories