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This week's barometer

8 January 2011

12:00 AM

8 January 2011

12:00 AM

Prison regimes

A riot at Ford Open Prison in Sussex raised questions as to the regime in jails. This is some of what prisoners can expect:

— Category A (Whitemoor, Cambs): work opportunities in recycling, laundry and restoring computers for schools in Africa. Courses in thinking skills and anger management. Gym, sports hall and Astroturf. Prisoners may apply for two PE sessions within a working week, one in the evening and two at the weekends. Acupuncture for staff and prisoners. Visits Thur-Mon 1400-1600, must be booked 24 hours in advance.

— Category B (Wandsworth): courses include bricklaying/plastering, industrial cleaning. Multi-choice pre-select menu with halal and vegetarian options. Visits every morning and afternoon.

— Category C (Highpoint, Suffolk): workshops in tailoring, welding/fabrication. Courses include Streetworks: traffic lights and diversions. Visits seven days a week.

— Category D (Ford): single and two-man rooms. Four town visits a month once a prisoner has been resident nine months. Overnight home visits for up to five days.

Source: HM Prison Service

Value Added Tax

The main rate of VAT was increased to 20 per cent last Tuesday. How does this compare around Europe?

Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Sweden         25%

Greece, Poland, Portugal                            23%

Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania                          21%

Italy, Austria, Czech Republic                      20%

France                                                         19.6%

Holland, Germany                                        19%

Cyprus, Luxemburg                                      15%

Australia                                                        10%

Switzerland                                                     8%

Singapore                                                       7%

Japan                                                              5%

Canada (varies by province)                           5%-15%

USA (set locally)                                              0%-11.5%

Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Dubai                     0%

Soap sensations

BBC Radio 4’s The Archers celebrated its 60th anniversary with a man falling off a roof. How do soaps attract an audience?

Wedding and unmasking of murderer (EastEnders, 19/2/2010)            15.6m viewers

Explosion followed by tram crash (Coronation Street, 6/12/2010)         12.4m

Wedding and death of love child (EastEnders, 2/4/2009)                      11.5m

Murder (EastEnders, 25/12/2009)                                                          10.9m

One character tries to kiss another (Emmerdale, 7/1/2010)                   9.47m

Train runs into crashed car on level crossing (Emmerdale, 6/10/2010) 7.94m

Source: MediaTel, BBC

See also

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