My pick of last week’s news is How the gambling industry got its claws into children. If you are interested in benefits policy, Testing times: Universal credit and the habitual residence test is excellent.
Tweet of the week
Mounting evidence, including today’s research from @NAOorguk, shows that there is “nothing compassionate” about #UniversalCredit. If it’s to act as a lifeline in these turbulent times, the Government must remove the #5weekwait https://t.co/rBVJMqP2Wb
— Joseph Rowntree Fdn. (@jrf_uk) July 10, 2020
The Impact Of COVID19 On The Affordable Credit Sector: Anecdote To Evidence Carnegie Trust: the affordable credit sector has been greatly affected by COVID19. We were hearing from those in the sector about decreased demand for lending, increased requests for forbearance and additional costs to transition to remote ways of working.
‘Buy now, pay later’ firm Klarna warns against impulse buying Times (paywall): The market leader in “buy now, pay later” financing is to launch an advertising campaign urging consumers to shop responsibly after criticism that it is pushing millennials into debt.
Coronavirus—addressing rent arrears with a pre-action protocol Citizens Advice: Judges should be able to use their discretion to work out whether a tenant’s rent arrears have built up due to coronavirus (and related issues, such as shielding guidance, or the impact on businesses of social distancing measures).
Mortgage squeeze for the self-employed Times (paywall) Entrepreneurs already think they have been abandoned by the government. Now they can’t get a mortgage.
DWP to recommence recovery of benefit related overpayments and social fund loans RightsNet: People will be notified by letter or universal credit journal entries, though can request a deferral if they are experiencing ‘real financial hardship’.
Coronavirus: Debt is the ‘sleeping giant’ of problems caused by COVID-19, charity warns Sky News: A food bank and financial advice service in north Derbyshire has seen a “harrowing” increase in demand during lockdown.
What you MUST know if you took a mortgage holiday Mail: They were a lifeline for 1.8m borrowers… but should you take an extension or get back on track?
Benefits & other news
- Universal Credit: getting to first payment NAO: Long, detailed, I hope the DWP reads it and acts on it.
- Universal Credit five-week wait ‘makes debts worse’ as 4 in 5 have first payment docked Sun.
- Testing times: Universal credit and the habitual residence test IPPR: very little research has been conducted into how [the habitual residence] test operates in practice and whether it is working as intended. Further, the government has released no statistics on the operation of the habitual residence test in regard to universal credit and has refused numerous requests for information from both the public and parliamentarians on costs grounds.
DWP faces pressure over Universal Credit and PIP restrictions for terminally ill BirminghamLive: As the High Court in Northern Ireland ruled that the different treatment of benefit claimants with a terminal illness is discriminatory, charities have called on the DWP to speed up its own review of policies and do the same in England.
‘My son was shaking, trying not to go online’: how the gambling industry got its claws into children Guardian: As the NHS opens its first clinic for child addicts, families are counting the cost of Britain’s high-stakes betting problem.
- Funeral costs rise despite ‘pauper’ ceremonies BBC: Two thirds of councils have continued with price increases of up to 16% from last year, while limited numbers of mourners can attend shorter ceremonies to maintain social distancing.
- Students Face Hidden Debt Trap When Loved Ones Die HuffPo: A benefits loophole means students can’t get help with funeral costs no matter how desperate they are.
Cases of child malnutrition in England double in last six months Guardian: Almost 2,500 children admitted to hospitals in England suffering malnutrition in 2020.