My pick of last week’s news is the optimistic Fiver on the Nose Love?
Tackling the coronavirus personal debt crisis StepChange: the number of people affected by coronavirus in severe
problem debt has almost doubled since the beginning of the outbreak to 1.2 million people. The number of those affected who have fallen into arrears or borrowed to make ends meet has increased from 4.6 to 5.6 million.
Understanding the financial situations of people with government debts Money Advice Trust: looking at data for groups of National Debtline and Business Debtline clients to compare the situation of those with government debts to those without.
- Tens of thousands made homeless despite UK ban on evictions during pandemic Guardian: Charities say younger people working in hospitality among worst affected.
- Are young renters being forced to choose between rent debt and health? Landlord News: NRLA has called on the Government to urgently adopt the recommendations of the Social Security Advisory Committee and suspend the Shared Accommodation Rate rule.
- A tale of two housing markets: Equity-rich homeowners see mortgage rates plummet as first-time buyers watch rates climb and 90% almost vanish Mail: average interest rates on 85 per cent two-year fixed deals for 15% deposit now at 3.12 per cent when in July the average was just 2.11 per cent.
- Treasury should act to release ‘mortgage-prisoners’ LSE: A set of practical suggestions that the government should consider urgently.
- ‘I’m trapped by my mortgage – let me escape’ BBC.
Economic abuse survivor forced into £50,000 debt by her husband on why it’s so hard to prove Sky: Victims of coerced debt in the UK are faced with a total bill of £23.5m every year, new research shows.
Buy now pay later:
- Convenience at a cost MMHPI: Newer payment technologies like ‘buy now pay later’ are becoming more common, but can make it easier for people to get into debt and pose particular risks to people with mental health problems.
- Why is Klarna running silent credit checks on shoppers? Times (paywall): The buy now, pay later firm is accused of checking up on customers even if they pay by debit card.
Universal Credit Q&A: I got into debt to pay for childcare – I hope you don’t have to Sun: Working parents can get up to 85 per cent of childcare fees paid back on Universal Credit. But this is paid in arrears, meaning many have to stump up hundreds of pounds up front.
Debt Free South West launches Debt Free London: Debt Free South West consists of 9 advice agencies across the South West, including Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, North and South Somerset.
Domestic Cover Limited’s £99 for contract to fix my TV? It’s a mystery to me Mail: Nice bit of investigative journalism: So does Domestic Cover need authorisation? And on the wider front, how many unauthorised insurers has the FCA prosecuted?
Benefits & other news
This photo of children living in poverty caused shock waves in 1992. Where are they now? Guardian: their lives are shaped by dynamics that have barely altered since all those years ago: housing insecurity, dependence on an often labyrinthine and punitive welfare system, a sense of having to perpetually balance on a tightrope where the slightest wobble will send you tumbling.
Why living wages should be a priority during COVID-19 The Conversation: Recent research shows a living wage creates healthier employees, less pressure on government subsidies and a skilled workforce.
- Two Tory MPs take gambling jobs before review of betting laws Guardian: Philip Davies accepted the first instalment of £49,98 on 27 August but did not step down as a member of the select committee for digital, culture, media and sport, the department managing the forthcoming review of gambling regulation, until this week.
- Fiver on the Nose Love? Leigh Day: how rapid changes in the marketplace have changed the legal landscape for gambling operators, putting hope of redress on the horizon for ‘disordered gamblers’ whose lives have been ruined.
Good advice Radio 4 Law in Action: How has the North Kensington Law Centre managed to keep going for 50 years when other social legal advice providers have run out of money?
Half-term, hardship and heartbreak: one month in the life of a food-bank manager Guardian: Ellie Coteau from the Welcome Centre in Huddersfield explains how they are coping.