My pick of last week’s news is the StepChange redundancies announced in Exceptional times, exceptional measures, and the future.
But Convicted Post Office workers have names cleared is a welcome bit of good news.
Exceptional times, exceptional measures, and the future StepChange: StepChange announces 140-170 redundancies, 10% of its workforce, as its “Fair Share” income has fallen.
Letter of concerns in relation to Provident’s proposed scheme of arrangement FCA: “the FCA does not believe that the Scheme is the fairest compromise that could have been offered to customers with valid redress claims by the Group… Noting the FCA’s integrity objective to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system, the FCA also has significant concerns about schemes of arrangement being used to circumvent paying customers their full redress entitlement.”
- The Provident Scheme passed the first court hearing (which does not consider the fairness of the Scheme) on the 22 April.
- Boost for first-time buyers as mortgage limits are increased Times (paywall): Nationwide allows 5.5 time income to be lent on 10% deposit mortgages.
- Will 95% mortgage scheme give generation rent a foot in the door? Observer: Government support for homebuyers with a small deposit has prompted a flurry of enticing offers. But buyers should go in with their eyes wide open
- First-time buyers’ problems won’t be solved by 95% mortgages Economist (paywall): Regulators will limit their availability –“the Treasury’s guarantees do not remove the regulatory constraints placed on lenders to prevent a repeat of pre-financial-crisis excesses.”
Convicted Post Office workers have names cleared BBC: Judges have quashed the convictions of 39 former postmasters after the UK’s most widespread miscarriage of justice.
Amongst many jaw-dropping paragraphs in the Sub-postmasters’ appeals is this gem.
Document not to be disclosed “because it might assist the defence.” pic.twitter.com/SWkZ2ym8vl
— Matthew Scott (@Barristerblog) April 23, 2021
Buy Now… Pain Later? Citizens Advice report: There is often a lack of information at the checkout to help people understand that BNPL is a credit product and what the consequences will be if they’re not able to
Benefits & other news
UK households ‘hit harder by pandemic than those in France and Germany’ Yahoo Finance: weaker safety net meant that while UK households were just as likely to have experienced a negative employment change as French households during the crisis, they experienced a far bigger hit to their living standards than their European counterparts.
DWP chiefs draw up plans to let private firms run Universal Credit hotlines Mirror: Up to seven phone lines including general enquiries and evidence-gathering could form part of a new ‘strategic contract’ with private firms from May 2022
Uniform mistakes: the cost of going back to school CPAG: we need to make sure that uniforms are affordable for all, and do not create additional financial stress. Help with school uniform costs is patchy, inaccessible to some and inadequate for all.
Confusion and stigma: half a million people overlooked Universal Credit despite COVID-19 Inequalities blog: It is often not lack of need that explains non-take-up, but instead things like perceived stigma and ‘hassle’, the hope that things will soon get better, or a lack of understanding that they might be eligible.
We’re still in the dark about insecure work FT (paywall): Official metrics tend to miss the impact of volatility on both the number and pattern of hours and shifts.
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