My pick of last week’s news are the articles about Universal credit and the benefit cap.
High coast credit;
- ‘Loans firm emptied my accounts’ Times (paywall): High-cost lender Safetynet Credit uses pioneering banking technology to take cash as soon as you are paid.
- Amigo Holdings Interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2020 RNS: No clarity on recent complaint numbers. Considering a Scheme of Arrangement.
Draft briefing for the Financial Services Bill Committee expressing concerns about Breathing Space and Statutory Debt Repayment Plans Centre for Responsible Credit: debt advisers who agree with this are asked to add their names to this spreadsheet by Monday.
Buy Now Pay Later:
- Parents warned against using ‘buy now, pay later’ to buy Christmas presents by debt charities Sun: “it’s very, very easy to spend too much or lose sight of what you’ve paid for. And that can lead to your outstanding bill ending up with debt collectors.”
- Shoppers’ online surge pays off for Klarna Times (paywall): The company reported a 43 per cent jump in the value of transactions made on its payment platform in the first nine months of the year.
‘My dream flat left me with a £20,000 repair bill’ BBC: an investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme has found that the shared ownership scheme has left some people living in homes with escalating costs and huge debts.
- How the Biden Administration Can Free Americans from Student Debt New Yorker: “Most people are not in debt because they live beyond their means; they are in debt because they have been denied the means to live.”
- Overdue action – Bad debts in China Economist (paywall): Debt collectors sometimes impersonate police officers; the details of debtors’ friends and family are sold so that they can be harassed.
Benefits & other news
Harsh benefit cuts to blame for rising poverty, former Conservative Cabinet minister admits Independent: ‘We took too much money out of Universal Credit, we squeezed too hard’ says Stephen Crabb – urging Rishi Sunak not to repeat the blunder.
Spending review: Families face ‘agonising uncertainty’ over benefits decision BBC: Millions of people on Universal Credit are now facing the Christmas period in agonising uncertainty, not knowing whether the government will cut their income by £20 a week next April
I’m really concerned that families are constantly counting down the days until help is taken away from them. The need for longterm change is massive. Children cannot be living to deadlines. We have to stabilise these households. 2.5 million will be unemployed in Spring
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) November 25, 2020
Universal credit: tens of thousands of families face benefits cap Guardian: The DWP has said up to 160,000 people who started a universal credit claim in March will see their grace period end in December, though it does not know how many will be capped.
FUEL POVERTY AWARENESS DAY 2020 – WHAT DO WE WANT TO SEE CHANGE? Fair by Design: Digital-by-default services – If the service is not designed for everyone, then it’s exclusionary by design.