The budget was the big news story last week. Money Advice Trust’s 5 things we learned from today’s Budget is a good summary of the small bits that helped people in debt and the larger areas of help that were noticeably absent.
- 5 things we learned from today’s Budget Money Advice Trust
- Budget 2021: A missed opportunity for welfare certainty Policy in Practice
- No-interest loan scheme to help hard-up Brits pay off debts to be launched Rishi Sunak’s Budget documents reveal Sun: It has promised £3.8million for the pilot programme to stop vulnerable Brits from falling further into debt. My comment – a tiny, much-needed pilot study. A live scheme will need proper funding.
- FCA provides update on support for consumers impacted by coronavirus FCA: My comment – the FCA has decided it doesn’t need to do anything more for people in debt :(
- 95% mortgage guarantee scheme Which? Find out how the new mortgage guarantee scheme will work and whether it could help you buy your first home with a 5% deposit.
The thing preventing “Generation Rent” from becoming “Generation Buy” is inflated house prices, not access to credit. Demand-side mortgage subsidies not only inflate house prices, they also place systemic risk on the taxpayer. Boo. #Budget2021
— PricedOut (@PricedOutUK) March 3, 2021
- Amigo and Provident complaints soar – my article.
- Guarantor loan complaints surge 3,300% in a year and dethrone PPI as Britain’s most hated financial product Mail
The changing shape of credit:
- M&S Bank to shut all current accounts and in-store branches Guardian: Customers will have to look for new bank as focus turns to credit cards and other services.
- Department store giant John Lewis launches its first ever ‘buy now, pay later’ offer online to help satisfy a surge in demand for interest free credit Mail: Customers will be able to sign up for at least £1,000 of credit with a maximum of £25,000 for 12 months. Credit for fitted [kitchens and bathrooms] will amount to up to £35,000.
Steakhouse chain asks staff to ‘lend 10% of wages’ amid Covid crisis Guardian: The group, which has continued to employ staff and open new sites during the pandemic, including in London in December, said it anticipated employees would have to do this as a “voluntary loan” for “three to four months”.
A Fresh Start After Covid‑19 – An outline strategy to tackle Britain’s household debt crisis Centre for Responsible Credit: Provide direct grants to households to help clear rent and Council Tax arrears and other radical suggestions.
Benefits & other news
Health, personal finances and Coronavirus FCA Insight: Given the lower levels of financial resources among those in poor health pre-pandemic, it seems likely that this group may continue to face financial strains after the effects of the current health crisis have abated for the rest of the population.
Families facing council tax rises of up to £100 from April in ‘stealth’ tax raid Mirror: The Office for Budget Responsibility has said councils will increase taxes by £1.8billion next month after the Government gave them the go-ahead to introduce hikes of up to 5% last year.
- Tory minister who backed FOBTs takes over review of gambling laws Guardian: John Whittingdale has a history of voting against stronger regulation of the industry.
- Fifa’s ugly game lures teens to gamble Times (paywall) Children hooked on the world’s bestselling sports video game are spending thousands of pounds on ‘mystery packs’ of footballers.
- Stadium walks held to call for end to football betting ads BBC: About 300 people, including former gamblers, are taking part in walks calling for an end to betting adverts in football. A number of MPs and families of addicts who took their lives are also participating in the Big Step walks to local football stadiums this weekend.