My pick of last week’s news is the report on ending imprisonment for council tax debt.
Graphic of the week
One of the slides in Chris Fitch’s presentation to the MALG conference this week:
It’s a wincingly accurate diagram – all credit though to Lisa McNally for coming up with it… pic.twitter.com/7sXLwddWoT
— chris fitch (@chris_fitch) December 2, 2017
“I can’t believe we still do that” Payplan / IMA report on the case for ending imprisonment for council tax debt.
A defining moment for the vulnerability agenda Money Advice Trust: Chris Fitch on concerns over the FCAs proposed new definition of vulnerability.
How RBS turned blind eye to ruthless loan unit: Damning report shows bosses told staff to prey on firms Mail: One memo included in the report was entitled ‘Just Hit Budget!’ and instructed staff on how to make the fees they imposed on firms look plausible. It urged staff to avoid round numbers, because ‘£5,300 sounds as if you have thought about it, £5K sounds like you haven’t’.
Record parking profits of £819m for councils Times (£ Paywall) A study commissioned by the RAC Foundation found that surpluses from parking had risen 10 per cent in 12 months, meaning that it has increased by 40 per cent in the past four years.
Council tax: how to tell the ‘can’t pays’ from the ‘won’t pays’ Public Finance: A public register of liability orders for council tax would benefit both councils and citizens, says Malcolm Hurlston, chair of Registry Trust.
Window cleaner jailed after inheriting £280k from customer BBC: Pearce … claimed several times that he had left almost £300,000 in cash in a car which bailiffs took away… Nicholas Simmonds, the bankruptcy trustee, said this was “one of the worst cases I have seen of a bankrupt’s failure to cooperate and to have actively taken steps to conceal property.”
The government is unable to commit to the social mobility challenge Alan Milburn’s letter to Theresa May as he and the whole Social Mobility Commission, including a previous Conservative minister, resign: The growing sense that we have become an “us and them” society is deeply corrosive of our cohesion as a nation.
30 hours of ‘free’ childcare scheme ruled misleading by advertising watchdog Guardian: Father of three-year-old boy complained government offer was valid for only 38 weeks a year and subsidised by other charges.
Help with winter bills if you have a low income My article – some electricity companies are already closing their Warm Home Discount schemes.
Budget signals changes for credit unions and housing co-ops Co-op news: Credit unions can recruit an extra million members and housing co-ops may benefit from housing investment plans.
Benefit freeze to stay for working people costing typical family £300 a year Guardian: Tories accused of using royal engagement to bury bad news as welfare freeze remains for another 12 months from April.
Pension sharks target British steel workers at factory gates Mail: Rogue financial advisers have been making 700-mile round trips to lure steelworkers into transferring their pension funds at the factory gates.