Here is my pick of last few week’s news. If you only have time to read a couple, go for the first two, both round-ups of 2017.
Graph of the week
14% of working-age households report spending >10% of their pre-tax income on unsecured repayments. The proportion rises to 22% of those in the poorest fifth, with 8% in this group allocating more than one-third of their income to repayments pic.twitter.com/tuAc555UY6
— Matt Whittaker (@MattWhittakerRF) January 4, 2018
10 big things that happened in the world of debt advice in 2017 Jane Tully blogs at MAT.
- Major crackdown on abuse of ‘debt’ judgement by rogue parking and utility firms is announced thanks to Mail probe Mail claiming the credit – justifiably!
John McDonnell warns over ‘alarming increase’ in UK household debt Guardian: It is understood Labour plans to focus on the issue in the new year, warning that the continuing squeeze on wages and the high level of inflation are contributing to high levels of personal debt.
Households urged to start saving now for next Christmas BBC: 16% of people (that amount’s to 7.9m) questioned said they were likely – or very likely – to fall behind with their finances in January, as a result of Christmas spending.
- What to do if you can’t pay a debt this month my article.
- FINANCIAL HANGOVER Martin Lewis’ top tips on how to clear your debts in January Sun
- Bills go through roof as festive debts hit home Express.
- The £8.5bn Xmas debt burden: One in four families will start 2018 with a monster credit card bill Mail: On average they will still owe £452, research shows.
Pensions warning: Student loans cutting into graduates savings Express: “We estimate that graduates with student debt could easily end up with pension pots one-fifth lower than the levels enjoyed by those graduates who enjoyed tuition-fee free education.”
Councils forced to fund emergency help for universal credit claimants Guardian: Newcastle city council reported that it was spending £390,000 supporting UC claimants, almost a quarter of which was for additional rent arrears support.
The Impact on Public Finances of meeting UNISON’s 2018/19 pay claim for NJC local government workers NPI: Local government bears the cost of paying higher wages to its staff, as well as the higher employer national insurance contributions. Central government, on the other hand, benefits from higher wages through increased tax revenues and lower benefit spending.
The surprising – and worrying – truth about financial education Iona Bain’s blog.
- Online casinos ‘failing on problem gambling’ BBC: [the gambling Commission] is concerned that customers whose gambling is becoming compulsive are not being followed up.
- gamban offers protection to ALL students from online gambling for FREE Gamban: One in ten UK university students has gambled in an attempt to make money.
- Bookies let self-confessed problem gamblers carry on – until they start winning Times (£ paywall) In one case a customer who self-excluded from Bet on Brazil was allowed to place more than 50 bets with its sister brand Redzone … When the man complained to the Gambling Commission it said that the bookmaker, Argyll Entertainment, was within its rights, adding it was a “business decision” for the company.