No prizes for guessing what the dominant news story is this week. But for a bit of good news, the School Uniform Private Members Bill was passed unopposed. In a normal year this would have a good chance of becoming law…
Tweet of the week
The million pound question…
BBC Radio 5 Live: “Could you and your family live on £90+ a week?”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak: “Uh, uh, thi- thi- thi- thi- this is a safety net that’s what it’s there for, to provide people to fall back on.”
— Dan Bloom (@danbloom1) March 12, 2020
- UK interest rates cut in emergency move BBC: Policymakers reduced rates from 0.75% to 0.25%, taking borrowing costs back down to the lowest level in history.
- my article: Coronavirus – if your income drops how can you pay your debts?
- Coronavirus advice and support National Debtline factsheet.
- Coronavirus advice and help Business Debtline factsheet.
- Coronavirus – what it means for you Money Advice Service (IMO a poor article to mention credit rating problems and not priority debts or the importance of not borrowing to repay other debts).
- Banks urged to suspend ‘penal’ overdraft charges while customers battle coronavirus Telegraph (paywall).
- UK banks offer mortgage holidays for customers affected by coronavirus Guardian: RBS, NatWest, Lloyds and TSB to increase credit card limits and let fixed-term savers withdraw cash early.
- Coronavirus outbreak – how will it affect my rights, pay and debts? Observer.
MPs call on lenders to halt all repossessions against mortgage prisoners until help arrives Mail: “It is inconceivable and perverse that we require UK lenders to uphold high lending standards and then allow the sale of the loans they have made to UK consumers and businesses that do not have to observe these standards.”
Family in ‘crippling debt’ after paying ‘£5,000 hospital parking bills’ Metro: They’ve racked up 20,000 miles and spent £5,000 on parking and £7,000 on fuel during their twice a week trips. They have to pay £16 a day to park in a private car park because the 26 spaces at Sheffield Hospital’s regular car park are ‘always taken’.
BBC admits non-payers of licence fee in their 90s may face court Times (paywall): Lord Hall said the case for decriminalisation was not “open and shut” … warned that a civil system could lead to higher financial penalties for evaders on low incomes.
Mike Dailly: Don’t be fooled by quick-buy home deals Glasgow Times: “the quick-buy market is … unregulated across the UK and is literally a free for all. It’s a place where exploitation is writ large and fraud festers like a simmering sore.”
My Buy Now, Pay Later Debt Almost Landed Me In Court Refinery29: Buy now, pay later (BNPL) schemes are popping up everywhere, tempting more and more young people to splash their cash on sofas, kitchens, exercise bikes and laptops.
Benefits & other news
- BUDGET 2020 – All Universal Credit and benefits changes explained including axing minimum income floor Sun.
- Coronavirus support for employers, benefit claimants and businesses DWP.
- Coronavirus won’t break food banks – but the government has to fix universal credit now Guardian: The five-week wait for a first payment could be ended by giving people grants, rather than loans that must be repaid.
- Coronavirus: ‘I’m on benefits and self-isolating – it’s costly to be trapped in your own home’ iNews.
New school uniform law to stop rip-off prices passes major hurdle in Parliament Mirror: Mike Amesbury’s Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill passed its second reading unopposed, will now undergo detailed scrutiny in Parliament – and could take effect by the new school year.