My pick of last week’s news are the two articles on debt and mental health. For economists, the New Statesman article on the UK has never been less prepared for recession is interesting.
Graph of the week
Thread on household net borrowing
— Ben Chu (@BenChu_) March 29, 2019
- Money and mental health: the facts MMHPI: “while we have long been aware that financial problems and poor mental health are linked, the [new] figures are stark”
- Paying off debt can help your brain think more clearly and make better decisions, study finds Mail: Researchers found that participants’ average error rates in cognitive function tests dropped from 17 percent to 4 percent after their debt was reduced.
Amigo Loans’ sliding share price shows pitfalls of ‘guarantees’ FT (paywall) The company claims to incorporate all sorts of health warnings to both borrower and guarantor, but the process still smells of moral blackmail.
Call for Evidence Response on the 2014 bailiff reforms by Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire Money Advice Group IMA: Only accessible if you are an IMA member or a free sector advisor – sign up here https://www.i-m-a.org.uk/learning-development/adviser-networking-information-sharing/.
CP19/14: Mortgage customers: proposed changes to responsible lending rules and guidance FCA: Some help for mortgage prisoners proposed.
Wonga administrators 6 month report Grant Thornton.
- It’s 42 pages long, so here is my summary: Wonga – the adminstrators’ report – March 2019
- Wonga launches new tool for customers to claim compensation for unaffordable loans – are you due a refund? Sun
Debt companies charge hundreds in admin fees Times (Paywall) a borrower was quoted more than £6,000 [for IVA fees], including a £250 paperwork “storage” fee, to reschedule payments on an £8,700 debt.
Parents are being pushed into thousands of pounds of debt due to sky high childcare costs Sun: “we needed to pay for two children at nursery. It cost us £1,200 a month which was double what we paid on our mortgage at the time.”
Benefits and other news
£220 a month to live on with children to feed. Universal credit literally starves people into submission The Poor Side of Life blog: anecdotal evidence from the front line.
No-deal Brexit or not, the UK has never been less prepared for recession New Statesman: strengthening the UK’s automatic stabilisers is the urgent priority that (almost) no one is talking about.
Fury after councillor ‘claims residents are to blame for their own poverty’ Manchester Evening News:
Coun Pat Sullivan drew an angry reaction after dismissing Labour councillors’ tales of hardship in their communities as ‘hard-luck stories’ during a debate on austerity.
When publicity works – two articles this week from Guardian:
- Too poor to play: children in social housing blocked from communal playground
- Segregated playground developer now says all children are welcome
Unsuspecting buyers now have a one in 14 chance of buying a used car that’s had its mileage tampered with Mail: More people are accessing online services to adjust digital mileage displays in a bid to avoid financial penalties for going over mileage restrictions agreed as part of finance deals on models, according to vehicle checking service HPI.
CMA launches funerals market investigation CMA: Long overdue.