My pick of last week’s news is the UN envoy’s report on poverty in Britain. Read it.
Tweet of the week
DWP statistics out today – £10.1bn of meanstested benefits went unclaimed in 2016/17. Figures exclude JSA and Universal Credit as stats not suitable quality. pic.twitter.com/d6lnoyzxy5
— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) November 15, 2018
Settle student loans at half-price? Martin says most should say no MSE: “While it may seem tempting to pay a lower figure than the outstanding balance, the loan will eventually wipe.”
The homeowners ‘conned’ by Green Deal firm Helms BBC: Many are tied to 25-year finance deals they claim they knew nothing about or have been left with properties that fail building regulations.
- Dad-of-two got £3,750 refund for £600 payday loan he couldn’t afford – are you one of the millions due money? Sun: “In the following couple of years, I made the payments where I could, but despite my attempts the amount I owed actually went up due to the extra interest charges and the extra fees”.
- I took out 50 Wonga loans totalling £52,000 over four years after university and now I can’t get a mortgage – what can I do? Mail “a ridiculous spiral of 50 loans in 48 months, between 2013 and 2017″.
- Wonga City advisers are set to enjoy £4.1m bonanza from the collapsed payday lender while thousands of claimants lose out Mail: a badly written article. New claims can still be made.
Insolvency Service grants 250,000 Debt Relief Order Insolvency Service: Nearly two-thirds (65.4%) were granted for women in 2017.
HMRC tells people in tax debt to pay up by taking out commercial loans Telegraph: HM Revenue & Customs has written to those affected saying they should make every effort to pay, including selling assets or taking out a commercial loan.
Vulnerability: the experience of debt advisers Bristol University PFRC: analysis of a large survey of debt advisers and the tools available to help.
- A law unto themselves: How bailiffs are breaking the rules Citizens Advice The reforms have failed to transform standards amongst bailiffs because there isn’t an organisation to enforce the rules.
- Rogue bailiffs face crackdown as MP urges government to act Guardian: Labour’s Emma Reynolds tells of how men with no ID burst into a disabled woman’s home
Universal credit and other benefit news
Statement on Visit to the United Kingdom Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights: “The Government has remained determinedly in a state of denial.”
“It’s hitting people that can least afford it the hardest” the impact of the roll out of Universal Credit in two North East England localities: a qualitative study Gateshead Council: Claiming Universal Credit was experienced as complicated, difficult, demeaning, labyrinthine, dysfunctional, prone to administrative errors, impersonal, hostile, punitive.
Life on Universal Credit: ‘One month I got £342, then zero, then £34 – I don’t know why’ inews: “They won’t explain to me why it’s fluctuating. They say it’s because I’ve earned money, because I’ve done this and that. I haven’t earned any money.”
The Universal Credit Crisis BBC Panorama Universal credit: Rent arrears double for benefit claimants.
Back Door cuts to Council Tax Support Z2K: new research reveals which London Boroughs are using the Minimum Income Floor from Universal Credit to cut support to local self-employed claimants.
Homeless family in Cornwall rehoused 13 times in 18 weeks BBC: The couple with four children aged under eight have been placed in caravans on campsites, holiday cottages, a hotel and a room above a pub, in different parts of the county.
- Full disclosure: fixing the UK savings market Fairer Finance: The letters should include very clear and simple messages about the benefits in pounds and pence of making a switch.
- Nest trials sidecar savings scheme FT Adviser: In a sidecar structure, contributions over and above the automatic enrolment minimum would be managed through a mechanism designed to create an optimal level of liquid savings, while also maximising long-term savings.