My pick of last week’s news is NatWest, is it right to evict a woman on housing benefit?
Tweet of the week
The @ONS announced today that UK inflation is 2.4%. There’s a freeze on most working-age benefits, so rising prices will effectively cut the benefits of around 10.4 million households by an average of £150 per year in 2019–20. This saves the Exchequer £1.6 billion. pic.twitter.com/zRQwUBgqs9
— IFS (@TheIFS) October 17, 2018
NatWest, is it right to evict a woman on housing benefit? Guardian: In calls to me, NatWest was desperate to say it’s not throwing this woman out on the streets. But it was explicitly clear in its correspondence with Helena that “the options available to you are to seek an alternative tenant or move your mortgage to another lender”
- and the petition to ban this which has now been started by Helena, the landlord – I’ve signed!
Millions hounded with bailiffs – the shocking and unacceptable Government practices that break its own rules on debt Mirror:
It’s against the law for private companies – even payday lenders – to collect debts in the same way the Government routinely does.
Dear CEO – Affordability of HCST loans FCA letter suggesting payday lenders consider automatic redress.
- Watchdog warns payday lenders over customer complaints FT (£ paywall) article Payday lenders are being encouraged to proactively compensate former customers.
- Dear Payday Lender CEO – should you start a redress program? my article
Revealed: HMCTS had already spent £18m on axed debt scheme Law Gazette: Earlier this year the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons reported it had ‘little confidence’ that HMCTS could successfully deliver on its pledges to bring the court system into the modern age.
Rich House Poor House dad in tears after couple help his family as they struggle on £97 a week Mirror: “Unfortunately the property market crashed and it left me with sky high debts that I couldn’t pay.”
TSB fiasco could be harming your credit score (Times £ paywall) Customers have found that the bank’s failure to pass on financial details is causing their ratings to plummet.
TONY HETHERINGTON: Why call blocking firms have a lot to answer for Mail: “Do not pay another penny. If KOT Marketing or any other company demands money from you, pay nothing and let me know. I shall be only too glad to give them some unwanted advertising.”
Universal credit news
Universal credit rollout delayed yet again BBC: Leaked documents seen by the BBC reveal plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to prevent claimants suffering hardship as they move onto it. The government said it always intended to introduce the benefit slowly.
Lots of local stories about UC problems including:
- A dad of two’s nightmare with universal credit as debt piles up Wales Online: The out of work security guard has been dependent on food banks and help from others
- Fife mum plunged into debt after benefits changed to Universal Credit Courier: “I don’t sleep worrying about it all,” she said.“I used to be a happy-go-lucky, carefree person. Everybody says I don’t smile anymore.”
Energy bills jump 21% in five months leaving millions facing fuel poverty this winter Independent: More than one in 10 households in England – two-and-a-half million families – were living in fuel poverty, a government report said in June before the latest round of price rises.
- Banks closures: 13 million people have lost half of local branches BBC Figures from Link, a cash machine network, also show that between January and August of this year 1,400 free to use cash machines closed across Great Britain.
- Name checks to begin on bank payments BBC: Under plans from the UK’s payments operator, the sender will be alerted if the name does not match the account. Banks have been accused of dragging their heels in introducing the system.