My pick of last week’s news is Ucas criticised for promoting ‘inappropriate’ private loans to students.
Tweet of the week
we will soon have our 7th work and pensions secretary since 2016
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) September 7, 2019
And it’s Therese Coffey, who thinks pensioners should pay National Insurance and, a landlord herself, voted against the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill last year.
Ucas criticised for promoting ‘inappropriate’ private loans to students BBC: An email sent by Ucas Media included an advert for Future Finance, which offers student loans with interest rates of between 8% and 23.7% – higher than those of government-funded loans.
Smart motorway where four motorists died after being stranded with no hard shoulder is ‘cash cow’ for speeding fines Telegraph (paywall): A total of 62,337 tickets were issued between junction 30 and 35a of the M1 in just two years and eight months, boosting government coffers by up to £6,233,700.
Committee Calls on Minister to Review Debt Arrangement Scheme Regulations Advice Scotland blog: the new fee structure introduced gives 20% of the 22% fee to the Payment distributor and does not include any express provision in the Regulations for any funds to be refunded to the money advice agency.
‘I was shocked at £4,400 bill from bust energy firm’ BBC: Administrators like PwC are not bound by Ofgem’s rules and regulations, because they aren’t an energy company, nor can consumers turn to the energy Ombudsman for the same reason.
Guarantor loans on You and Yours BBC: A piece starting with a borrower who had won her complaint against Amigo talking.
Help to Buy scheme ‘will come back to bite’ owners Times (paywall) Barratt Developments made a £14,053 pre-tax profit per house before the equity loan scheme was introduced in 2013. That has risen to £50,952 per house in the year to the end of June, when about 45 per cent of the 17,856 homes it sold were bought with the support of Help to Buy.
Judge accuses HMRC of making up figures to terrorise people FT (paywall): “We have seen nothing whatsoever in the documentary evidence to suggest that any thought, consideration or analysis whatsoever was undertaken … to decide whether taking a net profit figure of 50 per cent of supposed turnover was or was not a reasonable basis upon which to proceed. We are firmly of the view that figure was simply ‘plucked from the air’.”
Clarity requested over council tax debt letters Lancashire Telegraph: Ms Walker added…”Maybe we could take a more direct route in terms of offering debt advice.”
Debt and ‘lack of financial support’ forcing trainee nurses to quit training Mirror: The drop out rate for nursing students is alarmingly higher than people studying other courses
Benefits & other news
Gambling firm bosses admit the industry HAS harmed addicts as they vow to ‘do better’ to lessen the damage of compulsive betting Mail: Bosses from four major betting companies ‘recognise’ the harm done by their industry, they told MPs yesterday.
Letter from Andrew Tyrie to the Secretary of State for Education CMA: A letter from the Chair of the CMA outlining concerns on the cost of school uniforms: Having considered this issue many times, the CMA has concluded that statutory guidance is needed as the simplest and most direct way of delivering change.