Category Archives: Fraud

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CAB News 09 October 2020

Friday 09 October 2020

There has been coverage of Citizens Advice’s calls for the £20 Universal Credit uplift to be made permanent.

National

Universal Credit

UK furlough scheme: What can I do if my job is at risk?

Big Issue, 08/10/20

The Big Issue has set out details on the new Job Support Scheme and what your rights are if your job is at risk. It includes advice from Citizens Advice and a quote from Dame Gillian Guy.

She said: “Making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent would “provide some much-needed security as we weather this storm.

“The furlough scheme has been an extraordinary intervention, but as it draws to a close we could face a bleak winter of redundancies,” she said.

“The Chancellor has acknowledged that the new Job Support Scheme won’t protect every job. While people look for work it’s critical our benefits system provides a strong enough safety net.”

Debt

‘Threatening’ debt letters that make people suicidal banned after Martin Lewis campaign

The Sun & BBC Three Counties, 07/10/20 (clip starts 1:14:51)

Debt letters that are sent to people who’ve fallen behind on overdraft, credit card, store card, payday and personal loan payments, are to be rewritten following a campaign.

The Sun reported on the changes and included debt advice from Citizens Advice.

Kash Karimzandi, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Leighton-Linslade, spoke to BBC Three Counties about the impact the change would have.

How can you help a friend facing Covid money problems?

The Mail on Sunday & This is Money, 05/10/20

The Mail on Sunday has looked at how to spot signs that someone is having debt problems, and the best ways you can help them.

Lorraine Charlton, Senior Debt Expert at Citizens Advice, says showing someone there is help available can be key.

She said: “It takes a lot of courage for someone to admit they are not coping. Signposting resources that are available to help with debt can get someone to engage with a problem.”

Redundancy

Can you be made redundant if you’re on maternity leave?

Metro, 06/10/20

 The Metro has published two pieces explaining your rights on redundancy.

It has included Citizens Advice’s tips on what to do if you’re at risk of redundancy and you’re pregnant, and what to check when you get your final pay.

Students

Coronavirus chaos on campus: Is it possible to get a refund on your accommodation and university course?

This is Money & Ipswich Star 06/10/20

This is Money, with the help of Citizens Advice and other experts, has put together a Q&A to help students with their accommodation and course dilemmas during the pandemic.

Amy Hughes, Senior Housing Expert at Citizens Advice, said: “Unfortunately, there’s not much good news for students who decide to change households for the medium to long-term, by returning to their family home for example.

“It’s likely that in many cases they will be tied into their accommodation agreements and not entitled to any refund.

“It’s always worth getting in touch with your landlord and trying to negotiate. But realistically, if there is no obligation for them to release you from the contract, they may well be unwilling to do so.

“Where the landlord is the university, they may be more sympathetic to a short-term reduction in rent, or ending a contract early, if there is no longer any reason for you to remain in halls.

“However, it is early in the academic year, and it may be difficult to find alternative halls of residence accommodation if a student gives up their place, but later wishes to return.”

Loyalty penalty

UK price comparison sites face challenge in switching shake-up

BBC & Financial Times (£), 03/10/2020

The Financial Conduct Authority has proposed new rules on the way insurers price their products. The main change would be a ban on price walking — the practice of increasing premiums for existing customers over time so loyal clients end up paying much more than new ones.

Citizens Advice, which launched the “super complaint” that prompted the FCA’s action, said easier ways to cancel automatic policy renewals would also force insurers to fight for customers — via comparison sites.

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “At a time when many people are struggling to pay their bills because of coronavirus, it’s simply not right that companies can still get away with exploiting their loyal customers.”

In other news

Up to £258m self-employment grants ‘error or fraud’.

Homeless lives at risk from Covid winter, charities warn.

Victory in battle against ‘thuggish’ debt letters.

Covid: Nearly 500,000 redundancies planned since crisis began.