Category Archives: General Advice

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CAB News 07 December 2018

Friday 07 December 2018

We have published this article after the Money Advice Service published new guidance on the collection of council tax.

National

Employment rights

Your rights to time off work if you have a childcare emergency this Christmas

The Mirror, 07/12/2018

Our advice on workers’ rights and childcare arrangements in an emergency has been used by the Mirror ahead of Christmas.

Tracey Moss, employment expert at Citizens Advice, said: “In an emergency, you are entitled to take time off to make sure your child is looked after. This is known as dependant leave.

“If your employer won’t give you time off, or has disciplined you for having to look after your child, contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help.”

Best places to work

Third Sector, 05/12/2018

Citizens Advice was included in the top 10 charities to work for by Third Sector.

Debt

MAS launches `progressive” council tax recovery guidance

Credit Connect, 05/12/2018

Our response to the Money Advice Service’s guidance on how to collect council tax arrears has been included in Credit Connect’s coverage.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Council tax arrears are the most common debt issue we help people with at Citizens Advice. Too often we see the harm that’s caused by the way this debt is collected, including further financial hardship and stress. The pursuit of government debt by authorities has also been criticised by MPs.

“Good collection practices by local authorities can work. By helping those who are struggling to meet their payments, councils can improve their collection rates. While voluntary approaches are welcome, to properly protect people from bad practices the government needs to establish an independent bailiff regulator.”

Regional

Impact of universal credit

Stoke Sentinel, 05/12/2018

Biddulph Citizens Advice said it was preparing for an increase in inquiries as Universal Credit is brought to the area.

They said: “We are anticipating that as Universal Credit is rolled out across Biddulph the demand for advice in both welfare benefit and debt will increase, as council tax reduction is not one of the benefits amalgamated into U.C and legacy benefit claimants will be being migrated to a new benefit with new compliance conditions that they have not previously been subjected to.”

Christmas Debt

How to avoid running up a debt this Christmas

This is West Country, 05/12/2018

Citizens Advice Cornwall has released a Christmas list of 12 tips to help people avoid pressure on their household budgets.

Bernie Buck, deputy chief executive at Citizens Advice Cornwall, said: “People can feel an awful lot of pressure on their finances over Christmas. All too often, this gets carried into the new year where they have to play budget catch up.

“But there are some simple and practical steps people can take to guard against a festive debt hangover, including early planning.
“If people are really struggling financially they can speak to one of our advisers face to face, online, or over the phone.”

Online marketplaces

How to avoid running up a debt this Christmas

Thame Gazette, 05/12/2018

Thame Citizens Advice said buyers need to beware as thousands of customers report being ripped off on online marketplaces.

A spokeswoman for Thame Citizens Advice said: “Far too many people are being ripped off on online marketplaces. As part of National Consumer Week we want to make sure customers know what to look out for when making a purchase and their rights if something goes wrong.

“To reduce the risk of being left out-of-pocket it’s a good idea to check the product information on these sites carefully before they make a purchase.”

In other news

O2’s data network was restored this morning after a day-long outage.

The airline regulator has begun enforcement action against Ryanair for refusing to compensate passengers for strike disruption.

A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says 4 million British workers live in poverty.

The boss of the UK’s largest funeral provider, the Co-Op Group, has admitted the industry has taken advantage of people’s grief in the past.


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CAB News Friday 26 October 2018

Friday 26 October 2018

Our report on disabled people being up to £300 worse off under Universal Credit got widespread national coverage this morning.

There are two template press releases available on Cablink (here and here) for you to send to your local media contacts: if you have UC and if you don’t. This includes breakdowns of the number of clients you help who are disabled or have a long-term health condition.

National

Universal Credit

Universal Credit Could Strip Disabled People Of £300 A Month, Says New Report

Huffington Post, 26/10/2018

Our report on the detrimental effect Universal Credit will have on disabled people was carried by Huffington Post

They interviewed a case study we provided who found he was missing out on £97.85 per week when he was moved to Universal Credit.

Sam said “it gets to the point that I pay my bills and I have £100 left to live on for the whole month..It gets me down that I can’t see my friends as much as I’d like”.

CREDIT CHAOS: Disabled people will be ‘£300 a month worse off’ under Universal Credit

The Sun, 26/10/2018

The Sun also reported on the flaws in the system which mean some disabled people will suffer financially.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said “Some disabled people will be unfairly disadvantaged under Universal Credit. The government needs to address this and increase the financial support disabled people can receive under Universal Credit.”

Our report was also covered by:

Kayley Hignell interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live

Wake up to Money, 26/10/2018 (34m 50s in)

Kayley Hignell, our Head of Policy for Families, Welfare and Work, was interviewed on 5 Live’s Wake up to Money programme about an MP report into Universal Credit – which said the DWP had a “culture of indifference” about the benefit.

Kayley said: “For the people we’ve been looking at recently – people who have disabilities – we are finding that those who are working aren’t able to access the support that’s available in the Universal Credit system to make sure that is the case – that they are better off when working.”

Rogue Landlords

53 councils have not prosecuted a single landlord in three years

The Guardian, 25/10/2018, p10, Tom Wall

Rules for landlords not fit for purpose, says John McDonnell

A joint investigation by The Guardian and ITV found more than one in seven councils in England and Wales have failed to prosecute a single bad landlord over the past three years.

Jill Harrison, the chief executive of Enfield Citizens Advice, said rogue landlords had little to fear in Enfield because the council does not have the resources to deal with the complaints.

She said “there is a serious problem with disrepair in the borough. But there is very little disincentive for rogue landlords behaving in this way.”

Debt

I wanted to kill myself over £50k debts but here’s how I paid it off every penny in six years

The Sun online, 24/10/2018

The Sun reports on a charity worker who considered suicide over £50,000 worth of debt, but then managed to pay back every cent in six years.
With support from debt advisers at Citizens Advice and a mental health charity, Emma Malcolm, from Hampshire, turned her finances around.

Ms Malcolm, spoke of the advice Citizens Advice gave her, and said “they helped me sort out what payments were a priority and how I could make some extra cash”.

In other news

New railcard for millennials – people aged between 26-30 – will be able to get the special railcard by the end of the year.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned UK’s most vulnerable risk being trapped in disadvantage.

The law fails to stop rogue landlords.


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