Category Archives: General Advice

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CAB News 27 March 2020

Friday 27 March 2020

Citizens Advice has responded to the Chancellor’s self-employed announcement.

National

Self-Employed

Citizens Advice responds to Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

26/03/2020

Citizens Advice has responded to the Chancellor’s announcement on support for those who are self-employed.

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The government has rightly taken bold action to support the millions of self-employed people who could otherwise struggle to keep their heads above water during this national emergency.

“This scheme will understandably take some time to set up, so the focus should now be on cushioning people from an immediate financial shock.

“With the benefits system under immense pressure, bill holidays and a pause on debt collections could help to ease the strain on family incomes. We look forward to working with the government to make sure no one falls into unmanageable debt as a result of this public health crisis.”

Data

Busiest week in history for the Citizens Advice website

Peston, 25/03/2020 (clip starts 39:45 – you may need to sign in)

Citizens Advice’s web data shows a clear picture of the changing narrative of how the coronavirus crisis is affecting people in the UK.

It was featured on the Peston show to highlight the type of things people need help with, such as redundancy, sick pay and how to pay bills. See the full press release.

Bailiffs

Bailiff action should be banned during crisis, debt charities say

Your Money, 25/03/2020

Citizens Advice, along with the Money Advice Trust and StepChange, sent a joint letter to the government calling on it to tell local authorities to suspend bailiff action for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Aggressive collection of council tax at a time when people are concerned about the health and financial consequences of Covid-19 is plain wrong.

“The government must urgently stop bailiffs collecting these arrears for the duration of the outbreak and put in place measures to prevent council tax bills forcing people into spiralling debt.”

Consumer Rights

Coronavirus consumer rights: how to claim refunds for cancelled concerts, sports fixtures and festivals

The Telegraph, 24/03/2020

The Telegraph has included information from Citizens Advice on what to do if you had tickets for an event that has been cancelled.

Jan Carton, of Citizens Advice, said to keep checking the information from the official seller or organiser to ensure you’re up to date.

Ms Carton also warned that people need to be on the lookout for scammers.

She said: “If your event is cancelled and people or companies offer their services to try to recover money on your behalf, make sure that you’re looking out for the signs of a potential scam.”

Energy

How to top up your prepayment meter if you can’t go outside

Daily Express, 24/03/2020

The Daily Express has included information on how to top up your prepayment meter if you’re self-isolating, following Citizens Advice’s good practice guidance for energy suppliers.

It said, according to Citizens Advice, there are steps to take to ensure you still have power.

  • Contact your supplier and tell them you are unable to top up due to the Government guidelines.

  • Contact details for your supplier can be found on your bill or on their website.

  • Then, your provider can help to find other ways to keep your energy supply connected.

Housing

UK eviction ban promise broken, say critics

The Guardian, 24/03/2020

The “complete ban” on evictions promised by the government has been widely criticised after it emerged that the coronavirus bill merely extends the notice required for possession.

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Simply extending notice periods to three months cannot be seen as ‘job done’.

“It means that people dealing with unimaginable financial uncertainty still face the prospect of being served with an eviction notice.

“Over the coming days, the government must keep their promise and add to these changes to make sure no one loses the roof over their head as a result of coronavirus.”

Home Schooling

Working parents braced for home schooling their children

FT.com, 20/03/2020, Lucy Warwick-Ching

The Financial Times has included information from Citizens Advice about the right to time off to look after children.

It said: “According to Citizens Advice, everyone is allowed a reasonable amount of time off to deal with an emergency. It’s important to note that what counts as “reasonable” depends on the circumstances.”

In other news

Supermarkets to get government list of vulnerable people.

People urged not to move house.

Clap for our Carers: National applause for coronavirus health workers.