Friday 08 November 2019
Our election manifesto has been picked up in Your Money and a number of online trade outlets.
Citizens Advice says next government must act on “preventable problems”
Your Money, 07/11/2019, Emma Lunn
As part of its 2019 election manifesto, Citizens Advice is calling for major reforms across welfare, debt, housing, consumer markets and energy to prevent some of the problems faced by the millions of people who seek its help each year.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We know the problems that people face every day, because it’s us they turn to for advice and support. But many of these problems are preventable. The next government has a major opportunity to make a meaningful difference to people’s lives. From fixing the difficulties people face with housing, welfare and debt through to ensuring consumers are protected in the shift to net zero.”
Next government needs to ‘reset balance’ between landlords and tenants
Our housing proposals for the next next government was covered by the housing news website.
“Tenants who have done nothing wrong shouldn’t have to worry about losing their homes,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.
“The current situation where landlords can exploit section 21 to evict tenants who have made reasonable requests for repairs and maintenance must end.
“But any replacement legislation needs to be watertight, and not allow these so called revenge evictions to continue by the back door.
“We need a new deal for renting which establishes a fair balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.
“We think this can best be implemented by the establishment of a new housing body to work as a one-stop shop for the private rented sector, serving both landlords and tenants in setting and enforcing the rules.”
Energy firms slated for ‘ignoring elderly’
The Daily Express, pg. 2, 07/11/2019
Citizens Advice was cited in a Sheffield Hallam University study that found many energy companies ignore struggling customers until the amount of money they owe is significant. It found this is often people in vulnerable situations such as pensioners and sick and disabled people.
Elizabeth Errington, principal policy manager at Citizens Advice, said: “The experiences of participants in this research add to the chorus of evidence of energy suppliers failing to provide basic empathy to support vulnerable consumers.”
Can my landlord lock my thermostat in a box?
Housing experts from Citizens Advice say the legality of a landlord-controlled thermostat is likely to rely on whether it results in hazards – excess cold or possibly extreme heat.
The tenants might consider trying to take control of the heating themselves by using electric heaters. There is a risk however that the landlord may respond negatively to a huge electricity bill, and perhaps seek to serve a section 21 notice (no fault eviction notice) to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, or seek to alter the rent or other tenancy terms as a condition of any renewal.
Tories pledge to scrap controversial benefit freeze in 2020
The Independent, 03/11/2019, p.9, Ashley Cowburn
Millions of welfare claimants will receive an increase in their payments next year as the government confirmed the widely criticised benefit freeze will end in April 2020.
The austerity measure has been roundly blamed for squeezing low-income families in Britain, leaving individuals struggling to meet the costs of essentials such as food, rent and utility bills.
The Independent, in its coverage of the announcement, noted that according to recent data from Citizens Advice, nearly half (49 per cent) of claimants affected by the four-year benefit freeze have struggled to meet essential costs such as rent, food and household utility bills. More than half said they had lost sleep due to their financial situation.
We were also featured in the i’s coverage.
Get more money to burn
The Sun, 03/11/2019, p.40, Daniel Jones
The Sun’s “Mr Money” has featured our advice not to always pick the cheapest energy deal, but to also consider a company’s customer service record.
In an article outlining how people can save money this winter, the paper also said Citizens Advice could help people make sure they were receiving all the benefits they are entitled to.
In other news
The National Union of Students says more needs to be done to tackle landlords unfairly targeting students with deposit deductions at the end of their tenancies.
The government’s Universal Credit ads have been ruled as misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority.
TUC: household debt for average family now more than £14,000.
Institute of Public Policy Research: poorest hit hardest by cuts to public health spending.