Friday 15 February 2019
Our submission to the Ministry of Justice’s call for evidence into bailiff reform as part of ‘Taking Control’ includes new polling showing 8 in 10 people back our call for independent regulation.
Public ‘demand rogue bailiffs be locked out’
The Times Online, 15/02/2019
As The Times reports, we’ve seen a 24% increase in the number of these issues since 2014.
Gillian said: “Almost five years on from the 2014 reforms, and with mounting evidence that bailiffs continue to flout the rules, government action is long overdue.
“The Ministry of Justice must move to establish independent bailiff regulation to stop harm being inflicted on people, especially those in vulnerable situations due to their debt or ill health. We’re concerned that without a regulator, any attempts to improve practice in the sector will fail to protect people.
“They also need to create an independent complaints process, like in financial services, so complaints about bailiffs are dealt with impartially.”
Policy Manager Joe Lane was also interviewed on LBC with Nick Ferrari saying “the ball is now in the Government’s court to act. There’s a really clear need for independent bailiff regulation and they shouldn’t miss this opportunity to act.”
Man wins fit-for-work appeal seven months after his death
The Guardian, 12/02/2019, p9, Haroon Siddique
The story of a man helped by Citizens Advice Ribble Valley to appeal his ESA fit-for-work decision, but who died seven months before the decision was announced has been covered by The Guardian.
Dad-of-two and grandfather Jeff Hayward was deemed unfit to work by his GP but was refused employment support allowance. He died of a heart attack in June last year, two weeks before his tribunal.
Katy Marshall, Chief Officer at Ribble Valley Citizens Advice, said: “This is far from being an isolated case as sadly we see many very incapacitated people who struggle to appeal against the decision that they are fit for work.
“We often hear: ‘But my doctor says I can’t work. How can they say that I can? They can and they do.”
This story was also covered in Mail Online.
Minor tweaks can’t address deep inhuman flaws of Universal Credit
The Guardian, 12/02/2019, p37, Patrick Butler
Figures from our report into managing money on Universal Credit was featured in an opinion piece by the Guardian’s Patrick Butler in this morning’s paper.
He reported our data that showed half of the people we helped at Citizens Advice with Universal Credit problems also had arrears on their rent or mortgage repayments, using our quote that said tweaks to the benefit made in 2017 had made a dent in the problem, but more was needed.
‘It’s a systematic scam’
Channel 5 Do the Right Thing, 08/02/2019
Our Director of Policy Matthew Upton appeared on Do the Right Thing, where he was asked by presenter Eamonn Holmes if the loyalty penalty was a scam.
“It’s a systematic scam,” Matthew said. “It’s whole industries that are reliant on us forgetting to do something.
“So your insurance company or your broadband company, they make money when you stay on the same contract and the price goes up little every year.
“They know how to design systems in a way that encourages people to stay in contracts. They understand that we all live very busy lives and we don’t quite get round to switching in ways that we plan to, and they exploit that.”
This is a story about people, and you need to read it
Manchester Evening News, 10/02/2019, Jennifer Williams
Nigel Morgan, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Tameside District, spoke to the Manchester Evening News about growing demand on his services.
“The debt inquiries are shooting up, the welfare inquiries are shooting up. Form-filling has become so complex it’s unbelievable,” he said.
“Everybody seems to be suffering one way or another.”
In other news
More patients than ever before had to wait more than four hours for A&E treatment last month.
Three-quarters of local authorities are set to increase tax by more than 2.5% from April, the Local Government Information Unit has said.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has admitted a link between Universal Credit and use of food banks.