Friday 16 November 2018
EE and Virgin Media have been fined £13.3m by the Telecoms regulator for overcharging customers wanting to leave broadband and phone contracts early. We are issuing a response to this.
In other top news, our post research continues to receive media coverage and, a study commissioned by Gateshead Council shows universal credit is bad for health and wellbeing.
Can the Post Office really plug the gap as bank branches are shut down?
Which? (Web), 16/11/2018, Unattributed
The UK has lost two-thirds of its bank branches in the past 30 years, sparking warnings that communities are losing access to mainstream financial services.
Gillian Guy said: ‘Research from Which? echoes our own – we also found relatively few people know post offices provide basic banking services. And of those who did know, only about one in two said they’re using them. We want the government, the Post Office and banks to raise awareness, and help improve the banking services post offices offer, to ensure they meet consumer needs.
The issue has also been covered by the Yorkshire Post.
Promise to curb rogue bailiffs after MP tells of disabled woman’s ordeal
The Guardian, 14/11/2018, p18, Peter Walker
Wolverhampton MP Emma Reynolds highlighted our research in yesterday’s Justice questions and referenced the experiences of a disabled constituent who had a shocking bailiff encounter.
Reynolds also cited a study by Citizens Advice that said a third of people visited by bailiffs said the debt collectors had broken rules of conduct.
Reynolds asked: “When is the government urgently going to review the rules, and introduce an independent body to police the rules?”
850,000 people have had a bad experience with a bailiff – with forced entries top of the list
Mirror Online, 13/11/2018, Emma Munbodh
The article says since 2016, more than 2.2 million people have come into contact with a bailiff in Britain. Citizens Advice said 850,000 of this number have reported experiences such as forced entry or having their tools for work removed.
Gillian Guy said: “The 2014 reforms were well-intentioned but sadly have had little effect on improving the behaviour of some bailiffs.”
‘Bailiffs contributed to my son’s death, we must protect others’
ITV News, 13/11/2018
Senior Policy Researcher Joe Lane was interviewed on ITV lunchtime news alongside Tracey Rogers, who is campaigning for bailiff reform after her son Jerome killed himself following bailiff harassment.
Joe said: “Citizens Advice helps about 40,000 people with bailiff problems each year. Today’s research shows that experience is far more common. There are a set of rules bailiffs are supposed to follow but far too often, those are being broken.”
Disabled people can be £300 a month worse off under Universal Credit
Rochdale Online, 12/11/2018
Our research that revealed disabled people could be £300 a month worse off under Universal Credit when compared to legacy benefits was covered by Rochdale Online.
The article revealed Citizens Advice Penine West – which overseas Rochdale, Oldham and Trafford – had helped more than 2,600 people with Universal Credit since it was rolled out in the area.
Jonathan Yates, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Pennine West, said: “We see the toll that Universal Credit can have on disabled people in Rochdale, Oldham and Trafford.
“They can be hundreds of pounds worse off than under the previous system – even when they do get the support meant for them.
“This money is desperately needed to cover key costs including essential bills and stop people falling into serious financial difficulty.”
Citizens Advice – Universal Credit means local disabled people are hundreds of pounds worse off
Oldham Evening Chronicle (Web), 09/11/2018, Unattributed
Citizens Advice Pennine West is calling on the government to make changes to the design and the amount of financial support in Universal Credit to make sure disabled people aren’t penalised when they claim the new benefit.
Jonathan Yates, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Pennine West, said: “We see the toll that Universal Credit can have on disabled people in Trafford, Oldham and Rochdale. They can be hundreds of pounds worse off than under the previous system – even when they do get the support meant for them.”
In other news
Universal credit has become a serious threat to public health.
NHS ‘could be short of 350,000 staff by 2030’.
A survey has revealed the UK’s “worst” online retailer.