CAB News 29 November 2019

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CAB News 29 November 2019

Friday 29 November 2019

Local Citizens Advice have achieved widespread local coverage with tips for shopping smart on Black Friday today.

National

Consumer

How to stay smart and savvy on Black Friday

Northwich Guardian, Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen, Express and Star, Yorkshire Evening Post, Shropshire Star, 28/11/2019,

Citizens Advice Cheshire West, Citizens Advice Shropshire and national Citizens Advice were all mentioned in coverage warning consumers about Black Friday.

In the last year, Citizens Advice consumer service dealt with almost half a million consumer-related issues like faulty washing machines, undelivered parcels and fake designer goods.

More than 50,000 of these were during November 2018, by far the busiest month for the consumer service.

Universal Credit

Million universal credit households ‘do not get full entitlement’

The Observer, 24/11/2019, p.30, Chaminda Jayanetti

Image result for universal credit household entitlement

More than a million households on universal credit – 60% of everyone receiving the payments – are having their benefits cut to repay debts and loans, reported The Observer.

Gillian Guy told the paper: “Our evidence shows many people on universal credit are struggling to make ends meet, and that deductions are contributing to this.”

She said the government should introduce affordability tests when recouping debts from claimants.

Energy

Regulator rips up 26 gas and electricity licences as it emerges they can be bought for just £70,000

Daily Mail, 23/11/2019, Grace Gausden

Our reaction to the energy regulator Ofgem revoking the licences of 26 gas and electricity supply firms, initially picked up by the industry’s trade press, has now been reported in the Daily Mail.

The licences for the ‘off the shelf’ companies were cancelled because none of them had started supplying energy more than a year after licences were issued.

Gillian Guy: ‘These licences were granted before a tougher regime for new suppliers came into force.

‘This move by Ofgem is positive and means these firms can’t start operating without meeting the stricter rules.’

Regional

Heating Scheme

New ‘heating bank’ scheme launched to keep struggling households warm in Ellesmere Port and Chester

Chester Standard, 27/11/2019, Steve Creswell

Image result for heating bank

Citizens Advice Cheshire West has launched their Heating Bank campaign that helps individuals who can’t afford their energy bills this winter.

Last year, they were able to help Sarah, who had been rehoused with her two-year-old daughter following domestic abuse. Electricity for the property had cost £115 over 2 weeks, which left her with only £2 for food and heating. Through the scheme, they added £25 to her key meter account.

Liz Dickinson, of Citizens Advice Cheshire West, said: “Every winter several members of our community struggle to pay for enough gas and electricity to heat their homes and cook hot food. We are aiming to make a difference in Chester and Ellesmere Port for those people who are struggling to keep warm and we’re asking for your support.

“We are appealing to individuals, companies, and funders to contribute to our Heating bank. Every pound you donate will go to a household who needs help.”

Consumer

Citizens Advice issues Black Friday advice

Stray FM, 26/11/2019, Harry Long

Citizens Advice Harrogate and Craven have issued advice in the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to guide consumers on how to buy and budget smart.

Edward Pickering, CEO at Citizens Advice Craven & Harrogate Districts said: “It is important that anyone thinking about turning to credit or taking out a loan to help pay for purchases understands the full costs involved and if they can actually afford to pay it back.”

Citizens Advice on spending smart this Black Friday

Bracknell News, 25/11/2019, Leon Riccio

In the last year, Citizens Advice consumer service has dealt with almost half a million consumer-related issues like faulty washing machines, undelivered parcels and fake designer goods.

But by far the most enquiries come in during November as people start their Christmas shopping.

Callum Pirson at Citizens Advice Bracknell and District said: “At this time of year many people may feel the pressure to part with their money.

“It is important that anyone thinking about turning to credit or taking out a loan to help pay for purchases understands the full costs involved and if they can actually afford to pay it back.

In other news

Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day?

NPower to cut 4,500 jobs.

Parts of England “have higher mortality rates than Turkey”.

Immigration: Home Office reverses attempt to deport Jamaican man ‘to Iraq’.