Friday 01 November 2019
The different ways in which Citizens Advice informs and assists people is reflected in our press coverage today, with Adviceline, Help to Claim and the energy star rating all featuring.
Nabuh Energy on the brink as Ofgem demands outstanding payment
City AM, 31/10/2019, Edward Thicknesse
The business focused paper City AM quoted our energy star rating table in its coverage of the troubles of small energy firm Nabuh.
Nabuh Energy has become the latest energy supplier to be threatened with having its license revoked after the regulator Ofgem issued it with an order demanding outstanding Renewables Obligations be paid immediately.
The Sheffield-based company, which came bottom of Citizens Advice’s customer service rankings, owes £872,200.
The Renewables Obligation scheme is a government initiative to support large-scale renewable electricity projects in the UK.
Smart meters: looking ahead to the “Star Trek phase”
Today in Parliament, BBC Radio 4, 30/10/2019, Mandy Baker (about 19’30” into clip)
The executive director of energy regulator Ofgem, Mark Starks, has affirmed her commitment to continue consulting regularly with Citizens Advice to try to improve customers’ experience of the smart meter roll out.
She made the remark during a meeting of the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, and the discussion was reported on Radio 4’s Today in Parliament programme.
Asda offers staff 18p per hour pay rise after thousands threatened with the sack over new contracts
The Sun, 30/10/2019, Alice Grahns
Our advice on your rights at work was quoted comprehensively by The Sun in an article about the supermarket Asda offering its staff a pay rise, just after threatening thousands with the sack they don’t sign up to the so-called Contract 6 by 2 November.
The pay rise will be given to all of Asda’s more than 100,000 shop workers around the country.
The advice included information about pay, entitlement to breaks and opting out of working more than 48 hours per week. The paper also provided a link to our website.
Rebecca Kemp, Director of Customer Journey at Citizens Advice on her experience and thoughts on women in tech
Women in Tech, 28/10/2019,
Our Director of Customer Journey, Rebecca Kemp, has told website Women in Tech she is more and more motivated by how technology can be used to help with social issues.
She was also asked about barriers to women starting out in careers in tech. She said:
“I think the onus is on employers to remove these barriers. My team is diverse in terms of gender (women, trans and non-binary and men), including at leadership level. But we need to make sure we’re not just thinking about gender – we need to think about gender alongside ethnicity, class, sexuality and ability / disability.”
QuickQuid: UK’s largest payday lending firm to close
BBC Business News, 25/10/2019
Our response to the payday loan company QuickQuid going out of business was covered by the BBC on its website.
Gillian Guy said the collapse of QuickQuid “is a reminder of how critical it is that all lenders carry out proper affordability checks.”
“Customers must be able to pay back a loan without falling further into debt and shouldn’t be left having to make compensation claims down the line as a result of irresponsible lending,” she said.
She called on the financial regulator to look again at whether high-cost lenders need clearer affordability rules.
“We help the people who slip through the gaps”
BBC Radio Devon, 31/10/2019 (about 16 minutes into clip)
Citizens Advice Plymouth Communications Officer, Tom Godwin has been interviewed on the local BBC Radio station about a number of issues around Universal Credit.
Tom highlighted Citizens Advice’s campaigning success in reducing the amount of time claimants have to wait for their first payment – but stressed the current five week wait was still too long.
He said around 20% of people who are transferred to the new benefit have problems and Citizens Advice deals with these “sharp end” issues. Tom also outlined how people could access the Help to Claim service.
Citizens Advice obtains £3.5 million for clients in a year
The Scarborough Review, 25/10/2019
The “staggering” sum of over £3.5m, obtained for clients of Citizens Advice in the Scarborough area in the year 2018/19, was featured in the local paper.
In addition, £1,225,000 of debts were written off, £88,000 worth of repayments were rescheduled and £12,377 of reimbursements, services and loans were secured.
The startling figures, known as “income gain”, emerged as the charity celebrated its 80th anniversary.
Chief executive Anne-Marie Benson said: “Income gain is usually in the form of new or renewing benefits claims, making charitable applications on their behalf, etc, but it is money or goods that clients have received themselves personally from our work”.
In other news
MPs urge compulsory refunds for victims of bank transfer fraud.
Whirlpool ‘silenced’ victims of dryer fires with gagging clauses.
‘She’s not an animal’: autistic teen girl locked up 24 hours a day.
Top military charities sitting on £277m – while veterans struggle.