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4/24/2014 8:27:10 AM

Turn2us Be Aware benefits campaign Update

Turn2us Be Aware campaign pages

 

BAM update web news article

Last week (16 April) Turn2us began shining a spotlight on in-work poverty with its ‘Be Aware’ campaign. As part of its annual Benefits Awareness Month, Turn2us was focusing on the huge numbers of people who are in work yet struggling to make ends meet.

With almost three fifths (57%) of low incomes working households feeling that their financial situation has worsened in the last year*, it’s clear that help is desperately needed for the most vulnerable of people.

With the campaign running until May 16, there are a number of different ways people can get involved in the campaign

The Lunchtime Pledge

Being in work does not mean the end of help.  We want everyone to know they are not alone and to ‘Be Aware’ of the support that is available in the form of benefits and tax credits.

Throughout the campaign, Turn2us wants as many people as possible to join our ‘Lunchtime Pledge’ and use our free Benefits Calculator to carry out a quick calculation to see what they may be entitled to. Whether they are in work but on a low income, know someone struggling to make ends meet or working with financial need, we want them to take a few minutes out of their day and use our calculator.  

 

Share your experiences

Throughout the campaign Turn2us has been people’s experiences of struggling on low income. This is helping to build a picture of what life is really like to be in work but struggling to make ends meet on a low income 

 Mark: I’m working hard, cycle twenty miles a day to work and back all for the minimum wage. I find it a real struggle to survive on my low wages.

Sam: We are poorer now that the fella is working full time than when we were on jobseekers.

Trish: Trying to run a business - struggling so much!

If you are working but struggling or if you have received help and want to pass on your experiences you can let Turn2us know through our Share Your Story section

Get involved

To keep updated on the campaign, visit the Turn2us Facebook page or follow Turn2us on Twitter. There is also the Be Aware blog which is regularly updated with news and stories about the campaign.

 

Date of publication: 24 April 2014

4/15/2014 2:42:09 PM

Turn2us Be Aware benefits campaign launches

Turn2us Be Aware campaign pages

 

For Turn2us’ fourth annual Benefits Awareness Month, we are focusing on the huge numbers of people who are in work but are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. This year, we want everyone struggling to ‘Be Aware’ of the help that could be available through welfare benefits and other support.

Read our 'Be Aware' campaign pages 

Throughout the campaign, people in work but on low incomes – no matter if they are working full time or off work due to injury or long-term illness – can visit the Turn2us ‘Be Aware’ campaign pages for information on benefits such as Working Tax Credits. They can also discover what they may be entitled to claim by using our free and easy-to-use Turn2us Benefits Calculator.

Make a 'Be Aware' Lunchtime Pledge

This year we are looking for people to join our ‘Lunchtime Pledge’ and carry out a benefits calculation using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator. Whether they are in work but on a low income; know someone struggling to make ends meet; or are working with people in financial need, we want as many people as possible to raise awareness of the fact that support is available.

Tell us your story of in-work poverty

We also want to hear about the experiences of people struggling with in-work poverty, so we can build a picture of what life is really like for those on low incomes. During the campaign, the 'Be Aware' campaign pages will have a link to our 'Share Your Story' form.

Turn2us social media channels and contact

Anyone can take part in the campaign by following the Turn2us Facebook page or joining Turn2us on Twitter.

If you want to find out more about the campaign or if you would like to get involved and help people ‘Be Aware’ of the support that is available, please contact:

Emma Lamberton, Turn2us Communications Officer at: emma.lamberton@turn2us.org.uk

Browse the Turn2us 'Be Aware' campaign pages

Read the Turn2us 'Be Aware' campaign press release

Date of publication: 16 April 2014

4/15/2014 9:21:50 AM

People with disabilities pay a 'financial penality' on every day costs

Scope information about the Priced out report (link opens in a new window)

 

A new report by Scope reveals that disabled people pay a financial penalty on everyday living costs – on average £550 per month more, with one in ten paying over £1,000 extra per month.

Not only do disabled people have to buy specialist equipment, they are also charged a premium for everyday items. 

As a result, many disabled people are on average £108,000 worse off when it comes to pensions and savings, and twice as likely to have unsecured debt. 

Scope report: Priced out: Ending the financial penalty of disability by 2020

The impact on disabled people’s living standards has been laid bare in the report 'Priced out: ending the financial penalty of disability by 2020'. It shows that disabled people: 

  • Spend on average £550 per month extra. Nearly a fifth (17%) pay over £800 and 10% pay over £1000 extra a month.
  • Are twice as likely to have unsecured debt totalling more than half of their household income.
  • Are three times more likely to use door step loans.
  • Have on average £108,000 fewer savings and assets than non-disabled people.
  • Have less pension wealth - in the 55-64 age groups, the gap in the level of private pension wealth held by disabled and non-disabled people is £125,000.

People with disabilities paying extra in three ways

Scope’s report has uncovered that disabled people have to pay extra in three ways:

  • Having to buy more of everyday things like heating, or taxis to work
  • Paying for specialist items, like a wheelchair or a hoist or other equipment
  • Paying more for everyday products and services, like insurance, travel, clothes and cutlery.

Government must protect payments that help people with disabilities meet extra costs

The charity says it is crucial that the Government protects payments that help disabled people meet those costs.

Over 20 years ago the government introduced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to help cover the extra costs of disability. 

DLA is being replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and there is concern that large numbers of disabled people will miss out on the payment and that the test used will not accurately reflect where disabled people have to pay more. 

DLA and PIP are also included in the government’s cap on Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) which means the budget for these payments might be reduced even when the need for them remains the same.

Scope is calling on the government to protect the value of PIP by removing it from the overall cap on benefits and triple-locking it, just like pensions for older people. 

Scope launching Commission to find ways to reduce premium people with disabilities pay

At the same time, Scope is launching a Commission in the summer to find ways to bring down drastically the premium disabled people pay in key areas including housing, transport, equipment and technology. 

Find out more about Scope's ''Priced out: ending the financial penalty of disability by 2020' report (link opens in a new window)

Source: Scope press release on the 'Priced out' report (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us resources

If you have a disability and are struggling to make ends meet, help may be available to you through benefits and grants, depending on your needs, circumstances and background.

Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search

Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

Turn2us information resources

The Turn2us Information and Resources section contains resources on benefits, grants and managing money, including useful links sheets and a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help. 

Read the Illness, Injury and Disability information section.

Read the Turn2us Personal Independence Payment information section

Also in the news

Benefit cap

Disability and work

Jobseeker's Allowance sanctions

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Wales

Date of publication: 15 April 2014

4/11/2014 10:06:35 AM

Millions have little or no savings - Shelter research

Turn2us Benefits Calculator


 

Millions of working families in the UK could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, according to new figures from Shelter.

A survey of working adults who pay rent or a mortgage found that, with little or no savings to fall back on, 3.8 million families could be just one paycheque away from losing their home.

Worryingly the research also found that more than a third of families would not be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment if they were to lose their job this month.

Government figures on savings

Mirroring Shelter’s research are the latest government figures on savings, which reveal that 15 million working age adults in the UK have no savings at all.

Comments from Shelter staff

Liz Clare, a Shelter helpline advisor, said: ‘This research highlights how millions of us now find ourselves living on a financial knife-edge – month to month, paycheque to paycheque. Every day we see how just one piece of bad luck, like a sudden job loss or illness, could put the family home at risk.

'Sky-high housing costs and stagnating wages mean most of us don’t have enough money in the bank to rely on for long enough to get back on our feet.’

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: ‘No matter how hard ordinary families work, in today’s ‘knife-edge nation’ a drop in income can all too quickly put their home at serious risk. If you lose your job finding another one is hard enough, but without a stable place to live it’s almost impossible.

‘The government must make sure the safety net is strong enough to stop families falling through the gaps and going through the nightmare of losing their homes.’

Source: Shelter press release on personal finances (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us resources

If you are on a low income and struggling to make ends meet, help may be available to you through benefits and grants, depending on your needs, circumstances and background.

Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search

Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

Turn2us information resources

The Turn2us Information and Resources section contains resources on benefits, grants and managing money, including useful links sheets and a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help.   

Also in the news

Digital inclusion

Personal Independence Payment

Wales

Date of publication: 14 April 2014

4/10/2014 9:17:52 AM

Still not clear Universal Credit IT will work, warns Select Committee

Turn2us Universal Credit information section


 

Worrying uncertainty remains about the new Universal Credit (UC) IT system, says the Work and Pensions Committee in a report published this week. This includes how it will work, how much it will cost and who will develop it.

Universal Credit roll out timetable changed

National roll out of UC was due to begin in October 2013. However, problems with IT systems meant that major changes to the timetable have been made. New claims are not expected to be extended to the whole of Great Britain until 2016; and the bulk of existing claimants will not move over to UC until 2016-17.

New IT solutions

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is trying to resolve the IT problems by developing a new “end-state solution” which will eventually replace the IT system currently in use in the UC Pathfinder areas. This is costing £25-32 million to develop up to November 2014, with no indication of how much more it will cost in the long-term. And it will only be clear that it works once it has been tested at scale. However, it is still some way from being tested on the first 100 claimants. 

The Committee said that the Government should provide more detail on what the end-state solution means in practical terms, including how much it will cost, when it will be ready to test on the first claimants, how it will be extended, and when it is expected to be fully implemented.

The current "twin track" approach to UC IT development also means that the Government is still spending money on the existing IT being used in the Pathfinder while the end-state solution is developed.

Scrutiny of Universal Credit

The Committee said that the Government has hampered the Committee’s scrutiny of UC implementation by not providing accurate, timely and detailed information. That it was not acceptable for the Government only to provide information about major policy changes when forced to do so by the imminent prospect of being held to account in a public evidence session.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should set out how it will improve the frankness, accuracy and timeliness of the information it provides to the Committee on UC implementation.

Supporting vulnerable people to adjust to UC

Committee said that there was a lack of detail on how the Local Support Services Framework (LSSF) will work in practice. This sets out how the Government - working with local authorities, housing providers and voluntary organisations - will support vulnerable people to move onto UC. 

The DWP should ensure that detailed information about the operation and funding of the LSSF is set out when the final version is published in autumn 2014.

Local authority funding

Delays to UC roll out mean that local authorities will now administer Housing Benefit for much longer than anticipated. DWP needs to provide local authorities with clarity on the funding that will be available in 2014-15 and 2015-16 to cover this additional cost.

Work and Pensions Committee Chair's comments

Commenting, Dame Anne Begg MP, Committee Chair, said:

"Only 4,280 people were claiming Universal Credit by December 2013 and the majority of these claims were of the simplest nature.  By comparison, in the same month, 1.22 million people were claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. This demonstrates the scale of the challenge still facing the Government in trying to implement UC by 2017.

"Whilst it is right to ensure that the system works properly before extending it, there is a difference between cautious progress and a snail’s pace.  Given the excruciatingly slow pace of roll-out to date, it is hard to see how the most recent implementation timetable can be met."

Money wasted so far "is a matter of deep regret"

Dame Anne Begg said that " the wasted on Universal Credit so far – £40 million on IT software that now has no use and £90 million on software with a useful life of only five years – is a matter of deep regret.  It is vital that DWP learns the lessons of past mistakes.

"At the same time as developing the "end-state solution" the Government intends to spend £37-£58 million on further developing the existing IT system.  Given the small number of people currently claiming UC, the Government should consider whether it would be a better use of taxpayers’ money to abandon further development of the existing system and focus solely on the end-state solution.

"Despite the millions being spent on the end-state IT solution it is still not clear when the system will be ready or even how it will work. It is still not ready for testing on the first 100 claimants, and we have no indication of when it will be possible to test it on a bigger and more representative group of claimants."

Supporting vulnerable people through the transition "remains a key concern"

Dame Anne also stated: "The fundamental problems with Universal Credit have understandably dominated recent public debate. But how vulnerable people will be supported through the transition remains a key concern. 

"The Minister stated that how support would be provided for vulnerable people was almost as important as Universal Credit itself. But like Universal Credit IT, it is still far from clear how this will work in practice or what funding will be provided for it."

More information on Universal Credit

Read the Turn2us Universal Credit information section

Find out more about the Work and Pensions Select Committee report: Universal Credit implementation: monitoring DWP's performance in 2012-13 (link opens in a new window)

Source: Work and Pensions Select Committee

Also in the news

Benefit cap

Benefit fraud

Charities

Employment and Support Allowance

Heating

Personal budgets and social care

Personal Independence Payment

Student loans

Youth unemployment

 

Date of publication: 10 April 2014

4/8/2014 9:27:58 AM

Welfare reform: 100,000 trapped in larger homes and wanting to move

Joseph Rowntree Foundation press release on welfare reform and housing (link opens in a new window)


 

The ‘spare room subsidy’ or ‘bedroom tax’ has left tenants struggling to cope and has failed to free up homes in many areas, research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has found. Savings to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will also fall short in the policy’s first year.

Two separate Joseph Rowntree Foundation housing-related studies

The findings come in two separate studies published today:

The findings use the latest available data to provide an early snapshot of how the policies have affected tenants, landlords and the government, one year on from substantial changes to the benefits system.

Housing Benefit size criteria research

The first report, 'Housing Benefit size criteria: impacts for social sector tenants and options for reform', found:

  • The DWP is likely to save £330 million in the policy’s first year, £115 million below its initial target and a figure which will decline in future years. This is net of £55 million Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) spent to reduce the policy’s effect on vulnerable people - a figure which will increase next year due to higher expected demand
  • Fewer people are paying the charge: 498,000 have been affected by the policy – lower than the 660,000 estimate by DWP. Half are in arrears in the first six months of the policy due to the average £14 per week cut
  • Over 100,000 people are trapped in larger homes and are subject to the cut despite wanting to move, while six per cent have moved to avoid paying.

Joseph Rowntree proposed reforms

The report proposes a range of reforms to lessen the financial hardship caused to some households by the policy. These include:

  • Making allowances for an additional bedroom for households where someone claims a higher rate Disability Living Allowance
  • Flexibility for households with carers and those with responsibilities for children
  • Reforming the DHP process so that it is possible to make longer-term awards for households whose circumstances do not change
  • Taking into account bedrooms that are too small to share.

Impact of welfare reform on social landlords and tenants report

The second report, The impact of welfare reform on social landlords and tenants, show the impact of multiple changes to the benefits system on tenant’s everyday lives. In particular:

  • People are choosing between heating and eating. Three quarters have cut back on food bills and others have been referred to food banks. Tenants told the researchers anxiety and insecurity are on the rise and they increasingly reliant on emergency support, rather than less.
  • People are becoming more vulnerable to debt. Over half are borrowing cash from family and friends to pay for essentials. Tenants have sold family possessions to help cover costs.
  • Tenants – with help from their landlords - are putting a renewed focus on finding work, apprenticeships, training and skills in response to the changes. However those in jobs - which tended to be in low-paid service roles with short hours - were worried about falling incomes and job security.

Impact of welfare reform on social landlords

The report also highlights the impact of welfare reform on social landlords:

Housing providers are having to check more rigorously whether new applicants can afford the rent, thus increasing the difficulty of getting the poorest into social housing in the most places.

  • The reforms have transferred costs to landlords: associations are providing information, advice on jobs and benefits, tackling fuel poverty and meeting crises through hardship funds and support for food banks. They increasingly advise tenants about juggling rent, Council Tax payments, food and energy bills.
  • All associations are clear that rising fuel costs are a cause of increasing poverty, but its impact has intensified since welfare reform began. Energy-saving advice and investment are growing priorities for social landlords.

Comment from Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Policy and Research Manager

Kathleen Kelly, Policy and Research Manager at JRF, said: “The families affected by welfare reform are already living on low incomes and are being put in a risky position by further cuts in their support. Early indications suggest the worst effects have yet to materialise, but the reforms have transferred housing costs to poor families, who can ill afford the extra costs. A particular concern is the stark choice landlords face as to whether they can afford to house the poorest. The time is right to take stock of the policies and alleviate their worst effects.”

Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation press release on welfare reform and housing (link opens in a new window)

Also in the news

Benefit and tax credit problems

Disability

Employment

Food banks

Migrants

Pensions

Personal debt

Personal Independence Payment

Date of publication: 9 April 2014

4/7/2014 9:30:14 AM

Universal Credit roll out expands to Shotton in Wales

Turn2us Universal Credit information section


 

Some new jobseekers in Shotton, Flintshire, will become the first people in Wales to claim Universal Credit today.

At the same time, the Welsh Government is calling for Westminster to rethink its new welfare benefit before rolling it out further across the country.

Welsh ministers' concerns about lack of real detail

Welsh ministers are concerned at the lack of any real detail on the UK Government's Universal Credit, which is hindering the Welsh Government's ability to plan new arrangements for its devolved benefits, such as free NHS dental and optical treatment, school uniform allowance and free school meals.

In Wales, the receipt of various Welsh Government benefits is currently linked to benefits that are set to be scrapped and replaced by Universal Credit. Until full details are available from the Department for Work and Pensions, Welsh Ministers have put in place steps to make sure those who receive this Welsh Government support, known as 'passported' benefits, continue to get help.

Comment from Welsh Government's Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister

Jeff Cuthbert, Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister for the Welsh Government, said:

"The Welsh Government is not against the idea of responsible reform in fact, the opposite is true but we have made it clear from the beginning that we are concerned about the scale and speed of the change. It is increasingly evident that continued delays and uncertainly over the arrangements over the roll out of Universal Credit are an indirect acknowledgement from the UK Government that we were absolutely right be concerned.

"Universal Credit risks becoming a black hole from which we cannot find out who is eligible for our Welsh Government benefits. We still don't know how it will fully work and how in practice it will replace existing arrangements.

"I understand the UK Government intended their new benefit to 'offset' some of the other welfare changes particularly by making work pay. It is a great shame then that the Ministers in London have insisted on pushing ahead with some of the more punitive measures such as the spare 'bedroom tax', when it could be years before Universal Credit is fully introduced and any of those proposed benefits can be realised.

"The welfare changes are already hitting the most vulnerable; it is time the UK Government makes sure that those facing this tough reality do not get hit further. Our concerns are not just about the support we provide, but how we as a society help those who have to turn to social security in times of need. It must provide the right safety net for those who need it the most."

Further information on Universal Credit

Turn2us Universal Credit information section

Source: Welsh Government press release on Universal Credit (link opens in a new window)

Also in the news

Benefits uprating

Credit unions

Energy

Students

Unemployment benefits

Universal Credit

Welfare reform

Young carers

Date of publication: 7 April 2014

4/4/2014 9:23:33 AM

New laws about bailiffs start today in England and Wales

Turn2us Debt information section

 

New rules to stop aggressive behaviour by bailiffs in England and Wales come into force on Sunday 6 April.

From 6 April, bailiffs can’t:

  • Enter your home if only children or vulnerable people are present
  • Enter your home between 9pm and 6am
  • Take essential household goods like your oven, fridge or beds
  • Enter your home through anything except the door
  • Bailiffs must give you at least seven days’ notice of their first visit.

Fixed fees

New fixed costs will stop bailiffs setting their own fees. In most cases, if you owe less than £1,500 the new fees are:

  • £75 when your case is sent to the bailiff
  • £235 if you ignore a letter from bailiffs and they have to visit you
  • £110 if they have to take your goods and sell them at auction.

You’ll still have to pay the bailiff for any action they take against you - for example, for storing your goods or using a locksmith.

If you owe more than £1,500, you’ll also have to pay a percentage of your debt as an additional fee each time bailiffs visit your home.

You must speak to bailiffs directly about how to pay the money you owe.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive's comment

Citizens Advice emphasises the need for bailiffs to embrace these reforms to stop practices like children being given debt letters and end threats of violence.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“For too long bailiffs have been getting away with aggressive behaviour and charging for visits they don't make. We help with one thousand bailiff problems a week. People have reported bailiffs giving debt letters to their children and threatening violence. These new rules reflect just how out of control the industry is and are a welcome step towards protecting people in debt.

“It's important bailiffs seize this opportunity to transform into a responsible industry that understands the difference between people who can't pay and people who won't pay.  We'll be watching to see if that really does happen.

“What is missing from these changes is accountability for bailiff firms. We'd like to see a licensing system that means firms are struck off if bailiffs break the rules.”

Avoid bailiffs

You can avoid bailiffs getting involved by:

  • Paying any debts as soon as you get a letter from people you owe money to
  • Seeking advice on managing your debt from organisations like Citizens Advice or the Money Advice Service. You can use the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool to find a local adviser    
  • Finding out what to do if you owe money to your council or the government, for example paying your council tax or paying HM Revenue and Customs.   

Further information

Please look at the information listed below that is relevant to the country of the UK you live in.

UK

Turn2us Debt information section

England

Wales

England and Wales

Scotland

Northern Ireland

Sources: Gov.uk information: Know your rights on bailiffs (link opens in a new window) and Citizens Advice press release: New bailiff rules reflects out of control industry  (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us resources

If you are on a low income and struggling to make ends meet, help may be available to you through benefits and grants, depending on your needs, circumstances and background.

Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search

Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

Turn2us information resources

The Turn2us Information and Resources section contains resources on benefits, grants and managing money, including useful links sheets and a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help.  

Also in the news

Credit cards

Disability

Housing

England

Health and social care

Date of publication: 4 April 2014

4/2/2014 9:21:16 AM

600,000 families on low incomes in England facing a second year of above average Council Tax rises

Read the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 'Impact of localising Council Tax Support' report (link opens in a new window)


 

Research published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) shows that nearly 600,000 poor families in England are facing a second year of above average Council Tax rises, far in excess of the increase facing households on average.

Council Tax rises

2.3 million low income families will pay an average £149 a year more in Council Tax than they were paying before April 2013. This includes 580,000 families paying £54 more this year on top of the £97 rise they faced last year. This is in contrast to the UK Government’s determination to limit overall Council Tax increases to 2%.

Local council choices regarding Council Tax Support

Last April, Council Tax Benefit was abolished and replaced by Council Tax Support. England's 326 local councils had to devise their own Council Tax Support schemes, but with 10% less funding. Pensioners remained fully protected as before.

To limit the impact in the first year, the Government gave a one-year transitional grant to councils whose minimum payment was 8.5% or less of a household’s normal liability. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's research analyses the choices made by councils after that grant had come to an end.

Key findings

At the start of the second year of Council Tax Support, the research found:

  • Almost half a million (490,000) low income families who before April 2013 paid no Council Tax will now be paying more than £200 a year. From this week, 70,000 poor households are paying Council Tax for the first time, facing average bills of £114
  • Of the 2.3 million affected families, 1.5 million are below the income poverty line and 1.8 million are workless and whose sole income is from means-tested benefits
  • 244 out of 326 councils have introduced minimum payments – up from 229 last year – for poor families regardless of their income. 45 have retained previous levels of support, 13 fewer than last year
  • There is significant variation in the level of the minimum payment increases. 69 councils require 8.5% or less, while 47 have charges of 20% or more
  • The end of the transitional grant to protect against larger increases is behind the rise in local authorities introducing minimum charges or increasing the charges from last year. Arrears have increased where minimum charges have been introduced - while the collection rate of Council Tax fell.

Comment from Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Head of Poverty Research

Chris Goulden, Head of Poverty Research at JRF, said: “For a second successive year, the country’s poorest families are facing big increases in Council Tax. This change to the welfare system is largely below the radar but has significant impact for families already struggling to get by on a low income. Paying this tax increase will be beyond most, pushing them into deeper hardship.”

Read the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 'Impact of localising Council Tax Support' report (link opens in a new window)

Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation press release on Council Tax research (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us resources

If you are on a low income, help may be available to you through benefits and grants, depending on your needs, circumstances and background.

Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search

Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

Turn2us information resources

The Turn2us Information and Resources section contains resources on benefits, grants and managing money, including useful links sheets and a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help.  

Also in the news

Energy

Free School Meals

Housing
Tax

England

Disability

Scotland

Young people

Date of publication: 2 April 2014

3/31/2014 9:14:34 AM

New payday lending rules start today

Money Advice Service payday loan tool and information (link opens in a new window)

 

Payday loans can be an expensive way to borrow money to make ends meet. Many charities, including Citizens Advice which ran a high profile campaign, have expressed concerns about this form of lending and have pressed for changes to the rules governing payday lending.

New pay day lending rules

As a result, the Financial Conduct Authority, which takes over the regulation of consumer credit from today, has new payday lending regulations, which include:

  • Limiting the number of times a customer can rollover a loan
  • Improving affordability checks
  • Controlling attempts to extract repayments from borrowers' bank accounts.

Payday lending risk warning and information resources

From today financial promotions for payday loans will include an Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) risk warning. This will link customers to a Money Advice Service ‘payday lending advice tool’ to help consumers understand the choices they have and encourage borrowing when they can afford to do so.

The tool provides:

  • situation-based advice for people thinking of taking out a payday loan
  • advice about alternatives to payday loans
  • information on rights and links to free debt advice agencies for people having problems repaying a payday loan.

See the Money Advice Service website for more information on payday loans (link opens in a new window)

Read the Citizens Advice payday loan campaign information (link opens in a new window)

Source: BBC News article: Warning for rogue payday lenders (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us resources

If you are on a low income and finding it hard to make ends meet, help may be available to you through benefits and grants, depending on your needs, circumstances and background.

Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search

Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

Turn2us information resources

The Turn2us Information and Resources section contains resources on benefits, grants and managing money, including useful links sheets and a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help. 

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Children

Consumers

Council Tax

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Living wage

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Date of publication: 1 April 2014

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