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  1. More than half of British households are set to see an increase in the cost of energy in April after the regulator, Ofgem, raised price caps. Ofgem sets maximum prices that can be charged for gas and electricity to those who have not switched suppliers and are on default tariffs. The new cap could see these households typically pay an extra £117 a year. The regulator is allowing suppliers to cover the higher costs they face on the wholesale market. "We can assure these customers that they remain protected from being overcharged for their energy and that these increases are only due to actual rises in energy costs, rather than excess charges from supplier profiteering," said Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47133564
  2. Prices of Imperial Tobacco products increase in price from Monday 4 February 2019 Cigarettes +35p RYO 30g +50p No doubt others will follow
  3. have a unpaid debt with anglian water. ccj granted march 2013 for a debt of £1,341,98. agreed with them to pay debt off at £5 per month. after a financial income check incomings outgoings. we applied to pay this debt by direct debit payment. they said it could not be done. over the period of time we reduced this debt to about £300. for some reason they cancelled the agreement and enforced this with the high court enforcement group who visited me today. informing me they are collecting a debt of £2,041.15 for anglian water. rather annoyed to find that anglian water never told me of there intentions or giving me a chance to put my case to the court. where is the common sense the debt reducing. then they treble the debt to be honest struggle paying this amount. is the court system just got no sense before they decide what actions they take on people. any advice available here please . contacted anglian water waiting for call back.
  4. Hi, we've had a few issues with a local credit union recently. Having gone over paperwork for a loan for a family member, it appears that the credit union refused to off-set savings to allow a defaulted debt to be paid off, and instead insisted on refinancing. If the savings had been used to off-set, the debt outstanding would have been approx. £300 and could have been repaid easily in a couple of months, at the time. The person asked to do this (in writing). The credit union refused. As it is, the person now cannot repay the repayments at all as they have only PIP as income, and now the credit union are claiming the debt is closer to £3000 AFTER taking off the savings. The credit union won't provide a breakdown of amount paid or any justification of why they felt making them take out thousands to cover what boils down to £300 is acceptable. Run by one person, so complaints are never upheld. Family member is disabled and at the time they agreed to the refinancing, was not only unwell themselves, but also had family members quite unwell too. Credit Union are very aware of this, but basically don't care and have said as much. It just looks like the credit union took a massive advantage to make interest off him. While big banks may well do it, it feels nastier from a credit union who's customers are more likely to be vulnerable, and actually I'm not sure a big bank would insist a customer took out a loan of approx. £4000 to cover £300. I think they'd take the savings and go after the £300 separately, not allow refinancing beyond affordability and sense. No 'extra' funds were made available due to refinancing either, it was all to avoid taking even a penny out the savings. Of course it would be nicer to keep savings intact, but if they couldn't afford the repayments, and wanted to decrease their debt, it seems ridiculous to make them pay so much more on top just to keep the money there. They now owe so much more, and are in a worse position. This credit union have in the past also been known to move money around accounts to make new accounts to put part of their savings in for people without their knowledge and also take money out people's savings for use of their business. Only small amounts- an extra £10 going missing at Christmas out a income-related benefit, for example. Statements were never sent too. Also rather than add charges to a debt or incurred cost, they were taken directly out of savings. The credit union have recently been told in court they are NOT allowed to refuse to off-set savings, in order to create a larger debt to sue for. Owner claimed ignorance about off-setting, despite approx. 20 years owning the business. Is there anything we can do about this? Complaining to the credit union is useless. It feels like they took advantage and scammed him- I'm quite angry about it, angry at myself too for not seeing it at the time but with no statements, we had nothing to compare it to. Also, how do we calculate interest on a refinanced loan? As there seems to be something amiss on the figures too. Thanks
  5. i've been at my current property now for almost 15 years , house lookrf after , rent paid on time. The house is rented through a letting agency. About 2 years ago , at the time of setting up a new contract (yearly) , I was advised the landlord wanted to sell the property , as such I was told a break clause needed to be added to the contract , giving the landlord the right to give 2 months notice. I had to put up with strangers looking around my house then for whatever reason the landlord decided he didn't want to sell. My lease has come up again this year and as well as a £20 rent increase I noticed that the break clause was still there. I asked for the break clause to be removed as it is not required anymore , the reply from the letting agency is that the landlord is happy to do this...for a further £20 increase!!! I'm not happy the agency is trying to make a quick buck , do I have any rights here other than the right to go and find another house ?
  6. Statutory redundancy payments increase READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statutory-redundancy-payments-increase
  7. I received a letter from Jacobs today regarding our current arrangement for council tax debt. I'm extremely frustrated, I have never missed a payment with them and even now our current arrangement is a bit of a squeeze, but I pay non the less. Letter dated Aug 2, 2017. I really cannot afford to pay anymore than our current arrangement, I'm obviously going to call them but, I'm not sure what to say/do I can't deal with Bailiffs at my house again, I was a mess last time.
  8. Hi, I am in a bit of a quandary and would be very appreciative of some advice. I'm currently renting a property with a fixed 6 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (it's a shared house but we all have our own contracts) which commenced at the start of May. The landlord wants us all to move out so essentially he can extend the property and rent it out to more people in the future. He's offered an alternative property but I'm not keen on it because it's got a smaller kitchen, is in a different area, has no dining room and is more expensive (it has a private bathroom). As such I don't want to move and as a result he's threatening a rent increase. In the contract it states the following: - "This is an agreement to create an Assured Shorthold Tenancy as defined in Section 19A of the Housing Act 1988 or any successor legislation (the "Act")." And the clause which specifically applies here is as below: - "The Landlord may increase the Rent for the Property upon providing to the Tenant such notice as required by the Act." So what I'm not clear on is the notice period that is being referred to above that he has to give before increasing the rent within my 6 month contract period, it's quite an extensive document! (I want to move out by then so there's no worry about the contract expiring and it then being raised) In the Housing Act it references different dates for the length of the notice period (such as "in any other case, a period equal to the period of the tenancy" - section 13 3c) but I know that this relates to rent increases under assured periodic tenancies which doesn't apply to me because I have the rent increase clause in the contract. Also I have seen on this forum that "A clause in a contract is not enforceable in court if: (b) The wording of the clause is not clear enough for the tenant to be able to tell what the increase will be. It should state the amount of the increase, or give a formula for how the increase will be calculated (e.g. by applying the Retail Prices Index). And it should say how much prior notice of the increase the landlord must give the tenant." So also is the clause in my contract enforceable due to the seeming ambiguity? Phew! I hope that's clear, if anyone could provide some advice to help that would be much appreciated to help me understand what my right are. Thank you for your time, TT
  9. Can a rent increase imposed via S13 be argued against due to lack of repairs?
  10. Hi, just a little quibble about the Form 4 I have received from my landlord. LL has filled in the form but has put that the first increase after 11th February 2003 was January 1st last year, but the rent has increased every year since i moved in to the property at the end of December 2004. I have to send a copy of the form to HB... is it important to have the correct dates? Hope someone can advise. I don't want to get in trouble with HB for submitting incorrect information to Council if it's important - they will be aware of previous (Jan 2016) rise as I was claiming HB at that time. Thanks for any help Mac
  11. In the latest statement, Philip Hammond announced increase in Insurance premium tax to 12.5% from June 2017. Given that Insurers also like to include other premium increases, people are likely to see average increases on Insurances of 20% or more. With average Car Insurance premiums now £700, i could see this rising by at least another £100. Then add on increases to other Insurances bought by households and you could see an extra £300 to £400 in annual budget taken by Insurances. Because VAT is 20% currently. Philip Hammond used this as a reason to justify increasing Insurance Premium Tax, suggesting that people were already getting a discounted tax rate. I am not sure people will see it in the same way. Is buying Insurance the same as buying any other consumer product ? Given that Car Insurance is a legal requirement and not optional, i would argue that tax should not be paid on the compulsory third party liability element of the policy.
  12. So it turns out PDLs are not just bad for your Bank Account & Wallet - They are also bad for your brain too!! I highlight the below because this is still massively worrying...
  13. Hi all, Am renting part of a car park from the Council, they are about to renew the Lease and increase it by 110%, can they do this? I would really appreciate some help on this one. Thanks in anticipation
  14. So EE are putting prices up AGAIN this year (September) and because they are not changing the monthly fee they are telling me there is nothing i can do about it! I use Picture messaging quite a bit as certain friends refuse to use other apps, so this will increase my bills a bit. There are increasing prices for 'out of bundle' charges, so call charges when minutes end,mms etc etc Are they correct, is their really nothing i can do?
  15. Seriously boiling mad - I have had RAC breakdown insurance for last 4 yrs . On auto renewal direct debit . Just discovered after checking my bank online they have taken out £113 ( Last years renewal was £85 ) with no letter sent to state new premium - straight on phone to wait 20 minutes for call center . I have used their service about twice in 4yrs . Demanded a full refund for the absolute cheek of them , got offered a check in the post . ( Firstly in was a £16 refund ) Now waiting for their Complaints section to contact me for a direct transfer as it has maxed out my poor account - will not be using them again or recommending these shysters . Beware if yr on DD payments
  16. In last week's White Paper on the future of the BBC, the Culture Secretary; John Whittingdale confirmed that watching TV without a valid TV licence will continue to be a criminal offence. At present, 13% (approx 180,000 cases) that go before the magistrates each year are in relation to TV licence evasion. In the consultation paper it was stated that 'more guidance' was required in relation to this offence together with 'proposed culpability factors'. Presently, the Sentencing Council are undertaking a large-scale revamp of sentencing rules for 27 common offences dealt with by the magistrates and if approval is given, the new sentences will take effect in the autumn. Yesterday, it was announced that substantial changes are being proposed by the Sentencing Council in relation to TV licence evasion. These proposals (if approved) could see many of the fines significantly increased, and in many cases....doubled. The most significant part of the Sentencing Council's proposals concerns the new 'culpability factors'. Under the proposal, the crime will be considered more serious if the individual: Has not tried to buy a licence; If they have tried to evade detection; Have additional subscription television service (Sky, BT TV, Netflix or Amazon) The effect will be that JPs will consider that an individual who is a Sky, Netflix, Amazon or BT TV subscriber will have committed a Category Two crime rather than the lesser Category Three offence for which they would currently be guilty. For individuals who have failed to pay for a TV licence for more than six months the offence will be Category One, which would mean the fine would be at the top of the Band B range.
  17. Hi all, Heres the context; So after days of trolling through various website and spending loads of hours on the phone. I finally found my insurance broker. I had previously gone to them for a quotation and an estimate came back at 4200 GBP however when I rang them to finalise the quote the representative on the phone informed me the price was 3700.00 GBP. She also read out and went through all of the information to double check all was correct, this included all of the previous claims fault or non-fault, all was fine. I ended up putting a substantial deposit down and my vehicle was insured after I put down the phone. My question is, does the insurance company have the right to increase the price of the premium after we had agreed the amount and sale completed? I look forward to everyone's advice. regards, J
  18. Received an email from BT confirming that my contract will be increasing by £3.50pm from July 2016. I understand that even though I am in contract I can still refuse this increase and leave the contract early, can anyone confirm? Their email states "if you're within your minimum term and want to cancel, you'll need to give us a call within 30 days of getting this email to avoid paying a charge for leaving early.". I assume if I call they will offer to remove the £3.50pm, does anyone know if I can still reject this and leave? I am looking for a way out of this contract so this seems like a golden opportunity. Thanks, J
  19. Latest figues show net migration running at 332,000. The question is where these people are going ? This is about the size of a middlish regional cities population being added every year. Given the shortage of housing, i wonder where they are living. By 2025 the population of the UK may exceed 70 million. That will require about 4 million new homes to be built by then. The answer may be to build mobile home sites, which can be set up quickly and potentially offer flexible affordable accommodation to people. This would be a better option than building too many expensive permanent homes, when some migrants may well return to their countries of origin.
  20. Millions of current account customers are being advised to consider their options, following an increase in fees, and changes in interest rates. From Monday, monthly charges on the Santander 123 account - held by 3.6 million people - will more than double. At the same time HSBC is cutting interest payments to customers on its range of cash Individual Savings Accounts (Isas). Barclays also announced more cash rewards for those who switch. The change in Santander fees - announced in September - will see customers paying £60 a year, instead of the previous fee of £24. The charge for its 123 credit card rises from £24 a year to £36. 'Do the maths' Last year the Santander account proved very popular, with more than 27,000 people switching to it in a single month. But experts said that - even after the changes -it still offered relatively generous interest payments of up to 3% a year, and cashback of up to 3% on some household bills. "Don't jump ship until you've done the maths," said Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of advice site Money.co.uk. "To put it simply, you need to look at how much you're earning in interest and cashback. If it's less than the new £60 a year fee you need to take it as a wake-up call to seriously consider your options." MOre ...
  21. Please forgive me if the terms aren't 100% correct. Different insurers do their calculations differently, but this is my understanding of the basic process: No Claims Discount, normally rated in years, is a discount given which insurers apply to your actual calculated 'rate' or risk. Different insurers use different amounts for the years earned - no consistency. Your Rate or Risk is calculated based on some industry calculations tailored by individual insurers, which consider what is the likelihood of having to pay out to you, and is based on many factors including age, location, what you are insuring, and whether you have had any losses/accidents previously among many other things. The premium (what you pay) is the rate or risk calculation, with any discounts, including no claims discount, applied. So in the example of car insurance, an accident will increase the base calculation of your 'insurance' rate or risk. Any discounts, no claims or otherwise, are then applied to the amount calculated. Example: Insurance before accident with NCD = £200 (your risk calculation) - 40% of £200 no claims discount = £200 - £80 = £120 to pay Insurance after accident with protected NCD = £400 (your increased risk calculation) - 40% of £400 protected no claims discount = £400 - £160 = £240 to pay Insurance after accident without protected NCD = £400 (your increased risk calculation) - 0% of £400 no claims discount = £400 - £0 = £400 to pay Protected no claims discount protects the percentage of discount applied to the base risk calculation and is not protection from an increased basic risk calculation and hence increased cost of cover. Hope this helps in understanding. More info http://www.confused.com/car-insurance/guides/how-car-insurance-is-calculated
  22. Over the last few years, Npower always seemed to increase my DD around October time (the bill would likely show that my usage had left an underpayment of around £50.00). Npower would then have to refund me almost £100.00 around June of the following year. This because the increase in the DD was quite substantial between £20-30 increase. This year it would appear I am £29.60 in CREDIT - yet they have still increased the Direct Debit although for a much smaller sum of £6.00 per month ?
  23. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefit-sanctions-against-people-with-mental-health-problems-up-by-600-per-cent-a6731971.html 609% is a massive increase and shows how flawed the current system is. I have seen with my own eyes how the work program can affect people on ESA with mental health issues who have been found fit to work react to some of these pseudo psychiatric workshops they are now pushing on people.
  24. Rather than face the humiliation of the DWP contacting my employer with a Direct Earnings Attachment, they accepted my proposal of £100 per month direct debit repayment plan. I have been paying this for 12 months and have never missed a payment. I have just received a letter asking me to call them as they want to consider an increase in my current payment plan. Can they pressure me with the threat of a DEA through my employer again if I refuse to agree to an increase? This debt is from 1997 and I know lots of people say it, but I know I was repaying this back then, I was called in to the social security office and new claim forms showing the deduction were completed. I was still on benefits when the overpayment came to light, and remained so until 2000. I have never been out of work since. Then 2014 and the Welfare Reform bill rolled out the DWP bully methods of collecting old debts. Guilty, with no access to records to prove your Innocence. Even letters from my local MP produced no way forward to dispute the alleged debt. There is nowhere to turn for help. Can anyone here help in answer my query: Can the DW force a Direct Earnings Attachment if I refuse to increase the direct debit of £100 per month that they already extract from me?
  25. I have been scouring the net looking for info on this issue but i literally cant find anything so hope someone can help! The NMW increase to 6.70 on 1st Oct is not being paid by my employer untill November, it seems wrong to me. So I asked for an explanation from them last year and the reason i got was ' we are midway through a payment cycle and it cant be changed' I wasnt happy but i did let it slide, however the same thing is happening this year and Im not letting it slide again. To clarify, the effective date is 1 Oct, i get paid 4 weekly, i am due to get paid tomorow (26th) and the cut off date was 18th October, so should I receive the increase for shifts done between the 1st and the 18th? Is this a legal requirement or a guide for employers? Hey i know its not a great deal of money but its not a small company (500 employees) and if they have pocketed a few quid from each and everyone of us it sharp mounts up! It irks me to get shafted especially when they themselves are penny pinchers. Thanks in advance.
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