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  1. Hi. Last year i had a dwp budget loan. As is the norm i had the offer, accepted it and returned the form re the re-payments. Repayments started and will end next week. Letter came last week confirming the last payment will be next week. And giving the new rates of esa support group from April. An extra couple of pounds per week. Simple. On the page was in bold stating i must inform them of any changes, ie partner if i have one etc. i have never seen this on previous letters, like it was highlighted. i thought maybe it was triggered by my recent name change, by deed poll, to rid myself of my old married name, ive been divorced and single for years. So i wrote to the dwp (well my daughter did as if me as she has power of attorney and i asked her to) to explain that my adult children hadnt used my old married name for 2 years and had changed theyre names by deedpoll to my maiden name, and that now i had done the same. No other changes. Simple. Today i get another letter, giving change of rates again as before. When and how paid etc. Then goes on to say they used the tax years 2003/2004 to assess my claim? They obviously haven't updated their file as its in old name, despite a letter from them assuring me they have kept a deed copy and advised ALL departments necessary. They then go on to tell me (what they have already done) about deductions from benefit for the loan last year. The amounts dated from 15th April 2017 to June 2017. i may be being a bit thick? but i feel like alice in wonderland, none of it makes sense. still awaiting the outcome of the esa reassessment form that went off 22nd march. No reply from the email my daughter sent re waiting times and reassurance it would be read by somebody who understand my illnesses, despite them advising they usually get back to you within 2 days. Each time i see a dwp type envelope i feel sick. Anxiety through the roof.
  2. Just downloaded my first payslip for my new ill-health pension of around £55 per week, less than £3000 pa, backdated for 6 months, and it shows tax deducted for the year so far of over £2000. They're apparently using tax code 1060L. I've basically been left with £547 for the whole year, barely worth the effort of claiming it and certainly not worth paying for in the first place. My only other taxable income is contribution-based ESA, support group, which is less than £6000 pa. Obviously I shouldn't be paying tax at all, which the pension payer has no way of knowing, but even if I was paying at the highest rate, surely this is far too much or have the Tories started hammering pensioners as well now? Who do I contact to query this - the pension payer or HMRC? I currently do a self-assessment for tax (even though it always ends up as nil) because I have a property which I let, but not at a profit.
  3. Which? survey finds just 10% of people wade through a bank's terms and conditions when opening a current account. Consumers are unable to make sense of banking small print even when given unlimited time to try to understand it, research by Which? has shown. When the consumer group asked a selection of its members to answer five questions on the printed terms and conditions of standard current accounts from Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander, no one could answer all the questions correctly. One person took 17 minutes to correctly answer a question on First Direct's small print, and another took 15 minutes on Halifax's T&Cs. In total the group managed to answer an average of just 59% of questions correctly, with Lloyds TSB faring worst (53%) and NatWest's T&Cs understood best (67%). Particularly perplexing T&Cs included the First Direct small print which read: "The cut-off time is the time before which on a business weekday a payment or payment instruction is treated as received by us on that business weekday." In plain English, this means if you miss the cut-off time for making payment, it won't be processed until the next day. The results suggest banks are not doing enough to make small print short and easy to understand, Which? said. Chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith added: "It is completely unrealistic for banks to expect their customers to plough through 30,000 words of financial jargon and small print. "Banks should drastically reduce the length of their terms and conditions so that their customers are not put off from reading them in the first place." HSBC topped the table for the longest T&Cs, running to almost 30,000 words, which would take an average person more than an hour-and-a-half to read. First Direct and Halifax would also take more than an hour to read with their T&Cs running to more than 20,000 words. A separate Which? survey of about 1,500 people found that only one in 10 had waded through the T&Cs when they opened a current account. Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/nov/21/customers-baffled-bank-account-small-print
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