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Found 44 results

  1. While we were all watching the Brexit farce: State Pension Credit will no longer be available to claimants whose partner is under state pension age
  2. The Tory have implemented Tax cut - which corbyn and McDonnell are supporting, but which have the labour party up in arms - and quite rightly. Little Corbyn mini-me mc says they wont oppose tax cuts for the needy - what bullhooks Tax cuts, of which reportedly roughly half goes to the top 10%, and roughly 90% to the richest 50% But where is this money coming from? https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/10/poverty-benefits-families-cuts-austerity-hammond-poor-welfare "the changes from April will save around £2.5bn and dent the incomes of the “just about managing” families that Theresa May has vowed to help." "The cuts will affect around 11 million families, including 5 million of the struggling families that the prime minister stated she would focus on." So they have taken 2.5bn off the poorest to pay for those tax cuts mainly to the richest, and given a smidgen back to the poorest who pay for it. and Corbyn and McDonnell support the Tories no matter the cost to the people ... as usual ...
  3. Hi just looking for a bit of last minute advice. Im going to Tribunal in a week but hoped my employer would crumble way before this point . The basics are i am an employee who works on price job as a two man crew at residential homes. At the end of 2015 my company introduced a massive change of work process including a large pay cut. The change involved another contractor completing part of the works and all crews becoming one man crews . At the time i refused the change and after a meeting with my local and area manager it was agreed i could stay as a two man crew and on same pay . Roll forward to feb this year out of the blue they started paying me the reduced rate without notice. After the most unprofessional , singled out and non listened to grievance procedure of all time i had to raise a tribunal when the time ran out . My company have broken every company grievance policy going even at the end my HR department kept promising to get back to me but never did. Now they brought in a solicitor and they claim it was purely and overpayment from the end of 2015 and they have done nothing wrong . Any advice would be cool thanks
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/20/leak-shows-devastating-impact-of-planned-nhs-cuts-in-london This is very scary - can the NHS really take more cuts !
  5. Hi, on the 13th August I was referred to Ingeus by my JSA Advisor and told to expect a call off them. On the 15th August I had a severe epileptic seizure caused by stress and was given a sicknote for 12 weeks by my doctor. He thinks, due to me being severely depressed and prone to more seizures, that I should be on ESA. I closed my claim for JSA on the 17th and opened my claim for ESA on the same day. Later that day I had a letter from Ingeus telling me to attend on the 27th. There were no mentions of sanctions or anything like that, but it caused me to become very agitated. I called the number on the letter (their general enquiry number I think) and the man, without asking for any details, told me I still had to attend. Is this correct? My JSA claim is now closed and my ESA claim is being processed. I've never met nor spoken to Ingeus before, so do I still need to go? I'm very ill at the moment and this might make me worse I fear. Obviously in 13 weeks if they put me in WRAG, that's a different situation but right now I am very ill. Any info on this would be very very appreciated!
  6. Change in government’s energy policy blamed for job losses just as solar power eclipses coal in electricity generation I just do not get it,why? Article. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/10/uk-solar-power-industry-job-losses-government-subsidy-cuts-energy-policy
  7. http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/05/11/the-tories-lied-more-cuts-to-sickness-and-disability-benefits-are-on-the-way/ Dear god, how much more can we take....
  8. Criticism as £30-a-week disability benefit cuts go ahead Peers have backed down in their battle with MPs over cuts to disabled people's benefits after ministers invoked special powers to push them through. The government was twice defeated in the House of Lords over a £30 a week cut to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for certain claimants. But it is set to go ahead after peers deferred to the elected Commons. Ministers claimed "financial privilege" to assert the Commons' right to have the final say on budgetary measures. Ministers argue the changes will encourage people to get into work, but this is strongly disputed by opponents. The cuts in weekly support from £103 to £73, contained in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, will apply to new ESA claimants in the work-related activity group, bringing the rate into line with Job-seeker's Allowance. It will affect people who are deemed unable to work at the moment but capable of making some effort to find employment, including attending work-focused interviews and taking part in training. Ministers argue that too few people in the category are moving into work and that while the lower benefit rate would save £55m in the first year, £60m would be spent on supporting claimants to take steps towards finding work. 'Harmful impact' Work and Pensions minister Lord Freud acknowledged peers were only withdrawing their opposition with "great reluctance" after the Commons asserted financial privilege - its right to overrule any Lords proposal that has cost implications. He insisted that the Lords had "discharged their duty" by scrutinising the bill to remove "unintended consequences" and sending back concerns for the Commons to reconsider. But Paralympic gold medalist Baroness Grey-Thompson said she was disappointed such a "dreadful and punitive" part of the bill - which has been opposed by more than 30 charities - was going ahead. "It may be seen as a victory in terms of voting numbers in the Commons but we can't forget there are many disabled people who will lose out," the cross-bench peer said. Link
  9. Why am i putting this on. Well as i walk about and chat to different people,some who work for councils there is fear and worry and many stressed out people out there.Worried about their security,families,mortgages,rents. And also people in their local communities.Things like that if things go pear shaped. Is this if true anyway to live in these modern times. Now it is a bit late for me to look about,do a little research.But will as time goes on.A little tired.Soft,i know. And if you have a view and are looking in and want to have your say how you are feeling about things. Austerity State: how has your council’s budget changed? Between 2009/10 and 2014/15 spending by England’s local authorities was cut by a fifth — more than twice the rate of spending cuts to the rest of the UK public sector. Our Local Cuts Checker database brings together a myriad of data to allow readers to explore the impact of those cuts in their areas. Check it out.Take a look at the link. http://ig.ft.com/sites/2015/local-cuts-checker/#E06000009ZZE06000009 And if you are outside looking in and want your say,a link,we are a friendly lot. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/register.php
  10. I am calling for justice, not just for HMRC, but for a system that requires no accountability. HMRC and other gov support are working from narrow guidelines without thought or often, much intelligence, and make cuts that they never have to take responsibility for. I know people well who have suffered from these cuts, living in poverty with great stress. Complaints take months, even years, and tribunals find against the complainant without having all the papers even. You can complain only about handling, not the outcome, and senior staff and even independent officers won't find fault. I have found this issue with ombudsman - even the highest point, their independent assessor/adjudicator - in all areas, not just HMRC. I have even seen evidence for corruption in the legal system, conveniently closing and losing cases that challenge them. We need a system where complaints are heard, not that we're put off for the stress and poor outcome. We need to work together for a fair, accountable system which has right of redress, which has people using their heads and hearts, not following flow chart rules under the pressure of targets for political and fiscal gain. We need to support those who need it, not rule that (this is a quote) "insufficient suffering" has occurred to warrant investigation and compensation, not to say that "need is not entitlement" (another true quote). I look to CAG to take steps to make this money and outcomes obsessed system into one that works for the people, not against us, that isn't about the agenda of those who rule.
  11. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2015/nov/25/spending-review-george-osborne-autumn-statement- No doubt this will be good news for quite a few people.
  12. Have you ever had a spell on Universal Credit. About 6 weeks i lasted.Got sanctioned within really the first 2 days. To much paperwork for the old owl.To take in quickly and it was in the first week of UC arriving in my town. Missed a appointment. Spent more money going there than benefit received. But i did realise the help it could provide as well,courses and help with CVS etc,and a combination of benefits under one roof. But at nearly 60 felt embarrassed and out of place at times. And really felt that pressurised i will not say intimidated because that would take some doing i just left it in the end.Asked some of the advisors if they liked their jobs. Their eyes said many things.Maybe they get pressure,i did not hang around to long.Bad atmosphere.Deep down,my experience anyway. I feel i must be the oldest sanctioned person in the UK. And when sanctioned for some who do not understand things so well,you could very well starve,feel alone,left out.Terrible for those that live alone,no friends around to help.The vulnerable people in society. Some would walk out not really understanding things,and do not like creating a fuss. And suffer in silence. "I have dodgy heart" "That is ok you go on security course old owl,chase those shoplifters down the road." "When you stop one i suppose you will say" "Before you hit me over the head with that stolen whisky bottle sir or madam be careful i bleed heavily because of medication i am on". Enough of that it is now in the past.I came on to post a story. Not really talking about that it is the thought of possible cuts to this. It is said That Ian Duncan Smith feels this is one step to far. Now i never thought i would hear him say or think that. If behind closed doors he is saying that things are serious. A link that explains things. Labour hits out at Osborne's planned cuts to universal credit Opposition says families will be worse off if taper rate is raised by chancellor, with dissent also evident among Conservatives http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/nov/08/labour-hits-out-at-george-osbornes-planned-cuts-to-universal-credit
  13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33347511 WTF?? Does that even make sense? Now there's me thinking It's actually about being too ill to work. Oh great. Looks like they're repeating this news as a precursor to next weeks budget, god help us all.
  14. SIGOMA Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (outside London) within the LGA (SIGOMA) is a grouping of 45 urban authorities in the Northern, Midland and South-Coast regions of England. SIGOMA’s membership compromises of 33 metropolitan districts and 12 major unitary councils with similar characteristics. We are the collective voice across these regions and embody the opportunities and potential of the communities who live there. The combined population of SIGOMA councils amounts to over a quarter of the population of England and its member account for over 25% of English local government expenditure
  15. Millions of households have missed out on a £50 saving on their energy bill because a green tax cut has been swiped by suppliers. All of the big six firms — British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power — will save money this year after the Government slashed network charges and the cost of implementing green schemes. The Government says these changes would save households around £50 on their annual gas and electricity bill. However, four months on and millions of customers have not received a penny in discount. Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2610842/Energy-giants-pocketed-75m-green-tax-cuts.html#ixzz31gfmzJ00
  16. Taken from this link from Scottish Express: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/428437/Brothers-win-blows-a-hole-in-bedroom-tax-benefit-cuts In a ruling that could open the floodgates for thousands to challenge the under-occupancy legislation, a tribunal found that David Nelson’s spare room was too small to be a bedroom. And his brother Ian successfully argued that his “spare” room should be turned into a wet room because he struggles to get in and out of the bath. Around 660,000 social housing tenants across the country have seen their housing benefit reduced by an average of £14 per week because they have an unused bedroom. The disabled, foster carers and those with children in the armed forces are exempt from the rules. David, 57, from Glenrothes, Fife, argued that his spare room was too small to be taxed. He said that at just 50 square feet, the room could not be classed as a bedroom but is a box room. Ian, who only has one leg, successfully argued that his “spare” room should be turned into a wet room because he struggles to get into a bath. At an independent tribunal held in Kirkcaldy, Simon Collins QC ruled that neither brother should have their housing benefits cut as their rooms should be exempt. Mr Collins, a first tier tribunal judge, ruled that a room under 50 square feet is not a bedroom and a room measuring between 50 and 70 square feet is only suitable for children under 10. The ruling is expected to spark a deluge of appeals from the 75,000 people in Scotland said to be affected by the benefits cut.
  17. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2379984/Bedroom-tax-Man-slits-throat-benefits-advice-office-protest.html http://welfarenewsservice.com/bedroom-tax-man-cuts-his-own-throat-in-benefits-office/#.UfMBxKy7fa4 the government will more than likely brush this under the carpet too
  18. HSBC has become the first lender to reduce its mortgages rates below 1.5pc – cutting typical mortgage repayments by as much as £600 a year. The Telegraph predicted two months ago that lenders were teeing up further cuts to rates on home loans suggesting they would fall below the 1.5pc mark within months. The Funding for Lending Scheme, £80bn worth of cheap loans on offer from the Bank of England, has been tapped by many lenders, helping them to offer lower rates. HSBC, however, has not accessed the scheme. But its very existence has pushed down wholesale borrowing costs, and also savings rates. Rates are also under pressure because new entrants may enter the market, with experts suggesting to the Telegraph that Home & Savings Bank and NBNK could launch mortgage products. HSBC said today that it will now offer a two year fixed rate at 1.49pc with a £1,999 fee. It will also offer a 1.69pc rate on a two-year discount deal with a £1499 fee and 2.19pc lifetime tracker with a £1,999 fee. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/10211949/Best-fixed-mortgage-rates-drop-below-1.5pc-as-HSBC-cuts-rates.html
  19. Savings rates across the market continue to drop as banks and building societies spurn private depositors. Savings institutions are competing in a "race to the bottom" as rates continue to fall across the market. The latest cuts are being implemented by Britain’s biggest building society, Nationwide, which has historically offered consistently competitive - if not chart-topping - depositor rates on its own accounts and through its subsidiaries which include Cheshire and Dunfermline. It says the cuts are being made to move the society’s deals "in line" with rivals’ falling rates. "What we’ve seen is that our rates are out of sync," a spokeswoman said. So the popular Isa Saver under Nationwide’s regional Cheshire brand, for instance, was paying 2.3pc (issue 3) last week, but is now cut down for new depositors to 1.7pc (issue 4). The Nationwide MySave Online Plus previously paid 1.7pc (issue 14), but now pays 1.4pc (issue 15). Other cuts apply to fixed rate bonds. Last week a four-year bond paid 2.3pc across all of Nationwide’s brands falling this week for new savers to 1.9pc. The change represents a 21pc cut in returns. On one-year bonds, again across all the society’s brands, rates have dropped from 1.55pc to 1.3pc. The meagre returns for savers - who outnumber the mutual’s borrower customers by about ten to one - is likely to be raised at Nationwide’s upcoming annual meeting, to be held on July 24 in Manchester. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/savings/10154479/Nationwide-cuts-rates-across-multiple-savings-accounts.html
  20. Banks and building societies have been urged to come clean about cuts to interest rates for savers after it emerged there have been 750 changes to key products this year. An investigation by The Telegraph found that 76 lenders had reduced the rate paid on easy access savings accounts between January and June. The lenders involved ranged from giants such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Nationwide to smaller institutions such as West Bromwich Building Society and Sainsbury’s Bank. Experts said the cuts took the average interest paid on the accounts from 1.14 per cent to 0.97 per cent — costing around six million savers an estimated £850 million. Regulators suggest banks notify customers only if cuts are greater than 0.25 percentage points, but only 13 per cent of the cuts were below this threshold. The Post Office was forced to delay a round of rate cuts in January when it failed to inform customers first. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/10219775/Banks-urged-to-come-clean-over-850m-blizzard-of-interest-rate-cuts.html
  21. Hi, i have worked with my local council for 20 years and as many people will know recently an exercise to rate or grade many jobs including my own was carried out and i am apparently overpaid for the job i do by £479. Obviously it would appear that i am being overpaid but to get to my current level of pay is only due to annual national agreed rises i have been entitled to during my time of employment, am i wrong in thinking that for that reason my present wage is justified ? Recently all employees affected including myself have met with management to discuss our salaries and options available to address the gap in our pay. Here is the problem i have, many employees have been given the opportunity of working an extra half hour/ hour per week to bridge the gap and in a lot of cases their pay will increase but the only option myself and others have been offered is to surrender 9 days holiday to keep our present salary or retain the 9 days holiday but have our salaries reduced. I don't believe this to be fair, do i have any rights to be given the same option of working additional time as others have been offered ? Perhaps i should also mention that a few years ago i was advised by my manager that i was advised to do extra tasks/courses to protect my salary as it was mentioned that the situation i find myself in now could arise, i complied and have completed the 3 tasks/ courses that i was asked to do.
  22. Lloyds Banking Group is cutting around 850 jobs as part of the bank’s ongoing strategic review. Cuts are being made across the business including Lloyds’ commercial banking, retail, group operations, and group executive functions divisions. Other affected divisions include finance, insurance and wealth, asset finance and international. The bank says around 275 roles are also being created, mainly in Belfast and Scotland. The job cuts come on top of around 370 roles that are transferring to Sainsbury’s after the supermarket giant decided to buy Lloyds out of its stake in Sainsbury’s Bank yesterday. The latest wave of job cuts at Lloyds follows a reduction of 940 jobs in January and 550 jobs in March. The losses are part of a plan announced by the bank in June 2011 to cut 15,000 jobs by 2014 in order to make cost savings of £1.5bn a year. In a statement, Lloyds says: “Lloyds is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today. “The group’s policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group. Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy. Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.” Unite national officer, Dominic Hook says: “Lloyds is celebrating a return to profit and there are hints of dividend payouts to shareholders but the bank’s workers are in constant fear that they will be next for the chop. This is no way to treat staff. “It is time to urgently review this continuous tide of cuts and build the bank’s strength.” Link; http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/lloyds-cuts-850-jobs/1070912.article
  23. Halifax Intermediaries has reduced rates on a number of mortgages by up to 0.30 per cent, including on New Buy and Help to Buy products. Among the new rates is a seven-year fixed rate New Buy mortgage up to 90 per cent LTV which is being reduced by 0.30 per cent, from 4.99 per cent to 4.69 per cent with no fee. A two-year fixed rate mortgage for customers purchasing through Help to Buy is being cut by 0.30 per cent, from 3.89 per cent to 3.59 per cent with no fee. Halifax Intermediaries head of sales Ian Wilson: “We are making a number of changes across our product range. We’re offering competitive rates and have an excellent range of products for homebuyers and remortgage customers to choose from supported by our strong service proposition. “As the leading lender in the affordable housing and new homes market, we have a compelling proposition helping to deliver an effective service to brokers and their customers.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/halifax-cuts-rates-by-up-to-030/1069376.article
  24. American Express has announced plans to cut 5,400 jobs worldwide from its total workforce of 63,500 by the end of 2013. The credit card provider said it took almost $600m (£370m) in after-tax charges in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company said that these charges would halve its net profit for the quarter from $1.2bn to $637m. It said the majority of the job losses would be in its travel business, which is being "fundamentally reinvented as a result of the digital revolution". American Express said it was having to adapt parts of the business as more customers make payments online or via mobile. It added that the job losses would be spread proportionally between the US and international markets. The charges include restructuring costs of $287m mostly related to redundancy payments, $212m for Membership Rewards expenses and $95m for card member reimbursements In the fourth quarter, spending by card members was 8% higher than a year ago, the company said, "despite a brief dip in late October/early November reflecting the impact of Hurricane Sandy on consumers and businesses in the north-eastern United States". Total revenues rose 5% on the year to $8.1bn. "Against the backdrop of an uneven economic recovery, these restructuring initiatives are designed to make American Express more nimble, more efficient and more effective in using our resources to drive growth," said chief executive Kenneth Chenault. "For the next two years, our aim is to hold annual operating expense increases to less than 3%. The overall restructuring programme will put us in a better position as we seek to deliver strong results for shareholders and to maintain marketing and promotion investments at about 9% of revenues," he said. Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20980486
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