Posts Tagged -

Cost-of-living crisis

Cutting the cost-of-living is still the priority: a VAT cut could help

April will see further pressure piled on households whose finances have been shattered in recent years. With the economy teetering on the brink of recession too, we need to both reduce prices and boost demand. A VAT cut, as many are calling for, could help.

Employer Salary Access Schemes: Financial Friend or Foe?

Employer Salary Advance Schemes (ESAS) and loans provided with the security of 'first call' on wages are expanding. Whilst collecting repayments directly from pay helps reduce the cost of borrowing, there are concerns that the products could harm some customers. In this blog we urge providers to ensure advances and loans are affordable and for mechanisms to be put in place so financially distressed customers can easily request a suspension of payments. We also call for further research to be conducted into the impacts of the products.

The drivers of illegal lending

In July, we reflected on new evidence looking at people’s experience of using illegal lenders. Today, we are publishing our secondary analysis of the FCA's Financial Lives Survey, 2020 highlighting how demographic factors and financial pressures combine to increase the risk of borrowing from loan sharks. We find that having borrowed from legal high-cost lenders in the past 12 months greatly increases this risk and call for direct measures to counter cost-of-living pressures as the means to counter it.

Buy Now Pay Later: is failing to regulate really an option?

Reports that Government is considering a 'U-turn' with respect to the regulation of Buy Now Pay Later products indicates a willingness to sacrifice consumer protection for temporary economic growth. It would also make for a huge divergence between Britain and other jurisdictions, including the EU, who are proposing a tougher crack-down on what, essentially, is just another version of the credit card.

What is driving the use of illegal lenders?

Estimates of illegal moneylending use vary widely, from just 200,000 to over 1 million. But whatever the true scale of the problem, the main drivers are likely to be poverty and over-indebtedness rather than a "credit vacuum". Carl Packman reflects on the latest evidence.

We need to rethink Council Tax collection and local authority financing

With Council Tax debt rising, and the use of bailiffs increasing, Carl Packman reflects on Dr. Joseph Spooner's analysis of how austerity economics over the past decade has led many local authorities to become 'hardened creditors'.

FlexMyRent in the cost-of-living crisis

In this blog we provide an update about our innovative FlexMyRent scheme, and report on the challenges being posed by the cost-of-living crisis.

Radical action now needed to avoid a Winter of despair

Today’s announcement that the energy price cap is to rise by 80%, risks a 'Winter of Despair' for low to middle income households. Radical action is now needed to hold down prices, and protect those with prepayment meters in their homes.