News items around poverty, and money-related issues

Gas Safe

The Gas Safe scheme, run by Cornwall Home Solutions, is to help with gas safety work, servicing and small repairs etc.

All applicants must live in owner occupied accommodation and either:

  • Have a person with a disability living the house
  • Receive a means tested benefit such as the Guaranteed Pension Credit / Universal Credit or living on a low household income.

For more information, click to download the information sheet.  Gas Safe info 18-19


Pensions cold calling

A ban has come into effect this month on cold calling relating to pensions.  Cold-calling has been used by fraudsters trying to steal life savings or persuade people to invest in high-risk schemes. Some 10.9 million unsolicited pension calls and messages are made a year, according to Citizens Advice.

Any firm found flouting the rules faces a fine of up to £500,000, but experts suggest fraudsters may ignore the ban.

For more on this, see a BBC report.


Debt rising

Household debt in the UK has hit a fresh high, totalling £428bn, according to an analysis by the TUC.  The Bank of England figures, excluding student loans, give a figure of around half this.

The TUC says unsecured debt as a share of household income has now reached 30.4%, the highest it has ever been.

See the BBC report on this and the TUC’s full report on their website.


Nursery Funding cuts hit poorest areas hardest

Parents have been warned they face rising childcare costs as new research reveals that nearly half of all nurseries, pre-schools and childminders in England are receiving less government funding than five years ago.

The average number of childcare places available to children under five has fallen by more than 20% in the most deprived areas of England while the number available to children under five in the least-deprived areas has increased by a third.

See the full report in the Guardian.


Jobs paying less than ‘real’ living wage

One in five employees in the UK are now paid less than the sums of £8.75 per hour (£10.20/hour in London) that are set by the Living Wage Foundation as the ‘real’ living wage, an amount that should cover basic living costs. (These figures are now £9 and £10.55.)

Described as ‘in work poverty’ these figures are rising.

See an article in the Independent for more information, and visit the Living Wage Foundation’s website for the full report and extended information.