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Archbishop calls for cut to universal credit delays

The six-week waiting time for universal credit must be cut as the idea that people have a nest egg to fall back on is “grotesquely ignorant”, the Archbishop of York has said. Writing in The Sunday Times, Dr John Sentamu said ministers must take a “courageous” look at the benefit. Addressing the delay must be a priority, he said. The government said it was determined to ensure people would not face hardship. Changes recently announced to the system of advanced payments meant people could access these as soon as they…

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Universal Credit: MPs to debate rollout amid Labour pause call

MPs are to debate the rollout of Universal Credit amid continuing calls for changes to the way the government’s flagship welfare programme is working. Labour is calling for the system, which merges six benefits into one, to be paused amid concerns about how long claimants wait to get the cash. Senior backbencher Frank Field said people were being “pushed towards destitution” on a growing scale. But ministers insist it is “safe to proceed” following “rigorous” testing. The government has said anyone in financial distress can apply for advance payments. The…

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Theresa May urged to halt Universal Credit roll-out

Families could be left homeless and destitute if Theresa May insists on pressing ahead with Universal Credit, a former top adviser has warned. Dame Louise Casey urged the prime minister to pause the roll-out of the new benefit system so it can be fixed. She told BBC Radio 4’s PM the consequences for families “close to the edge” could be “dire”. Twelve Conservative MPs have written to work and pensions secretary David Gauke to call for the same thing. Universal Credit ‘a factor in rent arrears’ The government says the…

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Labour pledges law to cut credit card debt

Legislation limiting the amount of interest that can be charged on credit card debts is being promised by the Labour Party. Under the changes, nobody would pay more in interest than they had originally borrowed. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says more than three million people are “trapped” by credit card debt. He will unveil the planned change in the law in a speech at Labour’s conference in Brighton. Labour said the changes would work in a similar way to measures on payday loans, which came into force in 2015. The…

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UK's credit rating downgraded by Moody's

The UK’s credit rating has been cut over concerns about the UK’s public finances and fears Brexit could damage the country’s economic growth. Moody’s, one of the major ratings agencies, downgraded the UK to an Aa2 rating from Aa1. It said leaving the European Union was creating economic uncertainty, at a time when the UK’s debt reduction plans were already off course. Downing Street said the firm’s Brexit assessments were “outdated”. Let’s block ads! (Why?) BBC News – Home

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