Financial abuse is the hidden financial cousin of domestic abuse – it's all about dangerous, unfair control using finances. It can be subtle or brutal. So be aware of it both for your own relationship, and for others – but this blog's about more than that too...
On the 9 January 2024, Jeremy Hunt the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a guest on ‘ITV The Martin Lewis Money Show’, it was a wide ranging consumer finance interview, you can watch it here. As part of it when I was pushing some key campaigning points, his response was to ask me to write to him. Below is the letter sent today (which I will also send to the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves)…
In some ways 2023 was my Steppus Horriblis! Yes, I did my third-best ever year, a total of 9,178,663 steps, smashing my 2022 steps by over 190,000 (in context, that's an average 22.9 daily kilometres, over 8,350km for the year). However, as someone with a well-documented fixation with the 'quantified self', it pains me to tell you…
It is a national tragedy that getting on for a million pensioners, many of whom have been paying into the system for years, are missing out on a critical boost to their income. It's called pension credit, and this year it also means you get up to £900 extra to help with the cost of living.
Outrageously, most people will pay £300 per year just for the facility of having gas and electricity, even if you don't use any. This is due to the high energy standing (daily) charges. These are a moral hazard and should, at the minimum, be substantially reduced – something I am, again, campaigning with the regulator Ofgem to change. So I wanted to bash out this blog to run you through it.
If there was a big red CANCEL CHRISTMAS button, would you press it? While the festive season is usually portrayed as unerringly joyous, not everyone feels that way. It can put stress on you and on your pockets. So, forgive me, but to relieve that pressure, and possibly increase happiness, it is worth considering going cold turkey.
In 2016 I set up the Money & Mental Health Policy Institute charity, and I've chaired it and provided core funding ever since. Last week I was in a trustees' meeting, and got a summary of some of the year's activities from the acting chief exec Conor D'Arcy. It made such good reading, I wanted to share some of it to show exactly how many pies the team there have their fingers in (and how they improve the pies, which is probably where my analogy breaks down).
The PPI deadline might've passed a while back, but if you're one of the millions of people who reclaimed part of the more than £38,000,000,000 paid out, you need to know about the tax on PPI reclaim amounts. This is automatically deducted, even though most people don't need to pay it. So if you've been paid out within the last four years, you could be due £100s back.
Is your electricity and gas provider unfairly sitting on £100s of your money? Over 65% of us pay energy bills by direct debit – the cheapest way to pay. However, monthly direct debits give firms the chance to build up a reservoir of customers' cash. Yet interrogating an energy firm's data shows that right NOW, May, is the PERFECT TIME to stop the rip-off and get that money back!
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3 January 2024It is a national tragedy that getting on for a million pensioners, many of whom have been paying into the system for years, are missing out on a critical boost to their income. It's called pension credit, and this year it also means you get an extra £650 to help with energy bills.