THE number of older homeowners who have remortgaged their properties to free up cash has doubled. Cash-poor couples borrowed £870million using so-called equity release plans between January and March, according to new figures. That is twice the amount for the same period last year. These schemes are basically mortgages for over-55s that run for the rest of their lives, but with a key difference to normal ones: They have no monthly repayments. The loan needs to be paid off only when the house is sold should the owners go into care or die. It enables those without spare cash to benefit from the soaring value of the property they live in. A downside is there is less money left for the family in the inheritance. This is because the costs — the interest charged on the borrowing and sometimes also the set-up fees — are paid off when the house is sold, eating into an inheritance. But for an ageing population which is living longer and in better health, the schemes are an … [Read more...] about Here’s how you can free up cash from your property without having to make monthly repayments
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For a murder that changed a nation, it received precious little attention when it first happened. On the evening of April 22 1993, 18-year-old aspiring architect Stephen Lawrence was set upon by a pack of white, racist youths as he waited at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London. At first it seemed the young black man might survive. He managed to break free from his attackers and run a distance of some 222 metres. But then he collapsed bleeding from two fatal stab wounds. The racism was – or should have been – obvious from the start. Before they charged at their prey, the killers had shouted: “what, what n****r?” Read more A mob steeped in violence with extensive links to underworld Among their number was David Norris, later caught by a police surveillance camera fantasising about being able to “skin a black c*** alive”. And Gary Dobson, seen by the same camera strutting about with a huge knife while boasting of … [Read more...] about Stephen Lawrence 25 years on: What happened and was this really a murder that changed a nation?
THE Government is going to review all 1.6 million claims for a disability benefit after it decided not to contest a High Court ruling. The ruling is expected to see around 220,000 people with mental health conditions receiving Personal Independence Payments (PIP) awarded higher payouts. Here is what the changes could mean for you and what the 2018/19 rates are... What are Personal Independence Payments? Personal Independence Payments are benefits paid to people aged between 16 and 64 who need help with the extra costs caused by long term ill-health or disability. It replaced the Disability Living Allowance scheme in 2013. Currently, the maximum amount a claimant can receive is £141.10 a week and the payout depends on how the condition affects you, not the condition itself. All claimants are assessed by a health professional before receiving any award. What was the High Court ruling against Personal Independence Payments? Regulations introduced in March prevented an award of the … [Read more...] about What are the changes to Personal Independence Payment? Disability benefits helpline, eligibility and 2018/19 rates
Today marks 36 years since Argentina seized control of the Falkland Islands from Britain, drawing the UK into an armed conflict that would prove to be one of the defining events of the 1980s for both countries. The disputed territories off the southern Patagonian coast had been part of the British Empire since 1833, but the Latin American nation had long felt bitterly that the “Islas Malvinas” were illegally occupied and truly belonged to Buenos Aires. In the early 1980s, Argentina was ruled by an unpopular military junta under General Leopoldo Galtieri, then facing civil unrest over the country’s tanking economy. Read more Families able to visit Falklands War graves after remains identified It needed an easy victory to win back public favour; a populist gesture to appease the people and unite the nation. It found it in claiming back the rocky, windswept Falklands, then mostly used for sheep farming or the … [Read more...] about Falklands War anniversary: Why did Britain enter armed conflict with Argentina over these windswept islands?
Thirteen at Columbine. Twenty-six at Sandy Hook. Seventeen at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Over the past two decades, a handful of massacres that have come to define school shootings in this country are almost always remembered for the students and educators slain. Death tolls are repeated so often that the numbers and places become permanently linked. What those figures fail to capture, though, is the collateral damage of this uniquely American crisis. Beginning with Columbine in 1999, more than 187,000 students attending at least 193 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus during school hours, according to a year-long Washington Post analysis. This means that the number of children who have been shaken by gunfire in the places they go to learn exceeds the population of Eugene, Oregon, or Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Read more Parkland survivor urges using ‘white privilege’ to amplify stories Many are never the same. School shootings … [Read more...] about For survivors of school shootings in America, life is never the same