If there comes to be a watershed moment for the human disaster known as Universal Credit, it should be the testimonies of two severely disabled men heard this week in the High Court. During the landmark legal challenge, one dying man, known as TP, told how he had moved to London on his cancer specialist’s advice to be near pioneering treatment. Yet the move into a Universal Credit (UC) area led to him becoming so destitute he was unable to get to chemotherapy sessions and lived in levels of squalor that endangered his weakened immune system. The other man, who is severely bipolar, had been forced to move by the bedroom tax from Middlesbrough to Hartlepool, a UC ‘full service’ area. The discovery that he was even worse off because of hidden cuts inside the new controversial benefit and his new isolation left him suicidal. “I run out of food at least once a month and have to go without,” said the 36-year-old man, identified in court as ‘AR’. … [Read more...] about Sick and disabled witnesses have told how Universal Credit left them hungry
The first credit card to charge a flat fee rather than a rate of interest has launched, aimed at those struggling to build a credit score. The card, from 118 118 Money, has a tiered monthly charge depending on the credit limit, but does not have other charges such as late payment or returned payment fees. Unusually for a credit card, there are also no fees to withdraw cash. It costs £8 a month for a £250 credit limit, £14 a month for a £500 credit limit and £17 a month for a £1,200 credit limit. As customers' credit ratings improve, they are offered higher limits. Whether or not this represents a good option depends on the situation. Someone borrowing with a £250 credit limit would incur £96 in fees a year, the £500 credit limit option comes with £168 in fees a year and the £1,200 option would cost £204 in fees a year. This is less than, or equivalent to, paying the level of interest on a regular “credit … [Read more...] about The interest-free credit card that costs £168 to borrow £300 – who is it for?
On Thursday, May 3, across the country people will go to polls to decide who's in charge of their local authority - as well as who the mayor is in London. Or at least, everyone who's registered to vote will. But along with helping decide who your local or national representative is, there's a second powerful incentive to registering to vote at your current address - it significantly boosts your credit rating. Money.co.uk editor Hannah Maundrell said: "Not only will [registering to vote] enable you to take advantage of your right to have a say in who runs our country, but it will also enhance your chances of successfully securing your next financial application for a loan, mortgage or credit card." Why failing to vote could leave you out of pocket Being able to vote is the primary purpose for being on the electoral register, but it can also affect much more of your day to day life – from renting to buying a house and even taking out a mobile phone contract. That's because when you … [Read more...] about Hidden benefit everyone who’s ready to vote gets automatically
AVENGERS: Infinity War is set to break box office records but as the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you'd have to superhuman knowledge to pick up on all the hidden secrets within the blockbuster epic. Here's the meaning behind all of those Easter eggs that you might've missed... What are the Easter Eggs in Avengers: Infinity War? 10 Years of Marvel Not really an Easter egg as such, but fans will love the revamped opening credits for Marvel Studios. As well as now including Black Panther and Ant-Man, the credits also change the "io" of studios into 10, to recognise the ten years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with Iron Man. "We Have A Hulk!" Infinity War opens immediately after the events of Thor: Ragnarok with the Asgardian ship attacked by Thanos and his cronies. As Thor is imprisoned, Loki delivers one final surprise on Thanos by unleashing the Hulk on the evil tyrant. The phrase "we have a Hulk" was first used by Iron Man in Avengers Assemble when trying … [Read more...] about Avengers: Infinity War Easter eggs – the hidden references and meanings explained
The smell hits you as you walk through the door - a grimy, stomach-churning mix of stale dirt, damp and bleach. In the living room there are a couple of discarded filing cabinets and nothing else. No sofa, no light. A cloud of flies bursts from the upstairs toilet. The front door is boarded up, the kitchen door permanently locked. The downstairs toilet and shower are both encrusted with filth. Stains cover the surfaces of every room, from floor to light-switch to ceiling. The locks on the bedrooms are broken or don’t exist. One recent resident says a rat has recently been sighted. Yet the landlord of this east Manchester ‘bed and breakfast’ is collecting hundreds of pounds a month in benefit from the homeless people living inside, people who have slipped so far through society’s cracks that they feel they now have only one other option: the streets. The squalor, danger and death behind the closed doors of the B&Bs used by hundreds of Manchester’s … [Read more...] about The hidden ‘Manchester slums’