Month: July 2015

Cash Till Welfare – Excessive, Unfair Charges for Essential Banking Services – Santander reaches new Lows

An update on this post:  Santander refunded £110 of the £130 charges levied in June in respect of May.  They also have said they will no longer charge me the £10  non payment fee if I use my card when my account balance is not within the authorized limit.

The DWP withheld my benefits over Christmas into New Year because I declared £100 earnings from freelance work I had done.  You can read about it and the letter I sent in the posts from that time. (more…)

Budget 2015: Why it hits the working poor harder than you think

One thing often overlooked is that most of the jobs “created” since 2008 are due to a rise in the self-employed.  Here are some key labour market statistics from the ONS from Self Employed Workers in the UK August 2014:

  • Self-employment higher than at any point during the last 40 years
  • Rise in total employment since 2008 predominantly among the self-employed
  • Average income from self-employment fallen by 22% since 2008/9
  • Across the European Union, the UK has had the third largest percentage rise in self-employment since 2009


Statistics for the same period from the ONS show that the number of people claiming working age unemployment benefits such as Job Seeker Allowance, Disability benefits like ESA and lone parent benefits like Income Support has fallen sharply.  The chart above uses data from the ONS for the period Q3 2008 – Q1 2015: