Julian Knight: Poorest foot the bill while payday lenders cash in

 

David Fishwick, famous for the Bank of Dave TV programme, has a new series out called Dave: Loan Ranger, this time looking at the world of payday lending. The programme was originally planned for the autumn but has been mired in legal wrangling due to the clearly negative stance that David takes towards payday lending. His main thesis is that these lenders are often sourced abroad and in effect what we are allowing to happen is that low income people in Britain, desperate for credit, are handing over huge sums – in the billions of pounds – in high interest and high charges to overseas companies. In effect, an outflow of cash from our poorest to the world's richest. Some of the most powerful moments in the series are of David meeting with community leaders who talk about what they are seeing on the ground. All too many of our high streets are made up of the "unholy trinity" of the bookies, cheap pub and payday lender. This isn't just about high interest rates or that favourite word of the Treasury Select Committee, "transparency", it is about social cohesion and Dave's programme reminds us of that.

Hargreaves in a spin

Don't you just love spin? This week giant investment house Hargreaves Lansdown has announced how it will change its business model to comply with new rules governing the imposition of fees on funds sold to the public, coming into force in April. Reading the comments of chief executive Ian Gorham you would think that Hargreaves was undertaking some great act of altruism by lowering some upfront fees rather than simply following the rules meant to make the amount of money we really pay to invest clear and fair. An end to fund rebates and kickbacks are promised by these reforms, and charges will be upfront and clearly levied on the customer. This will hit the likes of Hargeaves' bottom line – reflected in a drop in the firm's share price – but ultimately should mean that we can make sounder judgements over where we invest, not blinded by flashy rebates. And I'm sure Hargreaves and others will be able to operate in this new environment, make money and still offer access to a universe of invetsments.

The system needs assessing

Every year I write a little reminder over the upcoming self- assessment tax deadline. Yet each year close to a million people miss it and trigger an automatic fine. More may find themselves fined this year. Some 110,000 higher-earning parents who receive child benefit payments face a fine if they fail to register for, and return, their tax self-assessment forms. Many may not be aware they have to go to the rigmarole of filling out and returning their forms. Some, who enjoy self-employed income, will be used to self-assessment but there will be many earning just PAYE who have never had to go down the self-assessment route. It seems a wholly over-complex way to ensure fairness in the payment of child benefit, reminding me of the clunking bureaucracy in play in the tax credit system. Slowly but surely more and more of us are being dragged into self-assessment.

Help for the leaseholders

We have been inundated with responses following the launch of our campaign to get a better deal for Britain's five million leasehold homeowners. One reader sent a series of A4-size binders relating to a leaseholder dispute going back 20 years. The reader argued they and their fellow leaseholders have been consistently overcharged by the managing agent acting for the freeholder. The files tell a story of one step forward, two back as the management company plays hardball over every single dispute. This is a familiar story, with individual leaseholders taking on large companies lawyered up to their eyeballs. These managing agents know that if they let one group of leaseholders win in court or a tribunal they could face challenges from all over. They work on the simple premise that they can charge just enough so that leaseholders won't take legal action. The system as it stands stinks.

j.knight@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
i100
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
News
i100
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
life
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
football
News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Life and Style
food + drink
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

    £350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

    Chief Financial Officer

    120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...

    IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

    £24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?