Theresa May to scrap universal credit helpline charges

Media caption‘It’s a lot of weeks to wait’ People will be able to call the government’s universal credit helpline without being charged, within weeks. Prime Minister Theresa May said she had listened to criticism of the charges, which can be up to 55p a minute, and decided it was “right” to drop them. But she […]

Clinton and May to discuss Stormont crisis

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Bill Clinton met Sinn Féin and DUP politicians in Belfast on Tuesday The prime minister is to discuss the current political impasse in NI with former US president Bill Clinton. Mr Clinton, who met the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin’s Stormont leader in Belfast, will […]

Unemployment drops by 52,000 but pay squeeze continues

Image copyright Getty Images UK unemployment fell by 52,000 in the three months to August to 1.4 million, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 4.3% from the previous quarter. However, pay still failed to keep pace with inflation, with the real value of earnings down 0.3% over the past year. Total earnings, excluding bonuses, rose […]

Theresa May scraps universal credit helpline charges

Media caption‘It’s a lot of weeks to wait’ People will be able to call the government’s universal credit helpline without being charged, within weeks. Prime Minister Theresa May said she had listened to criticism of the charges, which can be up to 55p a minute, and decided it was “right” to drop them. But she […]

Stormont talks: Brokenshire sets month-end deadline

Image copyright PA Image caption Prospects of a deal to restore devolution do not look positive, James Brokenshire says The latest date for a Northern Ireland Executive to be formed to pass a budget is the week beginning 6 November, according to James Brokenshire. The Northern Ireland secretary said that would mean legislation would have […]

Universal Credit helpline charges scrapped

Image copyright Getty Images People will no longer be charged for calling the government’s Universal Credit helpline after criticism from MPs and campaigners. Welfare Secretary David Gauke said the helpline, charged at local call rates which could be up to 55p a minute, would be made free in the coming weeks. Mr Gauke is being […]

Unemployment drops by 52,000 but jobless rate stays at same level

Image copyright PA UK unemployment fell by 52,000 in the three months to August to 1.4 million, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 4.3% from the previous quarter – still at the joint lowest level since 1975. However, pay still failed to keep pace with inflation, with the real value of earnings down 0.3% over […]

Conservative MP Tim Loughton ‘starts day with hour in bath’

A Conservative MP has revealed he spends up to an hour in the bath every morning “to relax and compose my thoughts for the day ahead”. Tim Loughton is co-chairman of a new all-party group on mindfulness, a form of meditation. He has claimed “one of the greatest causes of stress in the world was […]

Universal Credit: MPs to debate rollout amid Labour pause call

Image copyright Getty Images MPs are to debate the rollout of Universal Credit amid continuing calls for changes to the way the government’s flagship welfare programme is working. Labour is calling for the system, which merges six benefits into one, to be paused amid concerns about how long claimants wait to get the cash. Senior […]

‘Rogue’ property agents to be targeted, ministers say

Image copyright Getty Images Plans to protect leaseholders and tenants in England from unfair costs are to be outlined by ministers later. They say they want to clamp down on a “small minority of rogue agents” in the property management system who force consumers to pay over-inflated charges. They will consider changing the law so […]