Helen Goodman MP

Helen has joined forces with consumer champion, Which?, and over 80 fellow parliamentarians in signing a letter asking for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to bring an end to rip-off overdraft fees.

Constituents in Bishop Auckland could be paying excessive fees on unarranged overdrafts, some of which may still cost over seven times more than a payday loan. Helen feels not enough has been done to protect consumers from these sky-high fees. 

Helen explained: “Overdrafts are intended to offer us with temporary financial support when we need it. Unfortunately, instead of being the comfort blanket people need during especially tight or periods, more than 2% of people are in a constant overdraft as a result of ridiculously high charges. We cannot allow our banks to continue to charge these extortionate fees to the people who can least afford it.”

An end to rip-off overdraft fees

Helen has joined forces with consumer champion, Which?, and over 80 fellow parliamentarians in signing a letter asking for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to bring an end to rip-off overdraft...

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits in Bishop Auckland constituency has risen by 29% in just one year. There are 440 more people receiving unemployment benefits than in April last year.

The Government has been proudly announcing its falling unemployment rates in the UK; this is clearly not the case in Bishop Auckland.

“These figures are appalling. The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in our area is now 45% higher than the national average.

“Government funding for Durham County Council has been cut by 50%. So how we can expect young people and adults to develop skills and find work?”

More than 21% of these claimants aged 18-24; a number which was grown by 10% since last year.

“School funding cuts are failing our young people and not giving them the skills and confidence needed to find work after education.”

These figures are the first to be released since the roll-out of Universal Credit in Bishop Auckland. Helen explained: “My office has been dealing with endless concerns surrounding delays in payment and unfair decisions, driving people into debt and poverty. My constituents are having jobs and opportunities taken away without a decent, working benefits system to support them when they most need it.”

“Anybody with concerns about their Universal Credit can contact my office on 01388 603075.”

 

 

This was also addressed in the Northern Echo here.

My concerns about the rising unemployment in Bishop Auckland

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits in Bishop Auckland constituency has risen by 29% in just one year. There are 440 more people receiving unemployment benefits than in April...

Earlier this week, the Government finished its consultation on the future of food and farming after Brexit. I have responded to the consultation to express my severe concerns about potential damage to the Teesdale farming economy.

Leaving the EU has given the Government the opportunity to create new policies on agriculture, but these new proposals on trade and support payments could have serious impacts on tenant farmers and sheep hill-farmers in Teesdale.

Losing our domestic and EU markets is a real risk. Worryingly, the Government wants to import cheaper meat from New Zealand, Australia, and Latin America, which would threaten meat sales within the UK. With the EU as our biggest partner and our only customer for lamb, leaving the customs union will be catastrophic for exporting.

If the Government is successful in not replacing the EU’s direct payments to farmers, they will be paid according to how much produce they can offer. In reality, this means that tenant farmers will see an increase in rent prices or important work, like walling, will be neglected or abandoned.

Bad policies could mean that our farmers are facing irrecoverable losses within just 20 years.

Teesdale is a unique natural environment with excellent biodiversity and a flourishing farming community. I have responded to the consultation and I am putting the Government under pressure to protect our farmers and their livelihoods.

Customs union is critical for Teesdale farming

Earlier this week, the Government finished its consultation on the future of food and farming after Brexit. I have responded to the consultation to express my severe concerns about potential...

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