"Tax Refund Has Arrived"
HMRC have been updating us
about a new round of fake emails. These are being sent out from
criminal groups purporting to be HMRC. If you get an email that asks
you for information or tells you to go to a website to get your tax
refund, do not click on it! It is a phishing scam, as HMRC never
sends out emails or phones to tell you about tax refunds. We have
also been alerted to a phone scam which calls you, saying they are
calling on behalf of HMRC. Again this is a scam. If you get an email
you think is fake, allegedly from HMRC, please email it to their
investigation department at:-
firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have a full story
in next week’s issue. The latest mass-mailed email we have obtained
a copy of, can be seen by clicking on the photograph. We would
always advise always check to see if the link is a valid link before
you click on any emails. If you know how to, we would also suggest
you check to see where the Postfix comes from.
Loans boost for vulnerable home
LIVERPOOL city council is
inviting owner occupiers who need to make improvements, repairs and
adaptations to their properties to take advantage of a Houseproud
loan. The loans – ranging from £3,000 to up to 55% of the
current value of the property – are available to people who are aged
60 or over, or who have a disabled person living in the household.
The loan does not need to be repaid during the recipients’ lifetime.
Aimed at improving life for residents who need it most, the loans
could fund a range of improvements, from a new bathroom, electrical
rewiring or central heating; to replacement windows, doors,
guttering, or disabled adaptations such as level access showers or a
stairlift. The city council can assist people with assessing the
works required, finding reputable builders and checking the work
when it is finished.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety at the city council,
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said:- “It’s vital that our most
vulnerable residents are given all the support they need to live
safely and independently in their homes. Many older homeowners, or
households that include a disabled person, have a real need to
repair, improve or adapt their living space. But it can be a
daunting task, especially at a time when people are having to
tighten their purse strings. The Houseproud scheme is a really
effective way of helping homeowners carry out and fund major work.
As well as providing cash, the scheme also provides vital support
and reassurance in helping people source reliable tradespeople and
making sure work is carried out properly.”
Houseproud is run by the Home Improvement Trust, a non-profit
organisation, in partnership with local councils throughout England,
Scotland and Wales.
For further details about the
scheme, or to apply for a loan, residents should call:- 0800 783
£1 million to
help voluntary sector
A £1 million lifeline to
help support voluntary sector organisations affected by Government
cuts in funding has been launched on Monday, 13 June 2011. The
Transformation Fund is a one-off investment to support organisations
to become sustainable by funding projects to reorganise their
business, work collaboratively or bid for cash from elsewhere.
Council leader Joe Anderson said:- "We have had to find £91
million of savings this year because of central government cuts, and
this meant some extremely tough and difficult choices over the level
of funding for voluntary sector organisations.
We recognise they play a key role in the social wellbeing and
economic prosperity of the city, and it is vital the cuts do not
affect their ability to provide services we are continuing to fund.
The Transformation Fund is to help them find ways in which they can
change the way they operate so they can get through this difficult
period, especially as we have to find significant savings next year
as well. The money will be available to help them develop ways
of collaborating with other organisations to reduce their overheads,
share back office functions, or help them apply for grants from
elsewhere so they are not dependent upon one source of funding.
I know this scheme is likely to be oversubscribed and some
organisations who apply will be left disappointed, but we have made
available what we can."
The Transformation Fund cannot be used for the delivery of services
the city council has ceased to fund.
Alan Lewis from Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (LCVS),
which is the umbrella body for the third sector in the city, said:-
"I am pleased the council has made available this funding for
the voluntary sector. It is a real commitment to helping
support our members through tough times, and will help them find
ways in which they can make changes to secure their future."
Application forms can be downloaded from the council’s
from Monday, 13 June 2011. Decisions on successful bids will be made
by the beginning of August 2011.
PLAN TO DUMP 132 HOMES – UNISON RESPONSE
UNISON, the UK’s largest
union, warned that the huge uncertainly facing thousands of
residents in Southern Cross homes poses a real danger to their
Research shows that if you move elderly people, many do not live for
very long afterwards. For elderly people with dementia, moving can
also be incredibly confusing and distressing.
The news of the ‘exit strategy’, follows reports that the company is
paying City firms £500,000 a week for crisis advice, as well as
cutting thousands of nursing and care jobs in its homes.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:- "Another day,
another report of shocking lack of care from Southern Cross. How do
this company’s bosses, past and present, sleep at night? They have
stripped the company of assets, made themselves millionaires in the
process, and are now going to cut and run.
But it is an incredibly distressing time for elderly residents,
their families and for workers in the company’s homes. Research
shows that if elderly residents are moved from their homes, many do
not live for very long afterwards. Even those who do not face moving
are getting hit with lower standards of care as the company cuts
care and nursing jobs.
It is a personal tragedy for staff facing the doles queues – jobs
are hard to find in the current climate. The government must step in
to regulate the privatised care market. There are many other
Southern Cross style companies out there, and this cannot be allowed
to happen again."