This is Money Podcast
This is Money Podcast
About This is Money Podcast
The Autumn Statement was the definition of a mixed bag. There was a National Insurance cut, but the stealth income tax raid continued. The Isa system got an improvement, but the allowance remained frozen. Meanwhile, the triple lock was delivered along with a pension pot-for-life plan but inheritance tax remains firmly uncut at 40 per cent, with all its weird quirks intact. So, was that an Autumn Statement to fire Britain on to growth, as the Chancellor claimed, or a damp squib? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert dive into the details to reveal what the Autumn Statement means for you and the economy. From the Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts, to being allowed multiple Isas and the seemingly mad plan of allowing family homes to be easily converted to flats, the team take the measure of Jeremy Hunt’s plans. And they look ahead to whether there will be more tax cuts to come in the Budget – and whether Britain’s stealth tax and marginal tax trap mess will ever get sorted.
The Autumn Statement arrives next week and the rumour mill has gone into overdrive. The idea of it being a simple update on the economy seems to have been abandoned and instead there is talk of an Isa overhaul, tax changes, and even inheritance tax being cut from 40 per cent to 20 per cent. But if you were Chancellor for the day, what would you do? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what could be on the cards as Jeremy Hunt stands up and delivers his Autumn Statement next week. On the agenda: Stealth tax - will the income tax freeze end? Inheritance tax - will the rate be cut to 20%? Isas - will the allowance be boosted and the system improved? Savings - could the personal savings allowance get a rise?
We all know pensions are important but most of us rarely engage with them. Yet, with a little bit of time and effort, you can get your work pension working as hard as possible for you - and at some point in the future you will be very glad you did so. On this episode of the This is Money podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert talk pensions: why you should start early, the reason that it involves free money, how to invest for a richer retirement many years down the line and much more. Also on the agenda, what happens if you get stuck in a mortgage with your ex, why is Lee so annoyed at a sneaky insurance tax that swiftly adds up and can M&S's sales and share price resurgence continue? And finally, listen to the end if you want to find out where Lee buys his socks and Georgie gets her underwear.
Have interest rates peaked? After an inflation spike rudely awoke them from their slumbers, the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve have shown us that rate hiking can be a difficult habit to break. But 14 consecutive rate rises into an astonishing run from 0.1 per cent to 5.25 per cent for the base rate, the Bank of England suddenly paused six weeks ago. And then, on Thursday, it did it again. On both of those occasions, the Fed had also just done the same thing across the Atlantic. So, are we finally there? When does a pause become a peak? And if we have reached the top of the interest rate cycle, what happens next? On this episode of This is Money podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at the decision to hold rates again and what it means for savers, mortgage borrowers and investors. Plus, what are Andrew Bailey’s Bank of England and Jay Powell’s Fed telling us about their respective economies – and how divergent are the paths of the UK and US? Also on this episode, Crane on the Case digs into a how an entirely explainable and obvious error somehow led to a reader facing more than £8,000 of fines and Transport for London refusing to budge… until we stepped in. Plus, some previous high-flying investment trusts are going cheap, so is this the time to invest? Simon takes a look. And finally, what have the Premium Bonds and a pop quiz on number one hits in 2000 and 2008 got to do with each other? Listen to the end if you want to find out why you need to know that the UK number one in February 2008, was Duffy singing Mercy.
This week, This is Money's pensions expert Tanya Jefferies joins Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost. Among the topics being discussed: State pension top-ups are in dire need of an overhaul by DWP and HMRC, says TANYA JEFFERIES What does the bond market sell-off mean for your investments and pension? UK bond yields at 25 year high: Global borrowing costs rocket in debt market rout Premium Bonds winning numbers - and latest news Our neighbour's CCTV is recording us: Can we make them take it down?
Wages are up, but inflation is… the same. What does it all mean for mortgage rates, the state pension, benefits and the economy generally? One thing we know won’t be affected by the latest figure is income tax bands. Just how much is the big freeze – AKA fiscal drag - going to cost us? That’s on the agenda for Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost this week as the latest CPI reading stuck at 6.7 per cent. At the start of the year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set the target to halve inflation by the end of 2023. And it was looking promising. But this latest inflation figures might have thrown a bit of spanner into the works. What’s going on at Royal Mail? Some households say they are only receiving their post once a week. Hospital appointment letters, birthday cards, parcels and important bills have all gone missing in delays caused by a staffing crisis. In Brighton, households say they’re receiving mail as infrequently as just once a fortnight. Picking an estate agent to sell your home is so important. A good agent will make finding your buyer seem like a breeze. Choose the wrong one and it can cause untold stress, drag the whole process out and you could end up being forced to reduce your asking price and ultimately sell for less. So how do you pick a good ‘un? And just what is gazundering – and why is it back with a vengeance? The new Tesla Model 3 arrives on our fair shores in January - but how much will it cost and is it any good? If it proves to be out of your budget range what about Citroen's new e-C3, set to start from around £17,000 And…range anxiety is real - so would you take an EV on a continental road trip? Paul Barker, motoring journalist of decades, gave it a go and diarised it for you...
House prices will continue to fall, says an influential poll of estate agents. The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that buyer demand is declining and fewer homes are coming to the market. Meanwhile, Halifax’s latest house price figures show a £14,000 drop compared to the recent peak in August 2022 and 4.7 per cent fall in the year to the end of September, the largest since 2009. So, how much further could they fall and are buyers in danger of trying to time the market? Will there be a big pause before a general election next year? Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce discuss the age old favourite of house prices. This week has also seen the Bank of England sound the alarm over 35 year mortgages – should we be concerned? Skipton Building Society launches a headline mortgage rate of 3.35 per cent. What’s the catch? It comes as its rival Nationwide has new best buy home loan rates. Could mortgage deals continue to fall? And we look at the top up-and-coming areas for first-time buyers: Does your area make the cut? Spoiler: it features Hull, Middlesbrough and Ipswich. DIY investors went on a gilt-buying spree in September - shunning the stock market and savings accounts. The UK government bonds were paying as little as 0.125 per cent last month – so why were they getting involved? Hargreaves Lansdown is launching a basic, no-frills pension for those who want an easy way to invest for retirement but aren’t quite sure how to get started. They are the first Sipp provider to give details after regulators said they had to offer customers a 'default' option by the start of December. Will it make Sipps sexy enough to the self-employed? Shrinkflation, bogus loyalty card savings and variable prices in supermarkets... we’re fed up with the lot of them. Are you?
Inflation is easing, food prices are coming down from their peak and the energy price cap dropped last weekend. But you are still paying around 10 per cent more for your groceries now than last year, petrol prices are rising, mortgage rates are still high, and you may end up paying more for your gas and electricity this winter too. But how is that possible? This week, Angharad Carrick, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Helen Crane tackle energy bills and look at who might be paying more in the next three months. And when it comes to water bills, some firms are looking at charging 44 per cent more over the next seven years. Why? Crane on the Case this week tackles a parking charge issued after someone waited too long in a McDonald’s drive-thru queue. Despite that, Helen managed to get a positive result – but why are so many parking charges being dished out every day, and where is the promised government help to stop it happening. Lee gives you a run through of another busy week in the world of savings and banking. NS&I has pulled its best buy one year fix paying 6.2 per cent; NatWest has a secret top 5.2 per cent easy-access deal; Moneybox is offering the top cash Isa of 5 per cent; and Starling Bank is now offering to pay you for having a current account. It’s also been a hairy week for Metro Bank – but we explain why FSCS has you covered. And finally…the list of the UK's 'perfect' retirement locations has been revealed - and there are some surprising names on it, including the Outer Hebrides. Consumer group Which? has taken retirees' wish-lists for their later-life locations to work out its own grouping of the 12 top places to spend your golden years. But does it tally up to what you think is a perfect retirement location?
It’s been called the most hated tax in Britain - but only four per cent of people pay it. You could be forgiven for thinking inheritance tax is something only the super-rich need to worry about. But thanks to rising house prices and an increasing desire to transfer wealth between generations, more and more people are being drawn into the net. It happens not only when someone is left property or other assets from someone's estate, but also when they accept a gift from someone who passes away before the 'seven year rule' tax exemption kicks in. The IFS says that that four per cent could become 12 per cent within a decade. And many of those who will never pay inheritance tax still hate the idea that the Government is taking a big cut of the wealth people have worked hard to build up over their lifetime. So it might come as welcome news that Rishi Sunak is reported to be considering cutting the tax, or even scrapping it altogether, as a potential vote-winner ahead of the next election. What’s wrong with inheritance tax, how could it be made fairer - and could the Government really just get rid of it? Simon Lambert, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost discuss. That’s not the only plan the Government is said to be hatching for our finances. It’s also reported that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt wants to increase the £20,000 annual allowance for saving into an Isa - but only for those who use it to invest money into companies listed on the ailing London Stock Exchange. The team consider what puts people off stocks and shares Isas, whether the rules are too restrictive for the way we manage our money today, and whether encouraging people to pour money into a market which has had a bit of a tough time of late is a good idea. Plus, it’s a year since the disastrous mini-Budget which rocked the mortgage market. With a raft of reductions from big lenders this week, could rates on home loans finally be turning a corner now the base rate has been put on ice? And finally, we discuss whether the time might finally have come to commit to a fixed rate on your energy bills.
And suddenly they stopped. After 14 interest rate rises in a row, the Bank of England stalled and kept base rate on hold. A lower than expected inflation number and slew of economic reports indicating the heat was being taken out of the economy were credited with staying the Monetary Policy Committee's hand. So, will 5.25 per cent now be the peak for base rate or could rates once again start to head higher from here? And what does the Bank of England's decision to pause mean for savings rates and mortgage rates? On this week, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss why interest rates were held, what nudged inflation down, what could happen next and what all this means for savers, borrowers and investors. Plus, what does the government rowing back on Net Zero plans mean for electric cars, EPCs and how we heat our homes. And finally, if your neighbours can seen into your garden and you don't like it, can you just stick up a very tall fence or do you need planning permission (and risk triggering a neighbourly battle)?
If the triple lock is stuck to, the state pension should rise by 8.5 per cent next April. That will be an inflation-busting rise but a promise is a promise - and the triple lock is meant to be a cast iron guarantee that the state pension will rise by either 2.5 per cent, average wages, or inflation. Except it's already been unpicked once and arguing about whether the government can wriggle out of it has become an annual event. It's expensive and paid for by current workers, but the triple lock has improved the state pension - and one day those workers should get that payout themselves. Yet, has it run its course and is it time for a better policy than the triple lock? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Sam Barker and Simon Lambert debate the triple lock and whether to keep it. Plus, why is Facebook Marketplace such a wild west for consumers and what happened when we tried to set up our own (fake) scam? Santander's cracking 5.2 per cent easy access savings deal was pulled this week. The team discuss whether another account will come close in future and why those who signed up to This is Money's savings alerts didn't miss out. And finally, a reader has viewed 40 homes for sale but not found one they like. What should they do?
Every child could receive a pot of £1,000 at birth to be channelled into long-term investments in UK growth under proposals to give the young a leg up and revive a ‘stagnant’ economy. The idea of a ‘New Generation Trust’ is part of a package of reforms that could add £225billion to the economy, says a report by the City of London Corporation. A £1,000 payment to all newborn children would need to be invested - and it is claimed this could provide long-term capital for UK PLC. It revives memories of the Child Trust Fund scheme launched by Gordon Brown two decades ago, and later scrapped by George Osborne – and that hasn’t exactly been a roaring success. This week, Lee Boyce, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss the merits of the idea – and why whether this happens or not parents should start building a pot for children as early as possible. It’s been another exciting week for savings – Santander has a new best buy easy-access deal, Moneybox has launched a top cash Isa and First Direct is offering five prizes of £12,500 for those who switch current account – including a £175 bonus for doing so. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has been speaking in front of MPs at the Treasury Select Committee about base rate – are we close to the peak? House prices saw their biggest slump since 2009 according to Halifax, with the average home falls £14,000 in a year – chiming with similar data from Nationwide. And finally, electric cars are slumping in value – many models have lost 30 per cent or more in a year. Is now the time to buy, and what on earth is going on?
Inflation has been ravaging our finances, but it is also threatening our future. According to new research, if you want a comfortable retirement, you need to build a pot of nearly £600,000. The rising cost of living requires an extra £4,200 a year to maintain the same lifestyle as in spring last year - which means you have to save another £69,000 in all. This week, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Helen Crane delve into pensions, as separate research shows more than half of people saving into one believe they will never put away enough to stop working when they get older. What can you do? Tanya reveals how to invest your pension and live off it in retirement. One thing that isn’t going to help your retirement funds is forking out to help your kids get on the property ladder. But that is exactly what is happening at the moment and in huge numbers. Financial aid is expected to support almost half of all homes purchased by buyers under the age of 55 this year - totaling £8.1billion. Is tapping into the Bank of Mum and Dad fair? People who spent big sums on state pension top-ups are angry their cash has gone missing and they can't get answers out of HMRC or the Department for Work and Pensions – Tanya gives an important update. Lee runs the rule over the new 6.2 per cent one-year fixed-rate from National Savings and Investments, alongside four savings trends gleaned from a new Bank of England report. Helen reveals the four pressures landlords are facing as more of them opt to sell up. And lastly, are you suffering from dogflation, catflation or any kind of petflation? And how can you bite back?
Many people may be feeling in a state of financial flux at the moment and wondering where to put their money. And it's not an easy choice. Savings rates have improved, gold is holding steady, but property prices are slipping and stocks are sticky. And that is just some of the myriad of options Britons are contemplating right now, alongside other areas such as overpaying the mortgage or saving for retirement. So, where would you put your money for the next five years? That’s the question the This is Money team put to the experts – and our readers – with a mixed response. Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce reveal what they told us, the results of a reader poll and how they’re grappling with these big financial decisions. Could unloved and cheap investment trusts be the answer? Simon runs the rule. Premium Bonds have been boosted again – Lee reveals why they are giving them a headache. And NS&I have boosted its green savings deal to 5.7 per cent. Is it a good deal now? Elsewhere, Ofgem has announced the new energy price cap for October 2023 will be £1,923. What does it mean for households – and why are many still facing higher bills this winter regardless? Loyal listeners may might remember a few years ago predictions from a chap called Fred Harrison - a housing market crash in 2026. The British author and economic commentator identified the 18-year property cycle and believes it can accurately predict the next house price crash. But have today's inflation and high mortgage rates thrown the cycle off track? And property prices have become less expensive relative to average earnings, according to new data – but there’s a sting in the tail: higher mortgage rates mean homes are now LESS affordable. Finally, would you pay £25million for a car?
The inflation spike took central banks, governments and many ordinary people by surprise but Britain’s cost of living problem has proved more stubborn that most. The latest set of official figures on consumer prices index inflation seem to show that the UK may be making some headway on getting it down. Aided by a substantial drop in the energy price cap, annual CPI inflation fell to 6.8 per cent in July – down from 7.9 per cent in June. Does that mean we have turned a corner on inflation and can look forward to Rishi Sunak delivering on his promise of halving it this year? Or were there once again some hidden nasties in the inflation report that could mean it takes longer to subside? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert dig into the inflation data and look at why economists decide that real wage growth was something to worry about. The team look at what this could mean for interest rates and where they will peak – and what that in turn means for mortgaged homeowners and savers. Also this week, the triple lock is set to deliver another big state pension boost, is that fair? Plus, why did Nationwide freeze a reader’s bank account for their charitable work. And finally, would you try to fix your own furniture? Here’s how some mayonnaise and an iron could help revive your dining table and more.
After months of mortgage mayhem some better news finally arrived this week with major lenders delivering a slew of hefty rate cuts. Halifax, Nationwide, and NatWest have all delivered big chops to their home loans, with analysts saying that we may be past the moment of peak panic in the mortgage market. That’s the silver lining to a very dark cloud though, as mortgage rates are far higher than they have been in recent years and almost all of those whose fixes come up for renewal will face paying much more. So if this is the end of Mortgage Mayhem Part 2 (the uncalled for sequel to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s original instalment), what happens next? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert survey the wreckage of the past few months and look at what could come next for mortgage rates and homeowners? With higher rates here for the foreseeable future, they also discuss what this means for people’s finances and how mortgage hikes are likely to eat most people’s pay rises and then some. Simon explains why after such a long period of stagnant real wages, this is a major problem. In cheerier news, Premium Bonds have had another big bump up in the prize rate, so are they now a no-brainer? (For those listening to the podcast and looking for it, here is the link to our Premium Bonds winning stats piece Simon mentions). Plus, what is the tale of good customer service that Simon has returned from holiday with? And finally, how did Helen go viral with an old carrier bag?
When it comes to HM Revenue & Customs, it's safe to say that many business owners and accountants have become well-acquainted with chaos. The push for a digital tax system has left some waiting months to receive basic tax information - and following a This is Money investigation, where we spoke to someone inside the madness, we have received an avalanche of taxman woe. This week, Angharad Carrick, Tanya Jefferies, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost reveal what's been going on - and whether customer service has become worse. Meanwhile, being an executor is a great responsibility - and it can be a nightmare. Stephen Gold is a retired judge and author who recently acted as executor for his beloved late aunt. The process eventually saw him force a string of banks, finance firms and institutions pay compensation for unacceptable errors and delay. His torrid experience led him to produce a three-part series and we talk about why companies must get the bereavement service right. We saw the 14th rate rise on the bounce from the Bank of England this week. It's up to 5.25 from 5 per cent and expectations are for another rise or two to come this year before the MPC stop turning the screw. But have any of the rises helped with inflation? And what will this mean for savings and mortgage rates? And finally, where do you stand on the great plastic lawn debate? A recent survey suggests that a quarter of people want it banned. But why?
Energy firms have had their feet held to the fire this week. The industry as a whole has been blasted by the regulator Ofgem over poor customer service, while our investigation revealed that 200 customers don't think Ovo has been billing them properly. Meanwhile, British Gas has been in the spotlight for its bumper profits, which jumped by a whopping 889 per cent for the first half of this year. These firms are certainly making plenty of money - so should they be spending more of it to help their customers? Lee Boyce, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost ask why things are going so wrong, and what people can do if they don't think they are being billed correctly. We also look at what's going on with bank accounts. Crisis-hit Natwest is winning the switching battle thanks to its tasty cash incentives, and it’s not just Farage being 'de-banked'. We hear the story of one vulnerable couple who were left unable to pay bills and buy food after HSBC closed their account. Inheritance tax has also been in the news, as there are noises it might be scrapped - but the Treasury are raking in even more money from it. Will it go? Finally, we explain what blended families need to know about making a will - after one woman was forced to bid for her late mother's belongings at auction when her stepfather amended their mirror wills after she had died.
Earlier in the week, the consumer prices index measure of inflation fell by more than expected thanks to a fall in transport and food prices. It eased to 7.9 per cent in June, a bigger drop than expected, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was the lowest CPI rate since March 2022 when inflationary pressures began to amplify the headline figure. So what does that mean for the typical household and for potential future base rate rises? Lee Boyce, Sam Barker and Georgie Frost delve into CPI and what that means for mortgages and savers. And on the note of savers, two pieces of data this week point to a mixed picture for our financial resilience. On one hand, a survey suggests one in three people do not have enough savings for an emergency - and on the other, that a third of savers are earning 1 per cent or less, and for some that's on five figure pots. If inflation does stay sticky, pensioners could see a big rise in in the state pension - if politicians keep the 'triple lock' pledge. Data suggests that by 2030, the annual state pension figure is likely to be between £13,000 and £14,000. Before you head off on holiday, we reveal the cruel new scams you need to know about. And… bitcoin to surge to $120,000 by the end of 2024 according to one major bank. How likely is that and why does one expert think it's nonsense.