Interest rates have finally risen above 0.5 per cent for the first time in almost a decade. The Bank of England has decided that the UK's economy is healthy enough to finally get above the financial crisis emergency level, but was the hike a wise move or a mistake. Of those in favour, some have been calling for a rate rise for a long time, others believe we must try to get back to normal before recession hits. But those opposed believe even this tiny shift up to a very low base rate level of 0.75 per cent, is a gamble too far from the Monetary Policy Committee's ratesetters.
On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost dive into the rate rise.
Why did the bank hike rates, who will it affect, why do interest rates even move up and down and how did they end up at 0.5 per cent in the first place?
Also on this week's show, Lee introduces us to the world of micro-saving, we discuss the case of the financial adviser who suddenly ask for £10,000 more and Simon tries to show he is down with the kids who are making money by selling on Depop.
This is Money is going on holiday… Don’t worry, loyal podcast fans they aren’t really going anywhere, but they are dedicating this week’s show for those lucky among you who are! And even if that’s not you, there’s some pretty useful stuff coming up for when you do. From your pre-travel arrangements, travel insurance and holiday money, to when you land abroad, paying the right way and what you eat! And touching down back home…whenever that may be. So seats and traytables back to the upright position, seatbelts on and notepads at the ready…
How would you feel about compulsory three year tenancies? Would they provide essential security of tenure for families or pose too big a risk for landlords? The government has appointed the third housing minister this year. What will Kit Malthouse bring to the table and how confident are you that housing really is a priority for ministers? Will the Bank of England end nearly a decade of ultra low interest rates and increase them this August? And we discuss a new initiative to help student landlords support tenants with mental health issues. Richard Blanco is joined by Chris Norris, Director of Policy & Practice at The National Landlords Association and and Carol Lewis, Deputy Editor of Property and Personal Finance at The Times.
Some projections suggest a third of UK jobs are at high risk of computerisation. The impact of technical progress has been debated since Karl Marx predicted advancement of the means of production to the point where abundance would end the division of labour. J. R. Shackleton, Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham and Editorial and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, considers the modern debate in Robocalypse Now?. Prof. Shackleton argues that estimates of the number of jobs-at-risk are excessive; that regulatory and legal barriers to automation will result in slower than anticipated change, and that the last 200 years show how new employment opportunities are created to replace jobs lost to automation. We consider these various debates and ask whether the emergence of AI and robotics mean that, this time it’s different.
Adam talks to Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe, an expert on medical conditions related to radio frequency and Brian Stein of the Radiation Research Trust about the growing scientific evidence that mobile phone radiation and WIFI are now linked to various cancers. They discuss why there is an unwillingness to talk about the dangers as mobile phones and WIFI is often ranked as the things we want and need most in our lives. They discuss why the government and the telecoms industry have a vested interest in not warning people of dangers and what you can do if you’re worried about the health risks but still want to keep using WIFI and your phone.
Working out what to do with a life-changing sum of money is a nice problem to have but that doesn’t mean it’s not tricky. We’ve all read the stories of inheritances, lottery wins and other windfalls squandered - and even if you have spent a lifetime building your wealth, whether through investing or business, it would still be all too easy to rattle through the cash. On this week’s podcast, we look at a question from This is Money’s new Wealth Check section on what to do with £1.2million from a business sale: how to spend some enjoying life and invest the rest so that it is not at too much risk but still grows.
From there, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost dive into what a life-changing sum of money might be, why more people are getting them, and what you might do with it.
For those without that luxury, we look at why engaging with your pension investments is being tipped as a way to retire early - and whether a bit less time panic scrolling on social media might buy you the time to do that.
In between the resignations and the reshuffles, what have we learned about where Brexit will go next? Much of the focus has been on the response to the deal the prime minister reached with her cabinet at Chequers, but what was in the deal itself? How practical is the government’s position on Brexit? And what are the alternatives? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Marley Morris, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Andrew Pendleton, NEF’s director of policy and advocacy.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Marley Morris, Andrew Pendleton
In this episode of Policy Matters, host Matt Dickson talks to Laura van der Erve from the Institute for Fiscal Studies about the merits of doing a university degree, and what recent evidence suggests are the relative labour market returns to degrees in different subjects at different institutions. With almost 50% of young people in England going on to Higher Education, and with tuition fees of £9,250 for most courses, it has never been more important to understand the impact on earnings of studying different subjects and at different HE institutions. Laura describes recent research from the IFS looking at graduate outcomes and explains some of the difficulties in pinning down the impact of a particular course on later earnings and employment. They then discuss social gradients in attending university and the extent to which inequalities have been impacted by changes in tuition fees. Finally, talk turns to thinking about the sorts of things students need to know in advance in order to make an informed decision about where to apply and what to study, how the government can help with this, and the limits of information provision as a policy.
Adam Cox talks to Michael Shapiro, Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution at GSC Solicitors LLP, about one of the most visible parts of the legal process: litigation. Michael explains that a lot of litigation comes about as a result of poor planning at the start of a business relationship, and that prevention is much better and cheaper than the cure. He talks about why factors such as ego, stubbornness and revenge can drive a case to court – and why there are much better, and far less risky, ways to seek resolution. Would you take your business to court to prove a point?
In the last of her four discussions with writer and consultant on responsible business Tom Levitt, Linda Lewis probes further into what it means to be a responsible and sustainable business in the 21st century. The two discuss what it is that engages employees within a business setting, the growing phenomenon of “social enterprise”, and how such businesses differ from the mainstream. The role of “purpose” in business is explored; as is the changing nature of investment, which is increasingly being used to support businesses in creating positive social and environmental outcomes. The discussion is further explored from a historical perspective – what can we learn from hindsight that could improve business today?