This week, savings have been in the spotlight with National Savings and Investments cutting rates on a number of its offerings, including popular Premium Bonds. Both Marcus Bank and Saga also cut easy-access rates. On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at what's behind the cuts and question: should savers head elsewhere, and what is the point of tucking money away for little interest? Nationwide Building Society has launched a Start to Save easy-access account with a £100 lottery – is it any good and can it help get people into the savings habit? We cover a curious case of one reader who found their Spotify infiltrated by someone with appalling music taste. Simon reveals how he was stung by the loyalty penalty when a renewal letter came through from his insurer Halifax. It hiked his premium, but after weeks of back-and-forth, couldn't give him a concrete reason as to why. And Lee looks at whether a Fitbit is worth the money and how a fitness tracker helped his mum, with an underlying health condition, become healthier.
This week started with rumours of a pension tax relief cut and mansion tax, saw the Chancellor fall on his sword, and ended with people none the wiser about whether a Budget tax raid is more or less likely after all that. Sajid Javid exited the stage to be replaced by one of his own men, Rishi Sunak, after an attempt by Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings to take back control at the Treasury was rebuffed by the short-lived Chancellor. The question now is just whose idea the pension tax relief and mansion tax plans were and whether they are now on the cards or not (or was the whole shebang just a bit of Machiavellian manoeuvring)? What we do know is that a Budget is due in less than a month, so other than the national purse strings being loosened for the ‘levelling-up’ agenda what are we likely to see? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost delve into the Chancellor saga, what we know about the new man, and what could happen in the Budget that will affect your finances, from a stamp duty cut, to IR35 easing and a tax raid on the wealthier.
Would you swap your car for an electric one? If the government gets it way, soon many more of us will have to. The proposed ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars was dragged forward by five years to 2035 this week – and hybrid cars were bundled into the showroom clear-out too. If that sticks, this means that by 2030 – just a decade from now – it’s highly likely the vast majority of cars being sold new will be pure electric. On this week’s podcast, we deliver an electric car special. Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce look at the logic behind banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars, whether the move can be pulled off and why hybrids are now also on the naughty list. Charging infrastructure, range anxiety and questions over their lifecycle environmental costs are issues flagged by electric car sceptics, are they right? Meanwhile, the thing holding many people back from buying them, argues Simon, is cost. Second hand supply of electric cars is thin and choice is limited; and while the pipeline of new models is picking up dramatically, they remain pricey compared to a standard petrol car. But there could be a game-changer in the form of a salary sacrifice perk combined with a change to benefit-in-kind rules, so should you be badgering your boss to sign the company up so that you can buy a new electric car at 32% or 42% off? Fittingly, this week the great Tesla adventure tale delivered another riveting chapter. In the first two days of the week, shares rocketed more than 35 per cent and have doubled since the start of 2020. Can Elon Musk’s stock heading for the moon be justified in any way?Also, on this week’s show we talk about the 5 per cent interest offered by Zeuk – and our exclusive on the Financial Conduct Authority hitting back at adverts. And finally, why did Lee Boyce take his wife and daughter out to lunch with a set of scales to eat a watermelon steak?
It’s Brexit Day – and whether you voted leave or remain, are celebrating, or commiserating, we wish you a happy one. After 11pm on Friday 31 January 2019, Britain is officially no longer a member of the European Union. The big question is, what happens next? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss both what Brexit means immediately for consumers and travellers, and how things may pan out for the economy and our finances over the year ahead. Where do we stand on Ehic medical cover in Europe, driving on the continent, mobile phone roaming, flight compensation and expat pensions? And what will the trade discussions on our future relationship with Europe and the rest of the world mean for the nation’s finances, businesses, inflation, the pound and interest rates? Also on this week’s podcast, the team dive much deeper into house prices than the usual survey, with a look at 174 years of property affordability and whether we can learn anything from a 70 year period when they got cheaper. They discuss Neil Woodford’s investors getting some money back and finding out how much they have lost so far and the curious case of the Lloyds customer of years who won a surprise bumper PPI payout that proved to be the ultimate loyalty penalty for being ripped off.
Are tax returns too taxing, why did new overdraft rules backfire, are challenger banks biting and what are the cars that hold their value best? We answer these questions on this week’s This is Money podcast. It’s tax return time. The organised will have safely filed their tax returns long ago, but there are still plenty of people who don’t yet feel the last minute has arrived. But what if you are meant to fill in a tax return and don’t realise? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the ten reasons that people may have to fill a tax return in, even though they are employees paid through PAYE. The team also discuss whether much of the tax return is really needed, or whether people are needlessly spending time filling in an over complicated form for an overly complex system. Also on this week’s podcast is the overdraft row that’s blown up on the back of the FCA’s attempt to improve borrowing and bank’s deciding that 39.9 per cent rates sounded about right. The team discuss whether the challenger banks are starting to bite and why people are attracted to them. And finally, Simon tells us about the new episode of the Making the Money Work podcast with London 2012 Olympic-medal winning boxer Anthony Ogogo.
Santander is to cut the rate of interest customers can earn with its 123 current account. It will mean one of Britain's most popular accounts will have dropped from a top tier 3 per cent when it launched in 2012 to 1 per cent. Why has the high street banking giant done this and could it result in an exodus of people moving? Does it signal the end of current accounts with benefits? It is also capping the level of cashback customers can earn while putting a blanket 39.9 per cent overdraft rate in place – following a similar move from its banking rivals. Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look at what it means for the current account market, whether there are other – better – accounts to switch to and how it managed to become so popular. Also on this week's podcast, we look at the rise of the buy now, pay later form of credit and whether it is another debt trap to watch out for. Why have nearly 40,000 people put in retrospective planning applications? And can you really hide a castle behind a haystack… Lastly, the love affair with car buyers and SUVs shows no signs of abating – sales continue to grow at a faster rate than any other group. We list the five reasons, allegedly, not to snap one up and whether you should consider an alternative.
Savers had a resoundingly duff deal over the decade that just ended, as they paid the price for the borrowing binge that proceeded it. Understandably, many feel somewhat aggrieved – like a moderate drinker who got the hangover that should have gone to the party animal. But it’s not just ‘emergency’ low interest rates that turned permanent that delivered the pain, banks and building societies paying little respect to loyal customers and undermining them with rock bottom rates on legacy accounts has also played a major part. Now, the financial watchdog has a plan to deal with the so-called loyalty penalty. A standard savings rate across all easy access accounts and Isas, with the ability to offer better rates over limited periods, for example, 12 months. When bonus time was up, that standard rate would act a floor to protect savers against the 0.01 per cent-paying accounts of this world. Is this a solution to the problem, or just some tinkering that all but mandates bonus accounts and does nothing to tackle saver inertia? Simon Lambert, Sarah Davidson and Georgie Frost tackle the plan to improve the savings market on this week’s podcast – and discuss whether this is a wise idea for a new decade or a recipe for more of the same. Also, on this week’s podcast, as a decade ends and one begins, we look at the property market: what happened to house prices in the 2010s and how did it compare to the 2000s, 1990s and 1980s, and also what will happen this year and in years to come?
The last four decades have been a roller-coaster ride for economic liberalism. Riding high from the early 1990s, falling trade barriers boosted international trade, integrated countries such as China into the global economy and significantly reduced the number of people in absolute poverty. Developments in technology ‘supercharged’ these impacts, radically altering our lives as workers and consumers. In this interview, Peter Urwin speaks to economist Vicky Pryce about where it all went wrong – is the rise of populism simply a reaction to the 2007-08 financial crisis, or is it a wider backlash against liberalism? Not everybody welcomes the changes brought about by globalisation, and change always implies disruption – is there a case for government compensation, targeted at those who bear the brunt of disruption and are less able to take advantage of the gains from liberalisation?
Our public services are in dire need of investment. And it is time to ask what we want our public services to actually do for us. That’s the view of group of economists and campaigners who are pushing for something called ‘Universal Basic Services’ – a radical expansion of high-quality public services for all to areas like transport, childcare and social care. More than 70 years after the creation of the welfare state and the NHS, is it time to reimagine the public services we should all expect? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by NEF Principle Fellow Anna Coote and openDemocracy Economics Editor Laurie Macfarlane.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Anna Coote, Laurie Macfarlane
Want to keep up with the latest earnings updates from the States? Well join Chris Hill and the Motley Fool Radio Show team here on Share Radio, direct from Washington DC, for news, views and analysis of the US stocks that matter. In this week's show: Nike scores with its Jordan brand; IAC buys Care.com for $500 million; FedEx delivers disappointing earnings; Bed Bath & Beyond surges after its new CEO cleans house; And General Mills gets a big boost from Blue Buffalo. Motley Fool analysts Ron Gross and Jason Moser discuss those stories, weigh in on surprising earnings from Blackberry and Winnebago, and debate the relative merits of eggnog and mistletoe. And we talk about why American Tower and Cerence are two stocks to watch. Plus, Motley Fool retirement expert Robert Brokamp serves up some year-end financial advice and talks retirement and saving for college.