There won't be another budget this year. Instead, we had the Winter Economy Plan unveiled this week as fears over a second wave of coronavirus infections - and the further economic turmoil it could create - takes hold. Despite repeated calls to extend the furlough scheme, Chancellor Rishi Sunak held firm. How does this new Jobs Support Scheme stack-up, will it be enough and what else did Mr Sunak reveal? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look. Meanwhile, importers are worried about container delays at Felixstowe Port, with coronavirus measures reportedly creating a backlog. NS&I made some brutal cuts to savings rates and its Premium Bonds – why did it make the move, just how severe are the cuts and where can savers head next? We could be about to see the end of the loyalty penalty - when sticking with one insurer for your car or home really doesn't pay – and it may save households nearly £4billion in the next decade. And lastly, hot tubs… the hot weather at the start of lockdown saw many people snap them up. But, now, many are complaining of faulty ones, with difficulties getting them fixed.
Britain is in the grip of a mysterious property mini-boom. Talk of a property market more buoyant than it’s been in years, of viewings and offers flooding in and family homes in hot demand, doesn’t seem to just be the usual estate agent puff. Evidence from mortgage reports, surveyors and data on estate agent activity, appears to bear this out. The stamp duty holiday and lockdown itchy feet have combine to make parts of the market a sellers’ one, so as a buyer what can you do to get a decent offer accepted and avoid overpaying? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce talk buying homes. They discuss what’s going on, whether all parts of the market are flying (not quite), why some homes go to above asking price offers but others linger, and how as a buyer you can get a good deal, while as a seller you can also try to go under offer swiftly at a decent price. Also, on this week’s show, the team discuss the rise of the lockdown trader and why more people – and younger ones at that – are buying shares. They look at inflation and how many savings account beat it. And finally, why has the Royal Mint said it probably won’t need to make anymore 2p pieces or £2 coins for a very long time?
As if 2020 wasn’t already proving to be a painful enough year, fraud has soared in lockdown. Fraud victims are now losing at least £11.5million a day but the real total is estimated at £80million, as only about 15 per cent of cases go reported. Cases are up 43 per cent in lockdown, according to Action Fraud figures, and the amount lost is up a staggering 286 per cent – meaning a victim loses £8,000 of their savings in average every minute. So could you fall victim to lockdown fraud? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss how people are being conned, the red flags to watch out for, what your rights are if you fall victim and why it’s not enough to think it won’t happen to you. Also on this week’s show, will the rule of six knock the chance of a V-shaped recovery for six and what on earth is the Government playing at with its Brexit threat to break international law? And finally, there’s a savings lottery out there with a better chance of winning £50,000 than the Premium Bonds.
Family BS’ windfall bonds have a minimum investment of £10,000 but a one in 714 chance of winning monthly prizes of between £1,000 and £50,000… but there’s a catch, it’s also possible no one will win. So, is it worth signing up?
The property market in the UK and the stock market in the US appear to be pulling off gravity-defying feats. The coronavirus crisis is still here, waves of job losses keep on coming and almost everyone is agreed there is more bad news to come. Yet, shares in the US and house prices in the UK are on the up. Is there anything behind this other than cheap central bank money and the belief that it will keep flowing and propping up asset prices? Perhaps, we have underestimated the resilience of the high flying tech stars and the British home buyer? On this week's podcast Simon lambert and Georgie Frost look at the parallels and differences between the British and American national obsessions of the property market and stock market. Plus, the mortgage crunch that is locking out first-time buyers from the party and the Metro Bank customer cruelly scammed twice are on the agenda. And finally, missing Eat Out to Help Out already? We reveal how to keep supporting the economy / wasting money / stuffing your face (delete as applicable depending on your view) for at least the rest of this month.
A large chunk of workers are unaware that their pension savings are invested in the stock market. When asked in a recent survey what they think happens to their cash, the most common answer was that they had 'no idea.' It doesn't make for pretty reading – Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at why it matters, and what can be done to get people more interested in their retirement pots. It comes as a reported rift has broken out at the top of government over the state pension triple lock. A key election promise, but there is a problem: With it rising on whichever is highest: inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5 per cent, it could go up a huge 18 per cent in 2021 under those rules. What changes could happen?From next month, your teen could be much richer as the first Child Trust Funds mature. What can your 18 year-old do with the cash? One option is not to buy private flights. Lee puts his weekly Consumer Trends column in the spotlight to reveal how much it costs to charter a flight, after one company reports a surge of interest. And what on earth is a hard seltzer? Sales in the US are booming and they have now come to Britain, will they prove as popular this side of the Atlantic?
Since the start of lockdown in March, more Britons have ordered supermarket shopping online to be delivered to their door to dodge the crowds and beat the queuing mayhem. This could be perfect time for Marks & Spencer, who will start its long-awaited tie-up with Ocado at the start of September, as the latter ends its 20 year long relationship with Waitrose. M&S is starting a 'back to basics' assault, lowering the prices on everyday items and it comes as its clothing division continues to struggle. Meanwhile, most major supermarkets are now offering same day – and in some cases, next hour – deliveries, are the days of doing the 'big shop' in large stores over? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look. This week saw a shock rise in the cost of living: why has it happened, where will the inflation figure go next and just how many savings accounts now offering more than 1 per cent interest? Seven US firms - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Tesla – have seen stratospheric value growth this year. Is it another dotcom bubble waiting to happen? The Department for Transport is mulling over how to allow self-driving cars on the motorway from next year, we take a look at how it works. And lastly, we celebrate our pensions agony uncle Steve Webb, who this week wrote his 200th This is Money column.
We are in the worst recession in living memory for the UK with GDP plummeting by 22.1 per cent in the first six months of 2020. But strange as it may sound, does that matter? We knew things would be terrible as the coronavirus lockdown pressed the pause button on the economy and people’s lives. Shops were shut, businesses were shuttered, everyone who could worked from home, almost 10million people were furloughed, international travel was halted, property sales were frozen and children didn’t go to school for four months. If you’d have predicted that was what 2020 would bring last New Year’s Eve, nobody would have believed you and they might even have called for help. So, it should come as no surprise that the ONS released figures this week showing that this year’s astonishing actions crashed the economy – although the fact that the UK suffered more than any other major economy other than Spain is a cause for concern. The question is, what next? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dig into the GDP figures to find out why the UK was hit so hard, whether we can read anything into the ONS’s figures and what to watch out for to identify if the economy is recovering better or worse than expected. Also on this week’s show, they discuss how amid all that carnage some households are getting their finances on track, how to buy a property in pandemic if you are an aspiring first-time buyer and how to keep your pension on track. And finally, the Government in its wisdom has decided to push on with getting Brexit fully done - even if it means no trade deal by the end of the year – and that will mean imported cars get more expensive. But fear not, new car buyers, because we’ve got the best British-built options instead – from a Nissan Juke shopping cart, to a gorgeous McLaren and the wonderfully bonkers Ariel Atom.
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss negative rates: what’s the point, do they have any positives and beyond costing savers’ interest how would they prove harmful?
They also talk gold and why the price of the precious metal has soared 35 per cent this year, to rise above the $2,000 mark and whether it can keep going.
Buying gold and taking rates negative are seen as glass-half-empty measures, but are things brighter than we think?
The housing market is doing better than expected, car sales have posted a surprise 11 per cent annual rise and Britain went mad for eating out at the start of the week, thanks to Rishi Sunak’s discount deals. Are these indicators of a V-shaped recovery?
The job losses that continue to pile up will weigh on that and the team have tips on what to do if you are made redundant or it is a threat.
And finally, if you do fancy splashing out and have your eye on a new car, you might think it is time go electric. Simon runs through What Car?’s new special awards for the best electric cars in every category.
After a great deal of fuss about air bridges and people being able to go on summer holiday, things suddenly changed last weekend. A swift about turn saw a 14 day quarantine period imposed for those arriving in the UK from Spain at just six hours’ notice, hitting tens of thousands of holidaymakers who are there already, those with trips booked and leaving Britons hoping for some Spanish sunshine stuck in travel limbo… again. So is this the end of summer holidays for 2020? Are holidays to Spain off the cards for some time, and can you go to France, Italy, Greece or anywhere else safe in the knowledge you can come home and not have to take an extra fortnight off work? On this week’s podcast Georgie Frost – in Spain and facing a 14 day quarantine if she can get back – is joined by Simon Lambert and Grace Gausden to talk holidays, travel insurance, refunds, air bridges and whether even a staycation is safe. Plus, as savings rates take another tumble should you lock your money away for five years at 1.1 per cent just to protect against further falls? And finally, is buy-to-let back? A stamp duty cut, low rates and a weaker property market has got property investors interested again but are they saving money now just to lose it in future?
The Chancellor has ordered an urgent capital gains tax review which could hit many homeowners and investors, depending on the outcome. With Rishi Sunak and the Government looking at ways to foot the coronavirus bill, will CGT be changed and will they keep their manifesto pledge to not raise income tax, national insurance or VAT? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce, and Georgie Frost look at what could happen to CGT and why. We discuss the problem facing 'cladding prisoners' – people who are trapped in flats wrapped in dangerous materials that are unable to sell, or take advantage of the stamp duty cut, with banks nervy to lend to would-be buyers. A reader contacts us about an unusual letter from their bank seemingly randomly asking if they are a tax resident of Egypt, with no connection to the country whatsoever. Are you an aspirational recycler? We talk you through our guide on how to recycle, properly. Travel is still on our lips, with Georgie booking a trip to Spain: What do you need to consider if you're tempted to do the same? And finally, we look at the cheapest cars to insure, with a surprising choice at number one: a sporty, two-seater convertible.