When it comes to state pensions, there has been plenty of talk in recent weeks about the triple lock and what could mean next month when it comes to an uplift. However, more than 2 million receive less than £100 a week in state pension payments – is there a way to boost it? Tanya Jefferies, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss and reveal the common reasons why you might not receive the full state pension. Sticking with the pension theme, we talk through a case of an ex-Judge who faced a hefty 'advice' fee when he made a decision on a drawdown pot. Spain is still the top choice for those planning to retire overseas – but has the pandemic and Brexit put more people off a life in the sun? Lee reveals why it is now time to be chasing savings rates again and his tips for making sure a challenger bank you've never heard of is a good spot for your cash.
Adam Cox is joined by District Senior Veterinary Surgeon from Vets Now, Lara Wilson, to discuss the veterinary staffing shortages caused by COVID and how this has impacted the approximately 12 million pet owners in the UK. They look at how the staffing shortages have affected wait times and reductions in registered vets, in addition to how the issues can be combatted. https://www.vets-now.com
As Britain's streets are filled with drivers whizzing deliveries around, there's a new top scam in town. Parcel and package delivery scams are the most common type of 'smishing' text messages, a report said this week. Fraudsters are sneaking into people's text messages, pretending to be couriers that missed you while you were out, or need to arrange or rearrange a delivery. Click the link and you could end up being scammed. This is being enabled by the wave of online deliveries in the pandemic, as online shopping stepped up a number of gears, and the somewhat chaotic way some drivers are delivering those parcels: who doesn't recognise the 'leave it on the doorstep and run away tactic'? Lee Boyce, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at what uou can do to avoid falling victim, what are the risks if you do, and can we do anything about the rise in fraud? Also, its squeaky bum time for the triple lock. Wages are officially up 8.8% and the reference month for pension increases is rapidly approaching, so what will Chancellor Rishi Sunak do? Will a bumper increase for the state pension arrive, or the breaking of a manifesto pledge? Plus, the 'blink and you'll miss it' mortgages, as top rates hang around for a very limited time - and the chip shortage that means people are struggling to buy new cars and sending the price of used ones soaring. And finally, is the current account battle back on? As Nationwide bungs people £100 to sign up, the team take a look.
Adam Cox is joined by Danial Daychopan, CEO and Founder of Plutus, to discuss all things cryptocurrency. They explain what some of the jargon means, why crypto is becoming more widely used and what the future may be for the currency. Danial also talks about Plutus, and how it aims to bring crypto to everyday transactions. https://plutus.it
From October, millions of households can expect to pay even more on their energy bills. Ofgem is raising the energy price cap for the second time in a year, due to rising wholesale costs. The cap is now at a record high and it means those who are on a standard variable tariff, or a prepayment meter, could be facing hundreds of pounds added to their annual bills. Lee Boyce, Grace Gausden and Georgie Frost take a look at the price cap, what it means and how -potentially - to beat it. When it comes to future technology, will we soon see the death of the landline to be replaced by phone calls over wi-fi? Additionally, with growing numbers of households – especially rural ones – turning to satellite broadband, we explain how it works and the potential costs. When it comes to current accounts, we tend to stay loyal. But those who have switched, Starling Bank and Virgin Money have been the most popular destinations. It's a tale of two different switching mentalities – those who want branches and bribes, and those who simply want a sleek app and good customer service. Lastly, Grace on the Case launched 10 months ago. In that time, our senior reporter Grace Gausden has managed to claw back a total of nearly £206,000 for readers. She takes a look back at some of her most satisfying wins and her passion for helping This is Money readers achieve a fair result from a variety of different firms.
The Government is planning a major crackdown on fake reviews. Under proposals, it will become illegal to pay someone to write, or host, bogus online ratings. How much weight should we put behind buying decisions when it comes to reviews and ratings, and what exactly are the plans to prevent this kind of consumer manipulation? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss this, along with the others measures the Government is planning, including on subscription traps and Christmas savings clubs, and how it'll be enforced. How much are you saving? You might think a lack of a rainy day pot is solely an issue for those on low incomes, but you'd be wrong. A quarter of Britain's wealthiest households do not have one - why is this the case? That comes as fixed-rate deals nudge higher, but Lee warns listeners not to get too excited. Are you paying for too much mobile phone data? And would you take part in a home swap in order to save on your summer holiday?
Just when you thought that you could book to go back in the water. As if sorting a holiday, ensuring the country you want to go to is okay for long enough to get there, or dodging quarantine roulette wasn't enough, now car hire inflation is biting. In a sign of the inflationary times, the cost of renting a car has rocketed to about three times the price of last year and it's being blamed on the semiconductor shortage. How can a lack of computer chips drive up costs so substantially at the car hire desk? And what on earth has this got to do with the price of a bag of crisps? Georgie Frost, Grace Gausden and Simon Lambert look at holidays and inflation and the points where supply and demand are intersecting to create very odd scenarios, plus Simon expands on his crisp-based inflation explanation. Also, Grace investigates unpaid Dartford Crossing charges that spiralled into a £3,000 bill and Simon looks at what happens if you want to give your house to your child and whether that's an inheritance tax risk.
The triple lock has always been a hot potato but things have stepped up another gear as it could deliver a bumper 8% state pension increase due to a statistical quirk. The state pension pledge means that payouts rise by the greatest of inflation, wage growth or 2.5%. Yet, wage growth numbers are being skewed this year because the Covid crash a year ago saw millions put on furlough on a maximum of 80% of earnings, workers suffer temporary pay cuts, and many lose their jobs. Job cuts disproportionately hit the low paid and continue to do so, taking them out of the figures and bumping up the average wage, workers coming back from furlough are seeing pay go back up to their full amount, and short-term pay cuts have been reversed. All this makes average wage growth look artificially high, despite many public and private sector workers suffering pay freezes or negligible rises. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that distortion could lead to an 8% wage growth figure in the month the triple lock reading is taken from, delivering a £14 weekly increase to the state pension and £3billion bill. Is it fair for pensioners to get a bumper increase based on a distortion caused by the pay pain suffered by workers in lockdown? Some say ‘no’, others say ‘stick to the deal’. Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at what is causing the triple lock anomaly and what the Government might do. Will they pay up or fudge it? Also this week, the painful cases of those who cannot afford funerals for loved ones, the return of gazumping to the property market, and finally, the crazy NatWest banking rule that has forced a reader to have their employer’s bank accounts mixed with theirs in online banking
Home buyers are engaged in a last minute race to beat the stamp duty deadline – with some facing a potential double false economy. House prices have bounced over the past year meaning that the £15,000 maximum saving of a year ago would now come on a property that potentially costs £50,000 more. That has led to claims of a false economy, but it would be doubly so for any buyer who then missed the deadline too and ended up with an extra £12,500 tax bill, as they only get the tapered bit of the stamp duty holiday - not the whole thing. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the last minute stamp duty rush and what might happen next to the property market, with Simon outlining that it’s not just a tax cut driving the pandemic boom. At the other end of the property ladder, the team look at how to make sure you don’t end up paying off a mortgage in retirement and what you can do if you are approaching your pension years or in them with a home loan still to clear. It’s likely that those borrowers could face higher rates than the rock bottom mortgage ones now too, but will rising inflation send interest rates up sooner than people think? Meanwhile, what can a new £50 note and what happened to the value of the last one introduced in 1981 tell us about inflation? And why is continental Europe so much happier about taking big notes. And finally, if you wanted to beat inflation, you wouldn’t usually buy a nearly new car; but there are some now six-year-old motors out there that have held their value better than others and amazingly some that are worth more now than they were in 2018. We reveal which.