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Georgie Frost

This Is Money: State pension boosted by 8.5% from this week - will it ever become means tested?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: State pension boosted by 8.5% from this week - will it ever become means tested?
Older people received another boost to the state pension this week taking the full rate to over £11,000 a year. This year's increase of 8.5% was thanks to the triple lock commitment - a guarantee the state pension will rise each year by the higher of CPI, wages or 2.5%. What does the future hold? While there is plenty of speculation the state pension may become means tested, in reality it could be incredibly hard to implement. Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Lee Boyce talk state pensions – and how they compare to other countries. And sticking on the theme, there is another delay for the Government’s new online state pension top-up service. When will it launch? NS&I has a four-day IT meltdown that makes it a struggle for customers to log-in – and it suggests to one that she may have a ‘time drift.’ What does this bizarre explanation mean? Crane is on the Case once more, this time Eon is in the firing line after it insisted a part-time dance teacher used £95,000 worth of energy … in a month. And who on earth would hold an American Express card in their wallet with an APR 704.6%? Lee has the answer.
Guests:

Tanya Jefferies, Helen Crane


Published:
Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Beware fixed-rate savings trap, and secrets from an ISA millionaire

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Beware fixed-rate savings trap, and secrets from an ISA millionaire
There's a warning for savers who's fixed term deals are coming to an end - don't take your eye off the ball now or risk having your returns wiped out in a matter of months. A year ago, there was a flurry of savers choosing fixed-rate bonds as they improved drastically. But if you don't act, the chances are it'll rollover into an awful rate. Helen Crane, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost talk savings, just as we head into a new financial year. Also on the savings front, NS&I reveals the rate of the new British Savings Bond - is it worth it? And an ISA millionaire reveals all to This is Money on how he built up a seven-figure pot. Helen tackles another reader problem – this time, it's a case of the unwanted and unneeded SIM card costing a pensioner couple hundreds of pounds. And on the utilities front, Lee reveals how Ofcom saved him from a 75% rise in his monthly broadband costs, and why you should check if you're out of contract with your mobile phone. Mortgage approvals are up - but house prices nudge lower. What's going on? Meanwhile, research shows a record third of all homes are being bought by first time buyers – and they make up 89% of buyers in one Berkshire town. Lastly, entrepreneur Tim Armoo runs the rule over five money-making fads doing the rounds on social media – are any of them worth your time?
Guest:

Helen Crane


Published:
Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Will the Bank of England cut rates as soon as people think?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Will the Bank of England cut rates as soon as people think?
The Bank of England held interest rates again this week as inflation dropped once more. So, are we out of the woods yet? Will inflation keep coming back down towards target and the Bank of England soon seamlessly switch back to cutting rates? Or will central bankers be keen to hold onto higher rates, even if we get hit by a bout of disinflation? Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what next for inflation and interest rates and what it means for your money. Also, should the Waspi women who saw their state pension age rise rapidly be compensated for the poor communication and how much of a victory was this week’s Parliamentary Ombudsman Waspi report a victory for them? As that happened, more news emerged on underpaid state pensions – as exposed by our Tanya Jefferies and pension columnist Sir Steve Webb, and the team update us on that. Plus, what’s going on with the chaos at HMRC and who is to blame for the failure to keep up with our increasingly tricky tax system. And finally, meet the Scambaiters – we find out what they do and why.

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Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Are you about to have to pay for your bank account?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Are you about to have to pay for your bank account?
Is it time to admit that 'free banking' doesn't really exist, and to start paying for our accounts? Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Helen Crane discuss this, plus: the plans which wise parents are making to deal with the prospect of VAT on private school fees, if Labour wins the next election, and how to find a trustworthy adviser. Also — Helen Crane investigates a car sold with a significant fault.
Guest:

Helen Crane


Published:
Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Was the Budget too little, too late or what we need for escape velocity?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Was the Budget too little, too late or what we need for escape velocity?
Jeremy Hunt bounced around delivering his Budget on Wednesday, proudly declaring his commitment to tax cuts and supporting working families. Another 2% was chopped off National Insurance and the threshold at which child benefit is removed was raised from £50,000 to £60,000. But you don’t need to be a financial expert to know that the Chancellor’s version of events isn’t quite the whole story. Because Mr Hunt is also presiding over a long-term stealth tax freeze to thresholds that is costing workers dear and his child benefit move merely kicked sky-high marginal tax rates down the road, rather than getting rid of them altogether. Nonetheless, a tax cut and an extra £5,000 Isa allowance – even if it’s a slightly iffy, limited one – is not to be sniffed at. So, was this an escape velocity Budget that puts Britain back on the path to growth? Or was it too little, too late, from a Tory party that has sported successive Chancellors who have been keener to raise our taxes by hook or by crook rather than cut them – or even just keep thresholds in line with inflation? Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the winners and losers and go searching for the devils in the detail. What is the National Insurance cut worth to you? Will you get some child benefit back? Did pensioners deserve a tax cut too? With a failure to reverse his capital gains and dividend tax raid, what has the Chancellor got against small investors? And will the British ISA be any good? All that and more – plus a look at why Nationwide is buying Virgin Money, and whether that’s good or bad for us all.

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Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Tale of the state pension underpaid for 20 YEARS

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Tale of the state pension underpaid for 20 YEARS
The debacle over widespread errors in the state pension that This is Money and Sir Steve Webb uncovered, continues. As of the end of October last year, DWP had paid out just under half a billion pounds to more than 80,000 people who’ve been underpaid. But what about those who have died? Tanya Jefferies, Lee Boyce, Angharad Carrick and Georgie Frost reveal the case where a letter was sent to the daughter of an 100 year-old man three years after he passed away, stating he had been unpaid state pension for two decades. Yet, despite the letter – months later, she was left hanging on what the DWP was actually going to do about it. And still on the state pension front, people continue to complain of top-ups chaos as the Government gets ready to launch a new online service next month. Sir Steve is calling on DWP and HMRC to get in more staff. You don’t need HMRC to have more staff to answer your call, oh no! You just need to be a VIP. Apparently there is a helpline, also known as Public Department 1 (PD1) which answers calls nine times quicker. We explain more. On the savings front, the FCA is launching a campaign to encourage savers to shop around – and if you rushed to sign up for a one-year fixed-rate cash Isa this time in 2023, Lee explains why you must act. Optional and mandatory service charges at hospitality venues – Georgie, Ang and Lee give their verdict. And finally, the price of bitcoin jumped beyond $60,000 this week. What’s behind the latest cryptocurrency surge?
Guests:

Angharad Carrick, Tanya Jefferies


Published:
Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Will the Budget cut taxes and get rid of these traps?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Will the Budget cut taxes and get rid of these traps?
With next week's Budget (Wednesday 6th March) tipped to be the Chancellor’s last roll of the dice before a General Election, expectations over tax cuts are growing. But what taxes could Jeremy Hunt choose to cut and why – and is there hope that he will sort out the tax mess that Britain has got stuck in. The higher income child benefit charge creates marginal tax rates above 50%, meanwhile the removal of the personal allowance bakes in a 60% income tax rate between £100,000 and £125,140. Should these tax traps and painfully high stamp duty be removed? Simon Lambert argues that Mr Hunt needs to have a clear out, chuck a load of stuff in the stupid tax box and bin it. Simon, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce look ahead to what could be in the Budget and what it would mean for you. Also, energy bills are due to fall as the price cap is cut: but how much will this save you? It’s not just tax catching people out, student loans are also proving difficult to shift as interest mounts up due to high inflation. Does the student finance system need a sort out too? And what is Simon’s triple lock for student loans plan? And finally, don’t get spear-phished or tap-jacked, Lee talks us through the new scams you need to know about.

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Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Why would the Bank of England cut rates this year?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Why would the Bank of England cut rates this year?
The Bank of England held base rate once again at 5.25%, the fourth hold in succession – but this time, it was a genuine split by MPC members. So, when will we start seeing rates fall – and will inflation really be at the target 2% by April? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss what another interest rate pause means for you – and what that means for savings and mortgage rates, along with investors. Where do you stand on the smart meter debate? With This is Money readers getting in touch to say they’re stuck with faulty devices, are they worth having? Lee says he still has no plans to get one of the marmite devices while Simon believes they can be worth it, especially for those who are rubbish at submitting meter readings. We also go back to school and have a maths lesson from Mr Lambert to reveal the six real world calculations you should have in your arsenal to improve your financial health. And we get on the money therapist’s couch to discuss the pitfalls of getting - and over-using - a joint bank account… should a partner ever be made to feel guilty for spending?

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Georgie Frost

This Is Money: Why has Britain fallen behind on getting richer?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: Why has Britain fallen behind on getting richer?
Britain's disposable income has dropped substantially over the past 14 years compared to where it should be, according to a new report this week. The Centre for Cities said that the average household's disposable income has fallen £10,000 behind where it would have been if pre-2010 growth rates had been maintained. On average we have got better off, but we are well below what would have been expected. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what the problems could be, why aren't we getting richer quicker, why are we falling behind our international peers and what can be done. Plus, while our living standards aren't rapidly accelerating, house prices have and the average seller made more than £100,000 last year - are property inflation and the slowing in disposable income growth linked? Simon, thinks it's part of the problem. Savings rates have started to slip, so do dividend-paying investment trusts yielding 5% or more look like an attractive move? And finally, some tips on how to make the most of Avios points - but who on the team is the Avios winner, and who is the self-described Avios loser?

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Georgie Frost

This Is Money: You can bag a £10k heat pump discount — would that tempt you to get one?

Georgie Frost
Original Broadcast:

This is Money

This Is Money: You can bag a £10k heat pump discount — would that tempt you to get one?
The Government wants us to get heat pumps fitted in our homes and it's offering up to £7,500 for us to do so. Now Worcester Bosch is bumping that up by an extra £2,500 - if you pick one of theirs of course. But with the devices cost between £8,000 to £30,000 to buy and fit, would it tempt you? Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Lee Boyce reveal all... and talk the 'boiler tax'. Is inflation back on the rise? How worried should we be by the latest figures? And where next for interest rates? And millions face a big price hike for their mobile and broadband from March. Isn't it time these inflation-busting mid-contract increases were banned? Also, following campaigning by This is Money for years for fair treatment for parents who do not qualify for child benefit, parents denied state pension credits WILL get them. Tanya Jefferies explains all you need to know. Tanya also talks about a bungled handover to a new administrator that has left BAE Systems retirees suffering drastic cuts of up to 50% in their pensions. And Crane is on the Case, this time over a robot vacuum cleaner...
Guest:

Helen Crane


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