This week, a new in-depth report from the Wealth Tax Commission recommended a one-off 'wealth tax' on the richest households rather than hiking taxes for the masses. It comes as the national debt has spiralled this year as the Government spent more than £280billion tackling the pandemic and its financial fallout, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak claiming the 'economic emergency' has only just begun. How would it work, could it be a good idea and how unpopular would it prove? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look. Elsewhere, millions of mortgage payment holidays have been handed out since March - an agreement with lenders to help homeowners during the coronavirus crisis. But for one couple who extended the payment holiday, it turned into a credit report headache when they looked to downsize. In the property market, a new report suggests that stamp duty savings are now being wiped out by house price gains in recent months. Should investors run to the hills if one of the companies that you are invested in or are tempted by has a big pension scheme? And lastly, we give yet another update on the port fiasco in Britain, with the perfect storm of coronavirus, Brexit and Christmas.
While the world worries about coronavirus, there is another decade-defining event going on – the US election. Will Donald Trump win a second term as US President and have the world dance to his tune for four more years, or will Joe Biden take charge – and what on earth would that mean for people? There is less than a month to go until the US election and under normal circumstances you would expect all the focus of stock market commentators to be on that. It’s not normal circumstances though. The second wave of coronavirus and renewed lockdowns have the world’s attention and the election, if not a sideshow, is definitely not as centre stage as we would usually expect. So, does that mean it doesn’t matter for investors, or should be thinking about it and positioning themselves for the outcome? Does it even matter if Trump or Biden wins, as long as the Fed keeps printing and stimulus keeps coming, and would any decisive win be better than a disputed result? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Sarah Davidson, discuss the US election and what it could mean for our money over here in the UK. And if two septuagenarians arguing about who is going to be the boss of the free world isn’t your thing, what about investing in the future beyond that? Keeping on the investment tip, the team dive into the world of green money and how to invest to back improving the world, or even get a green mortgage or current account.
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 showstopper was a big stamp duty cut, the important element was about keeping jobs afloat, and the rabbit out of the hat was a great British meal deal. But the question is, was Rishi Sunak splashing the cash in the summer statement enough to get the nation’s confidence back in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, or will real recovery require more down the line? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce, and Georgie Frost run the rule over the Chancellor’s performance (spoiler alert, he’s good) and the substance of his speech (you’ll have to listen to the show for the verdict on that). They also ask the awkward question of how are we going to pay for all this – and does that even matter right now? Plus, was that a killer blow for the ‘bad tax’ that is stamp duty; will a £1,000 bung be enough for a company to keep someone in work; how badly will the hospitality industry be hit; and just how crazy would you have called someone who forecast at the start of the year that by summer we’d have an official Eat Out to Help Out scheme? Listen to the podcast to hear the team’s verdict on all this and more.
The Chancellor’s coronavirus rescue plan for the British economy has been bold and big, but one important part of the workforce feels somewhat hard done by. A chunk of the self-employed have been excluded from Rishi Sunak’s support in a way that employees have not. More than 9million employees are having 80 per cent of their wages up to £2,500 a month paid by the taxpayer under the furlough scheme, with no limits barring high earners from help. In contrast, anyone who is self-employed and has made more than £50,000 in recent years gets no help whatsoever. Those hit by the £50,000 cap are not the limited company directors who can pay themselves in dividends, they are sole traders paying national insurance and income tax in full on their earnings. At a time when the government is throwing hundreds of billions of pounds at the coronavirus crash to support people and boost the chances of recovery, is it fair to exclude this group of the self-employed? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Tanya Jefferies look at how this has happened and whether there is any hope left for those affected that things might change. Tanya also updates listeners on her ground-breaking investigations into widows underpaid state pension, which have seen her win tens of thousands of pounds back for those who got less than they should have. Simon reveals the best and worst performing funds of the year so far and tries to tackle the question of whether the US stock market can just keep on trucking. And finally, recent podcasts have featured how Britain has gone mad for hot tubs in lockdown but there is a new hot property in town – the awfully-named ‘shoffice’.
A This is Money investigation has revealed a string of women who have been underpaid their state pension, but are they just the tip of an iceberg? On this week’s podcast, our pensions agony uncle Steve Webb and pension and investing editor Tanya Jefferies tell the stories of the women paid thousands less in state pension over the years than they should have been - and discuss their probe into the matter. Steve estimates that there could be tens of thousands of women who have been underpaid state pension. This is Money has called for a full review, but the Department of Work and Pensions is reluctant to act other than on a case-by-case basis. Should more be done?
Also, on this week’s podcast Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss the reopening of the property market, who might be brave enough to buy and sell now, and what the forecasts are for sales and house prices. Estate agents Knight Frank predict a 7 per cent drop, while the Bank of England says property prices may fall 16 per cent, but agents claim that lockdown has created pent-up demand. And, as the furlough scheme is extended, we look at the implications of 7.5million people having 80 per cent of their wages picked up by the state and how Britain weans itself off that.
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.
This is Money with Georgie Frost, editor Simon Lambert and investing and pensions editor Tanya Jeffries. And as 2019 draws to a close, the team go over the big stories of the past year when a star fell, we all got richer, we all went a little greener, and Brexit didn’t happen – again… And don’t forget you can stay up to date with all the latest, breaking money news, just go to thisismoney.co.uk or download the app.
Will this election really prove to be about Brexit? That issue was predicted to define the vote, but while each party’s Brexit stance will be at the forefront of people’s minds there are many other factors that now seem to be heavily influencing how the 12 December general election is shaping up. One of the biggest is the battle over the economy and our personal finances. There’s a sizeable difference between Labour’s tax and spending plans and those of the Tories. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats propose their own sizeable tax and spending rises but at less than half the Labour increase. So what do all these promises and plans mean for you? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce dig into the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos to find out. What is the chance of any of their plans working? Will the tax rises pull in the money expected – and can the spending be used wisely? And what of the other things Britain needs to achieve? Is more housebuilding compatible with combatting climate change, protecting the environment and looking after the countryside – and what have beavers got to do with it?
This is Money with Georgie Frost, editor Simon Lambert and Pensions reporter Tanya Jeffries. In this week's episode: Deal or no deal? It’s crunch time for Brexit – but where is it all heading? Does anyone know?! So is it time to batten down the hatches, or should you be greedy while others are fearful? Also today – the end of the road for the WASPI campaign after losing a landmark case at the High Court? But we do have some good state pension news… Plus all change at the top – as Tesco gets the Boots and rags to riches motors, what are the classics of the future?