Child benefit and state pension - It’s not the most obvious link. But if you are a parent who is looking after a child instead of working, you need to register for child benefit in order to build up your entitlement in retirement age. Austerity swept away the universal child benefit and those households where one parent earns more than £50,000 have to start giving it back until it is removed altogether above £60,000. Unsurprisingly, many who fall into this bracket simply opt not to take it and see no point in registering. Unfortunately, mums and dads who stopped work to look after children are now finding they’ve missed building up their state pension. It should be easy to fix, but HMRC and the government have been stalling parents affected. That’s why This is Money has started a campaign to get this mess fixed, before it gets any worse.
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss how this all happened and why it matters to not just those affected. And finally, can you really have a weekend away in Europe, flights and a decent hotel for £57? Yes you can, thanks to a very clever new website we tracked down.
As banks went kaput a decade ago, the safety of our savings was thrust into the limelight. Most had never considered that cash in the bank was at risk and knew little about the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. When Icesave blew up a year after the Northern Rock collapse things changed dramatically. We should all be up to speed now, but how safe are your savings? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost we look at savings protection but also how you could end up losing money by sticking with cash. Ironically, worries about banks a decade ago triggered a flight to safety and more people stashing money in savings accounts rather than investing. But had people invested as Lehman Brothers collapsed they would have more than doubled their money by now.
Taking the risk as the world appeared to be falling apart would have been the right move. Yet, at that point the stock market was already down 20% and fell by that again before it hit the bottom, so how many would have been brave enough? Also on this week’s show, we discuss how easy it might be to hit the £1million pension lifetime allowance sand whether your car might fail its next MOT.
How would you feel about compulsory three year tenancies? Would they provide essential security of tenure for families or pose too big a risk for landlords? The government has appointed the third housing minister this year. What will Kit Malthouse bring to the table and how confident are you that housing really is a priority for ministers? Will the Bank of England end nearly a decade of ultra low interest rates and increase them this August? And we discuss a new initiative to help student landlords support tenants with mental health issues. Richard Blanco is joined by Chris Norris, Director of Policy & Practice at The National Landlords Association and and Carol Lewis, Deputy Editor of Property and Personal Finance at The Times.
Adam Cox is joined by Calum Brannan, tech start-up entrepreneur and CEO of “No Agent”: a new app designed specifically for landlords. They discuss frustrations that Buy-to-Let landlords have with working with letting agents, and how “No Agent” can make a difference. Calum explains his experience of letting agents as inefficient and overpriced, and how he intends to disrupt the old-fashioned market in the same way that Uber transformed the taxi industry.
Today we’re by John Myers, co-founder of London YIMBY, which stands for Yes In My Back Yard. The group campaigns for more homes in London and the rest of the UK. Interviewed by IEA News Editor Kate Andrews, John talks through the main obstacles that stand in the way of building more homes, and how the current system makes it near impossible for quantity and quality in the housing sector to go hand-in-hand.
John explains how the severe imbalance between supply and demand for housing in the UK, means that desperation to become a homeowner takes precedent, and often the aesthetics of property go out the window. John talks us through some solutions to the housing crisis, including allowing homeowners to have more control over planning permissions on their own street.
Finally, the pair discuss the perverse incentives in politics around the housing crisis, and what decisions could be made in Westminster to help more young people secure cheaper mortgages and cheaper rent.
Another month and another set of mixed messages about the state of the housing market is revealed. First-time buyers who have a deposit and home movers in the North are doing fine. But London is on the ropes and second and third movers are staying put, bringing the market to a standstill.
In this week’s This is Money podcast, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Rachel Rickard Straus and money broadcaster Georgie Frost get into the aural attic to unbox the facts. The villain of the piece, they agree, is stamp duty. It used to be a 1% tax on purchases but it got tweaked into a giant cash cow for the Treasury by successive Chancellors. Stamp duty is stalling the market and needs to change but how? Also on the show: Paddington Bear 50p Gate.
High house prices mean that the biggest barrier to buying a home in Britain is raising a deposit. With mortgage interest rates at near record low levels, many would-be homeowners could afford monthly payments - but saving the average £30,000 deposit would take years. For a lot of first-time buyers that means a trip to the Bank of Mum and Dad, but what if that's not an option? It is possible to buy a home without raising tens of thousands of pounds, if you take a 95% mortgage. With one of these deals, a first-time buyer able to pass mortgage affordability tests could put down a 5% deposit of £10,000 and buy a £200,000 home. But is that a good idea? Didn't small deposit mortgages crash the economy a decade ago? Are they not leaving themselves heavily overexposed to falling house prices?
In this week's podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dig into the world of buying a home with a small deposit mortgage, busting the myths and considering the benefits and the risks.