The week began with an energy crunch, as households woke up to the problems sending gas prices spiralling - and the impact that could have on their bills.
It ended with a needless rush on petrol, as people were told there was no need to panic buy fuel… and some promptly panic bought it.
The petrol issue we’re told is to do with a shortage of HGV drivers to deliver fuel, the gas problem is unfortunately far more complex.
The immediate impact for households is that some are finding their energy supplier has gone bust and they are being transferred elsewhere, others are discovering they can’t switch, and many are staring down the barrel of a potential big imminent price cap rise followed by another next spring.
In this podcast episode, This is Money’s energy and consumer correspondent Grace Gausden explains what’s happening and Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the implications with her.
In the second part of the podcast, Tanya Jefferies joins to talk about the National Audit Office report into underpaid women’s state pensions, which highlighted her and our columnist Steve Webb’s work in exposing the fiasco,
Tanya updates us on their investigations and what may happen next.
And finally, there’s a new bank in town: Chase. Well it’s actually a very old one, because it’s JP Morgan launching current accounts in the UK under the Chase brand.
It’s got 5% interest, with a catch, 1% cashback and some nifty features. Is it worth getting?
The cost of living jumped by the largest amount on record to hit 3.2 per cent in August – is it set to run out of control and prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates?
Meanwhile, a gloomy report has lead some economists to talk about stagflation once more. What is it, is it a threat and does it matter?
This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the 'flations' and what it could mean for the coming months, and the pandemic recovery.
Alongside this, there are supply chain problems and staff shortages. Can we expect higher prices in shops and is Britain set for a hiring boom?
It's not just shops that are suffering, soaring costs and tradesmen shortages are leaving families doing home improvements themselves - or stuck with half-finished renovations.
And we go inside the pocket sized houses aimed at first time buyers in London. We left the cat at home: there wasn't enough room to swing it…
If you’re going to break one manifesto promise, then why not break two?
Why not distract from telling pensioners they can’t have their potential 8.8 per cent triple lock state pension rise by hiking taxes for everyone.
That appeared to be the theory this week, as two pledges to not raise taxes and keep the triple lock went out the window.
Boris Johnson has been bold enough to be the Prime Minister who finally tries to fix Britain’s social care problems, with a 1.25 per cent national insurance rise and then new tax to pay for this and getting the NHS to play catch-up after the pandemic.
Coupled with a corresponding 1.25 per cent NI rise for employers, this amounts to a 2.5% hit to people’s pay.
Will that be enough to sort the problem, does the cash risk just being swallowed up by the NHS, and are our social care problems just about funding?
Along with those questions, why was the triple lock turned double for a year, was this a close shave for its existence and could there have been a better way of dealing with wildly skewed wage growth figures?
On this week’s podcast, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert tackled those questions and more on the triple lock and social care.
Plus, Tanya explains how she uncovered major delays for people who are starting to get their state pension and what the Government plans to do about it.
Also on this week’s show, what to do when a share you hold takes a tumble – and how to when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
And finally, why the AA says people’s range anxiety over electric cars is massively overcooked. Clue that’s not why most break down.
Among its many surprises, the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a property boom. In pretty much the exact opposite of what all the experts thought was going to happen the property market has hit fever pitch over the past year and a bit, with more people moving and house prices soaring. But amid all the fuss, which property tribe are you in? Are you a mover – for whom the grass always looks a bit greener, perhaps in a house with extra space, more bedrooms, a bigger garden, or with a slice of the country life or even a prime location in the city? Or would you choose to be a flipper, happy to buy and sell regularly to try to make some money and climb the ladder quicker – maybe doing places up and turning ugly ducklings into swans as you go along? Or is your chief desire to be a forever-homeowner, the kind of person who wants to either stay put where you are forever, or find the one place you can do that and then stop moving. Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert take a look at the property market tribes and how they are driving the market, from those who love to move, to those chasing a quick buck, and those whose sole desire is to find the perfect place to stay put. Also, the team discuss how to learn from your investing mistakes rather than beat yourself up over them. And take a look at both sustainable banking and investing and what that means, and why the new greener E10 petrol is causing a kerfuffle
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.
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.
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 to potentially 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 – especiall 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.
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.
Ministers want us to ditch gas boilers and line our houses with insulation to save the planet, but do the sums add up for cash-strapped homeowners?
Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look at the Government's aims, if green measures in your home can pay for themselves in the long-run and what it could take to pull Energy Performance Certificate ratings for homes higher.
Simon takes aim at London's low emission zone expansion - it's less than three months away and riddled with inconsistencies.
It will leave at least 300,000 residents with older cars facing a fee of £12.50 each time they get behind the wheel – and these schemes could be coming to a town or city near you.
Value and quality are in, income and momentum are out… we explain the latest investing trends - and bust some jargon too.
Tesco closes all its current accounts - so where next for their nearly a quarter of a million customers?
Is Barclays a good option? You can now earn Avios points and get a free upgrade once a year – but there's a catch…