Not such Merry Christmas for the high street. In what’s been called the worst festive trading period – the team cast a critical eye over the retail sector and find out who were the winners and the losers. Also…Jaguar Land Rover shed more than 4000 jobs in the UK, how to get your dream job in 2019 and a new website that has your back if you get dumped before heading on holiday.
Happy New NHS? Among last year's big stories was the 70th anniversary of our beloved health service and whether we are prepared to pay for it through higher taxes. Our campaign to out the rogue, sometimes criminal, private car park operatives began with a vengeance and will continue long into 2019. Editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost also explain how to avoid losing your home because of inheritance tax. And are you ready to ditch your fossil-fueled car for an electric one yet? This story will run and run. Unlike the Range Rover Sport, which was judged to be the least reliable used car to buy last year. It's all part of our look back - and forward - over the big stories and campaigns of 2018.
Happy Christmas and welcome to the last This is Money podcast of 2018. Today, we cover the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. For the ghost of Christmas past, we look at what has gone wrong for high street retailers and if that is spilling over to online firms. Ghost of Christmas present& or presents, we give five reasons why you should think twice about giving gift cards this festive period. And for the ghost of Christmas future, how you can give friends and family a gift that will last through 2019 - avoiding the loyalty penalty. As part of our campaign, we reveal the companies stiffing customers and what you can do to combat the problem. Elsewhere, assistant editor Lee Boyce takes the reigns for the infamous This is Money Christmas taste test with editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost tucking into mince pies, crisps and more, then having to guess whether it is from a posh supermarket, or budget one. And like post-Brexit Britain, there are no Brussel(s) in sight. Georgie also throws a bonus fiendish Christmas quiz into the mix how many can you get right? Thanks for listening in 2018 - we hope you enjoy the podcast as much as we do making it. See you next year!
Nobody can escape the Brexit bedlam that has been playing out before our eyes, especially in the last week. In between backstops, trade deals, Norway, contempt of parliament, no-confidence, withdrawing withdrawal votes… what is really going on? Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost discuss Brexit in the latest This is Money podcast. Are we going to leave? Should we really have a second referendum and can you do anything to Brexit-proof your cash? We talk it all through in our Brexit special. Outside the Brexit bubble, we look into those DNA self-testing kits being plugged by a number of firms as the perfect Christmas gift – could you get more than you bargained for? Simon reveals the best and worst performing funds of 2018 so far, in Top of the Pops fashion and Lee runs down the clever apps from challengers looking to encourage the savings habit.
It might not be on the top of your to-do list when you have a child, but investing and saving for them to build a tidy nest egg for when they reach adulthood is best done sooner rather than later. In the latest This is Money podcast, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor (and new parent) Lee Boyce alongside host Georgie Frost look at the best ways to save for your children. We discuss investment options, Junior Isas, a pension and other ways, and why 'the hardest step is the first, but it is also the most powerful'. Lee has a target of a £50,000 pot to build up for his new daughter ahead of her 18th birthday in 2036 – and discusses how he plans to achieve this, with a little help from Einstein's eighth wonder of the world, compounding. Elsewhere, we talk about how invest for your own retirement and Fidelity's 'Power of Seven' matrix, as it looks like the pensions dashboard is finally moving ahead.
We talk about the collapse of online estate agent Emoov and the future of the industry with the Bank of England's latest Brexit predictions suggesting property values could fall 30 per cent in the worst case scenario. Finally, we reveal the latest British Gas rip off and whether could we have found the answer to expensive boiler replacements.
Inheritance tax is a conundrum. Just 5 per cent of estates currently incur it but it’s been voted Britain’s most unfair major tax. Even with the number of people hit by it expected to double, it seems we just don’t like the concept. It’s no wonder then that the Chancellor commissioned a report into it from the Office of Tax Simplification, but no one forecast that to be as damning about the system as it was. It’s complicated, more than ten times as many bereaved families have to fill in forms as pay it, and it turns out the very rich pay proportionally less than those directly below them. Does that make inheritance tax ripe for a change and how could it be adjusted? Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss that on this week’s podcast. Also, on the show they discuss why tenants are still waiting for a fees ban, whether the latest move to curb private parking tickets goes far enough and the least reliable cars you can buy second hand. And finally, we’ve all heard the one about how airlines might use your browsing history to hike flight costs, but have you heard about error fares that can get you somewhere for a fraction of the normal price? And more to the point are both these true. We bust five flight booking myths.
A year ago bitcoin could do no wrong – now it has slumped to 79 per cent below its peak. So what went wrong for the much vaunted cryptocurrency? The mania of a year ago gave way to a bust after Christmas and apart from a few short-lived rallies bitcoin has been mainly on the slide since. That’s not to say it has no use - the cryptocurrency and underlying technology are fascinating - but just because something has some value does not mean it can’t end up in a bubble. On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Myron Jobson look at what went wrong for bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies and what we can learn from the boom and bust. Also on this week’s show, they look at some more durable investments, companies that have paid a rising dividend for a decade or longer – and how some have seen big rises in their share price. And finally, Simon talks us through the 2,100 road trip he took with his family to test out VW’s California campervan – and whether swapping your family car for a van that’s ready for adventure could ever be a smart move?
This is Money has relentlessly campaigned to fight online fraud – and in a major victory, Britain's biggest banks are now trialling a new system to trace stolen money. Is the end nigh for scammers? Editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost talk about bank fraud and our long-running campaign to help protect our readers from the growing crime. We also talk through new rules to come in early next year that will spell out exactly what banks have to do to help prevent customers falling victim of bank transfer scams and why we launched our Beat the Scammers section in 2016. Elsewhere, if you are in the market for a credit card, one of the more eye catching is Virgin Money's offering which could get you a trip to New York with its new bumper sign-up offer – but what's the catch?
We also talk about the property market and how estate agents – especially across London and the South East - have come under pressure since the Brexit vote, which has triggered a considerable slowdown. This has seen Foxtons announcing branch closures this week. And rather than the gloom and doom predictions of a potential house price crash, Simon asks: are house prices preparing to go on something of a run?
Are you trying to save for retirement, make the most of your income in old age, navigate the state pension maze, or just feel baffled by some bit of pension jargon? In the This is Money podcast this week, former Pensions Minister and our regular columnist, Steve Webb, is on hand to help you out. Editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost are also joined by The Pensions Advisory Service boss Michelle Cracknell to answer reader questions about retirement savings.
Is austerity really coming to an end? And are the rich getting richer thanks to the Government? In the This is Money podcast this week, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost analyse the 2018 Budget. Money for the NHS, little extras for schools, cash for roads, help for the High Street and the baby rabbit in the hat - pulling the rise in the basic and higher rate tax thresholds to £12,500 and £50,000, respectively, a year earlier than promised. We also talk about what a no Brexit deal means for interest rates? We heard from the Bank of England this week about the likely impact such a scenario could have on interest rates and how quickly they will go up – or not. Despite sticking this week to 0.75%, the decision came with a few notes of warning – largely that it was based on a 'smooth transition' for Brexit. And finally, we report on the latest in our 'stop the private parking sharks' campaign - how the good people of Essex town Basildon have taken to the streets to protest about one firm running a car park and dishing out charges.