Are we on the “Road to Zero”, or will we end up on a “Road to Nowhere” with the government’s new zero emissions car plans? How much would you pay to keep your email address? And the World Cup may not coming home...but we ask: How long does football fever last in the economy?
In this week’s programme: Hotel booking sites have been told to sort themselves out following an investigation by the competition watchdog over whether they work in the best interest of consumers. Plus – whisper it softly – but there may be some good news for savers, including from a bank called “Marcus”… but don’t be fooled by the friendly-sounding name. Moving into the realms of retirement – how much do you really need to save, and will having a specific figure in mind help you achieve it? And finally, we take a look at the winners and losers of the World Cup so far… both on and off the pitch!
The National Health Service is 70 years old this year and most of us are proud of the British institution, leaning on it in our times of need. However, we’re living longer with more complex problems and the service keeps crying out that it needs more money.
Where does it come from? Do we make cost-cuttings or plough lots of money in, do we increase income tax, make the rich pay, or introduce a new special ring-fenced tax?
Theresa May announced plans for £20.5billion-a-year cash boost – but was a little short on the detail. She hinted at tax rises and mentioned a ‘Brexit dividend’. This is Money editor Simon Lambert, along with consumer affairs editor Lee Boyce and presenter Georgie Frost look at ways to fix the NHS in the latest podcast.
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.
Whatever happened to bitcoin? After the mania at the end of last year when the price spiked to almost $20,000, the cryptocurrency took a tumble but more noticeably attention has drained away. You need no greater sign of that than figures showing bitcoin Google searches are down 90 per cent. That adds weight to the argument that much of the late 2017 big leg-up was driven by mainstream punters jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
On this week’s podcast we take a look at who’s buying, who’s holding and who might be waiting for the price to rise again and greater fool theory to deliver someone who will take their bitcoin off their hands. Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost also take a look at gold – and why people aren’t buying this traditional form of investment portfolio insurance – and the most consistent investment trusts of the past decade.
Global financial markets have been flying up and down and all over the place this week, and it’s all to do with one boot-shaped country in the Mediterranean. Italy has found itself embroiled in a power struggle between Eurosceptic populists – winners of the March general election – and the pro-EU establishment. The ramifications have spread across the globe and will affect Britons from big-time investors to anyone building up a pension pot. Also in this episode, This is Money editor Simon Lambert, presenter Georgie Frost and personal finance editor Rachel Rickard Straus talk about what you can do to stop your dream house move falling through, and whether proposals to make tax on savings and dividends simpler will work – or just see savers pay more tax. And finally, in troubled times for the high street, the team look at one retailer bucking the trend.
Ever heard of money flipping? It’s a new scheme doing the rounds on Facebook and social media that promises to turn your £50 into potentially thousands. So how do you do that? Simple really, you pay others to get onto the bottom rung of a pyramid and then recruit more people to move you up a level and get paid yourself. What makes it so dumb is that it doesn’t even try to have the legitimate veneer of famous pyramid schemes of the past. It’s a Ponzi scheme, plain and simple, but what is one of those and who was Charles Ponzi, the man the scams are named after.
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost step back to America in 1920 to find out how Ponzi soared and then crashed – and look at the new money flipping scheme that has brought a trick as old as time to today’s digital age.
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.
As auto-enrolment takes centre stage once more and with contributions going up last month, we’re asking: what about the self-employed and small business owners? And for those in their 40s and 50s – is it too late? Whatever your age or employment status, we’ll help you get cracking and warn you of the pitfalls – including the government!
Also today: How concerned should we be about interest-only mortgages?
Simon gets angry about potholes!
And Sainsbury's boss may be in the money – but with a potential tie-up with Asda in the offing, what’s in it for the shoppers?