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  • Money Box Live: Universal Credit

    · Money Box

    Louise Cooper asks how universal credit is affecting the lives of those who claim it. If you'd like to share your views or experiences with the programme call 03700 100 444 from 1pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 18 October or e-mail moneybox@bbc.co.uk now. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles . Universal credit is a new benefit which combines six existing means tested benefits. It includes support for the cost of housing, children and childcare, as well as financial support for disabled people, carers and people who are too ill to work. The aim is to simplify the process of claiming benefit, cut administration and to help people find a job or increase the hours they work. More than seven million households will be signed up by 2022, If you receive Universal Credit or you're in the process of applying, Louise Cooper and guests would like to hear from you to find out how it's going. Joining Louise will be:Kayley Hignell, Head of Policy, Citizens AdviceEd Boyd, CEO, The Centre for SocialFran Bennett, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, Oxford University Call 03700 100 444 between 1pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 18 October, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Or e-mail moneybox@bbc.co.uk now.

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  • Young driver foxed by the box

    · Money Box

    Black Box technology is regularly touted as a way of reducing car insurance premiums. If the box shows your driving is safe then you qualify for refunds on your premiums. But how does the box determine that your driving is safe? Money Box reporter Tony Bonsignore has discovered that every company has a different way of assessing safe driving and that the digital readings are not always as accurate as they could be. The Government has published a draft bill to cap energy prices. What will that mean in practice for energy consumers? While two thirds of people who stick with the same supplier will see bills come down, those that "embrace the market" and regularly switch to the best deal may pay more than they otherwise would. Meanwhile some mid-size energy suppliers with many customers on the highest tariffs - the so-called standard variable tariff - may well go out of business. And is it the end for peer 2 peer lending? One expert warns that risks to investors have 'intensified significantly'.Presenter: Paul LewisReporter: Tony BonsignoreProducer: Alex LewisEditor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Money Box Live: Financial protection for missing money

    · Money Box

    Losses from financial fraud totalled £768.8m last year and criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to target your cash. If you lose money after paying by credit or debit card, there are protections in place which allow for a refund while the matter is investigated. However if you're tricked by a fraudster into sending cash by bank transfer, which allows for the movement of substantial amounts of money, there's no similar safeguard. Instead banks have a regulatory right to refuse to reimburse if they decide a customer has acted with gross negligence. How is gross negligence determined and how much responsibility should lie with customers when bank transfers go wrong?Joining Paul Lewis to discuss are bank fraud consultant Richard Emery, Nikki Worden Partner at Osborne Clarke who specialises in the regulation of financial services for consumers and small businesses and Pete Moorey, Head of Campaigns at Which? Has your bank account been targeted by fraudsters? Did you manage to get your money back? Call 03700 100 444 between 1pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 11 October, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Or e-mail your questions and experiences to moneybox@bbc.co.ukPresenter: Paul LewisProducer: Charmaine CozierEditor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Are care services in retirement complexes guaranteed?

    · Money Box

    The disappointing reality of retirement complex living experienced by some residents, once the deal is done and the glossy sales brochure is a distant memory.Households being switched onto Universal Credit can now get a same-day advance on their benefits. Will this mean an end to delays in receiving their income?And Open Banking - we're promised it will revolutionise the way we organise our finances. But what exactly is it and how secure will your data be?Presenter: Paul LewisProducer: Alex LewisEditor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Money Box Live: Tax then and now

    · Money Box

    What was troubling the tax man back in 1977 when Money Box first broadcast? Chairman of the Board of the Inland Revenue, Sir William Pile took the hot seat in our first ever programme, quizzed by presenters Louise Botting and Peter Hobday. Simplifying tax, competence and the sensitivity of tax inspectors were all on the agenda. So what's changed in the last 40 years and have HMRC got to grips with these early challenges? Adam Shaw and guests listen back to Sir William's Pile's interview and talk tax then and now. On the panel are:Yvette Nunn, Council Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.Jane Moore ,Technical Manager, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.John Whiting, former Tax Director, Office of Tax Simplification. To let us know your thoughts, call 03700 100 444 between 1pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 4 October, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Or e-mail your questions and experiences to moneybox@bbc.co.uk (Photo: Denis Healey, Chancellor of the Exchequer with wife Edna beside him)Presenter: Adam ShawProducers: Lizzy McNeill and Diane RichardsonEditor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Money Box at 40

    · Money Box

    We explore why so called 'most favoured nation' clauses used by comparison websites could be pushing up the cost of some insurance.Why are some small businesses spending hundreds of pounds setting up workplace pensions when they could be doing it for free?And we're celebrating 40 years of Money Box by looking at how financial education has changed in this period. Presenter: Paul LewisProducer: Alex LewisEditor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Forty years of Money Box

    · Money Box

    In October 1977 Money Box made its first appearance on Radio 4. Hear presenters Louise Botting and Peter Hobday cover the big personal finance issues of the day including where to invest your money, the lack of opportunities for children to learn how to manage cash and a new breed of interest free loan. They also interview the then Chairman of the Board of the Inland Revenue Sir William Pyle.

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  • Money Box Live: The cost of means testing

    · Money Box

    Many of our welfare benefits are means tested, you're able to claim them only when your income and capital (your means) fall below a certain limit.This financial test aims to ensure that public funds are given to those who need it most and it's been argued that the principle should be extended to some non-means tested benefits. In June, the Conservative Party manifesto committed to means testing Winter Fuel Payments in England and Wales so that money could be transferred to health and social care, a policy which was later abandoned.It's also been suggested that The State Pension should be means tested. A report by Professor Paul Sweeting at The University of Kent concluded that some form of means-testing of the State Pension will be necessary to make it both affordable for future generations and fairer for those with lower life expectancy.In today's programme, Louise Cooper will consider the role of means testing. Is it the best way to direct money to those who need it and what are the costs of the financial assessment process, to government and to claimants? Joining Louise Cooper are:Paul Sweeting, Professor of Actuarial Science, University of Kent.Carys Roberts, Research Fellow, Economy, The Institute for Public Policy Research.Professor Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King's College London.Fran Bennett, Senior Research and Teaching Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, Oxford University.What do you think? Call 03700 100 444 between 1pm and 3.30pm with views and ideas on Wednesday 27 September, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Or e-mail moneybox@bbc.co.uk Producer: Diane RichardsonPresenter: Louise CooperEditor Andrew Smith.

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  • Banks to check for illegal immigrants

    · Money Box

    From January next year banks and building societies will use information provided by the Home Office to check whether their personal current account customers are in the UK illegally. Those that are face having funds confiscated or frozen. It's led to concerns that people who are wrongly identified will have little or no redress. Shared appreciation mortgages were sold by two banks in the mid to late 1990s. In return for loans homeowners gave up a significant share of the increase in value of their property when they sold it. Now legal action is being planned by some who claim the terms of the mortgage deal were unfair. Most of the biggest travel insurance providers won't be covering the full financial fallout experienced by policyholders involved in the Ryanair mass flight cancellation. European law does not cover consequential losses such as the cost of hotels which have been booked but not used or events that have been paid for then not attended. Money Box listener Ian was left unable to access around half a million pounds in life savings after adjustments were made by Barclays to his new Smart Investor trading accounts. It happened shortly after his data was transferred from the old Barclays Stockbrokers DIY investor platform over the Bank Holiday weekend. Will he stay offline or will the "Money Box effect" kick in? Presenter: Paul LewisReporter: Tony BonsignoreProducer: Charmaine Cozier.

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  • Beware student loan overpayments

    · Money Box

    More than 90,000 graduates were refunded hundreds of pounds last year after HMRC took payments for their student loan even though they had paid it off. Money Box has discovered these overpayments are routinely taken for many months because HMRC fails to communicate properly with the Student Loans Company. The programme hears from graduates who've experienced this and from tax expert Graham Farquhar at RSM.The UK's biggest doorstep lender is in trouble. Shares in Provident Financial plummeted 65% at the end of August. They have recovered slightly but now the company has issued another profit warning after trying to modernise its business and save costs. Doorstep lending began over a hundred years ago. Local agents arrange loans in customers' homes and collect repayments weekly. The sums involved are often small. But the interest charged is very high - more than 500% on a six month loan. A former Provident Financial Agent Ian sheds light on how the business of doorstep lending works. And Peter Tutton from the debt charity Stepchange outlines his concerns.Big changes are coming in the way that investment funds treat their clients. From January they will have to bill customers separately for the cost of research - at the moment it is bundled into the annual charges. Some funds - like the US mutual Vanguard - have said they will absorb all research costs. That could bring charges down. But there are other changes all being brought in under a European Directive that could put charges up. Louise Oliver, Chartered Wealth Manager and Director of Piercefield Oliver and Gina Miller, Director of fund manager SCM Direct, debate the issues.

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  • The Retreat of Employers

    · Money Box

    For many people, the workplace pension has been the crux of a decent income in retirement - a guaranteed sum paid for the whole of your non-working life. Stockmarket fluctuations, our increasing longevity and well-meaning changes to pensions policy by successive governments have helped make these sorts of schemes unaffordable. At the same time, something equally fundamental has been happening to the structure of the workplace as well as the nature of the relationship and expectations between employer and employee. The last 10 years has seen the closure of 60% of schemes which would guarantee you a 'wage' in retirement. Since 2012 a system of auto enrollment has instead required all employers to offer a pension that employees are opted into by default. But these come without any assurances about future pay outs and contribution rates are low.So what role do employers' pension schemes now have in providing us with a comfortable retirement? Presenter: Adam ShawProducer: Alex Lewis Editor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Will the State Pay for Our Retirement?

    · Money Box

    The current State Pension system - guarantees anyone with requisite NI contributions a pension of £150ish a week (in real terms. It is protected by the "triple lock" and guarantees a minimum income on reaching State retirement age. But....it's not enough to live on - it's only it's only remotely enough for those with no housing costs and no-one believes the triple lock is affordable for much longer. How much can we rely on the State to fund a retirement. Presenter:Paul LewisProducer: Ben Carter Editor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Money Box Live: Buy to Let

    · Money Box

    Louise Cooper would like to hear your views, experiences and questions about being a buy to let landlord. Call 03700 100 444 between 1pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 28 June or e-mail moneybox@bbc.co.uk now. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. The end of mortgage interest relief, the loss of the so called wear and tear allowance and additional stamp duty charges on new property purchases may mean that landlords have to rethink their financial plans. Some landlords are being encouraged to set up a limited company to avoid the charges but how does it work and could it end up costing you more? Stricter mortgage affordability assessments will also apply to landlords who own four or more properties from September 2017, limiting the overall amount you can borrow.And what are the rules about tax and mortgages if you're a landlord thinking of letting a property through Airbnb?Joining Louise Cooper to talk through the business of buy to let will be:Carolyn Uphill, Chairman, National Landlords Association.Anil Mohanlal , Chartered Accountant and Managing Partner, Kumar & Co.David Hollingworth, from Mortgage Broker London and Country.We'd love to hear your ideas. Call 03700 100 444 between 1pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 28 June. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Or e-mail moneybox@bbc.co.uk with your thoughts and experiences.Presenter: Louise CooperProducer: Diane RichardsonEditor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Flight compensation - where do the stranded stand?

    · Money Box

    Around 75,000 travellers were left facing long delays and cancellations after a British Airways computer system failed over the Bank Holiday weekend. Helen Dewdney, founder of the Complaining Cow consumer advice blog outlines how affected passengers should approach the compensation process. Ahead of next week's general election Chris Philp from the Conservative Party and SNP spokesperson for work and pensions Ian Blackford set out their personal finance manifestos. What might the policies mean for your money?

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  • Tax changes blocked by the election, millions of 'smart' meters may have to be replaced, plus ethical banking

    · Money Box

    More than half the clauses in the original Finance Bill (which enacts the Budget measures) have been dropped to ensure its passage through parliament before the snap general election. Anything contentious disappeared so that important measures - like raising Insurance Premium Tax from 1 June - could be passed into law before the April 27 deadline. Making Tax Digital, cutting the tax free dividend allowance, reducing the amount that can be paid into a pension, and a lot of anti-tax avoidance measures were binned. Will they return if the Conservatives win the Election on 8 June? Six million first generation smart electricity and gas meters installed in homes since 2012 may have to be replaced to make them work with a new communications network which was switched on in November but is still not being used. Despite that, energy companies are busy installing more of these early models to meet a government target to get one in every home by the end of 2020. The new design is still being tested with the new network and are not expected to be installed until later this year. DCC, the company responsible for the network, will shortly begin a consultation on how the old meters might be connected to it. A spokesman agreed it was possible that they would all have to be replaced. We get an expert view.Would you pay £3 a month for a current account that offered you nothing for that money but a nice warm glow that you were paying a fair price? That is the sell for Triodos, an ethical bank which says there is no free banking - it is only possible for some because they are subsidised by other customers who pay a lot through overdraft charges. It also has ethical lending policies. The boss explains his pitch.Presenter: Paul LewisProducer: Paul WatersEditor: Andy Smith.

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  • Thousands face current accounts shut down

    · Money Box

    Around 100,000 current account customers with Norwich and Peterborough Building Society have until the end of August to move their money elsewhere. It follows the decision by its owner, Yorkshire Building Society, to exit the current account market in order to focus on its savings and mortgage products. Guest: Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society.The growth of automatic enrolment workplace pension schemes reached a milestone this week. For the first time the number of people in schemes where both the employee and employer pay contributions has overtaken membership numbers for schemes based on years worked and salary earned. It comes as two separate reports highlight concerns for some of the smaller firms and lower paid staff who are in, or due to join, them. Bob Scott, Chairman of the Association of Consulting Actuaries and Andrew Warwick-Thompson, Executive Director at the Pensions Regulator discuss.More transparent overdraft charges and simplifying the process of switching bank accounts. Those are just two of the changes which the Competition and Markets Authority now want to see banks put into practice following its review of the industry. Alasdair Smith Chair of the CMA's retail banking investigation outlines why and how banks will be working much harder for their customers. The energy supplier npower has announced plans to raise prices for its duel fuel customers. From 16 March standard tariff electricity prices will go up by 15% and gas prices by 4.8%. Independent consumer champion Ann Robinson explains what's behind the price increase. Reporter: Tony BonsignorePresenter: Paul LewisProducer: Charmaine CozierEditor: Andrew Smith.

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  • Cheaper energy when it rains

    · Money Box

    Paul Lewis hears from a listener who built up savings of £180,000 over more than ten years in business, only to have it all stolen from her account in 24 hours by online scammers. Should her bank have noticed and stepped in? We also hear from the Payments Systems Regulator on one safety measure - confirmation of payee - being considered for 2018. And retail banking consultant Richard Emery, who specialises in investigating credit and debit card and online banking fraud, reveals the six steps he thinks banks should take to really crack down on the fraudsters.Also, cheaper energy when it rains. A new hydro power scheme in Bethesda in Gwynedd is offering locally generated cut price energy to selected households who are willing to change their energy consumption habits. We hear how it works and whether it and other overseas local energy schemes could be models for more of us paying less for energy. We'll also ask whether even the incentive of lower bills is enough to make us alter our patterns of energy use?And - the government estimates that we each have, on average, 25 password-protected online accounts. That's a lot of passwords to remember. If you write them down, you risk invalidating your consumer protection. If you make them too repetitive, a fraudster who breaches security on one of your accounts might gain access to all the rest too. If you make them too easy, they won't give you much protection in the first place. So take a deep breath, and hear about the techniques and new technology that could help you - and about the options that could actually put you more at risk.Presenter: Paul LewisProducer: Paul Waters.

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  • GB Energy collapses, An investment fund based on gambling, Banking fraud

    · Money Box

    Now that GB Energy has gone bust, what does it mean for its 160,000 customers? We hear what lies ahead for them at Co-operative Energy which has been appointed by the regulator Ofgem to take over GB Energy's business. We also ask if Co-operative Energy will be able to cope with such a sudden huge influx of new clients, especially given the criticism they have received for poor customer service in the past.And does this put a chill on competition in the energy supply market? Is it worth switching to smaller suppliers which may not survive a winter of rising energy prices? Or does the industry safety net mean that searching for the best deal is still a wise move?Also - with almost six million fraud and cyber crimes committed last year in England and Wales, we hear from Martin Emms, cyber security researcher at Newcastle University. He reveals how thieves can crack your credit card details using just a laptop and a bit of savvy, to launch a distributed guessing attack and transfer your money abroad. And Ruth Evans, chair of the Payments Strategy Forum, explains proposals to make your credit transfers, direct debits and standing orders more secure. But will they really stump the fraudsters who often seem to be at least a step ahead?And a multi-million pound investment scheme called The Winning Express has collapsed, leaving more than a thousand investors out of pocket. It was endorsed by footballers and based on gambling. Victims claim that the authorities failed to properly investigate despite repeated warnings.Presenter: Paul LewisProducer: Paul Waters.

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  • Energy savings that disappear

    · Money Box

    The savings that energy companies promise customers are in many cases fictional and never will materialise. Those are the findings of a Money Box investigation. We found that the savings energy companies have been quoting to urge large numbers of customers to switch tariffs are phantom and can never be achieved. We have discovered that this is down to the way that Ofgem makes suppliers and comparison websites work out potential savings using the standard variable tariff as a basis for comparison even though customers may not even be on it.This week the Financial Conduct Authority outlined a new approach for regulating the promotion and distribution of Lifetime ISAs which will be available from April 2017. LISAs are intended to allow people aged under-40 to save for a home and retirement simultaneously with a cash bonus worth up to £1,000 a year being added to every £4,000 saved in to the scheme. Lifetime ISAs have come under criticism from the industry so will this new approach make any difference?As of next spring the UK will have a new main measure of inflation. The Consumer Price Inflation including Housing (CPIH) includes the costs of owner-occupied housing. We discuss its pros and cons.And Sweden's central bank is currently considering launching a digital currency in a move away from hard cash. We ask the bank's Deputy Governor how a central bank supported digital currency could work and what challenges it would create.Presenter: Paul LewisReporter: Michael RobinsonProducer: Alex LewisEditor: Andrew Smith.

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