Money Box
Money Box
BBC Radio 4
The latest news from the world of personal finance plus advice for those trying to make the most of their money.
Over 50s Workers and Faulty Prepayment Meters
The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is expected to use his Budget on March 15th to introduce measures to to encourage people over 50 to return to work. Since 2019 there has been a rise in the number of people defined as economically inactive. That means they are not working, self-employed, or looking for work to claim benefits. The number rose by 830,000 between 2019 and 2022, with three quarters of that increase among those aged 50 and over. The Department for Work and Pensions has a programme to encourage people over 50 back into work by offering help with health support, pension planning and flexible working opportunities. Clare Worden visits Shrewsbury Job Centre to find out more. Some energy customers are being left for months with faulty prepayment meters. Several people have told Money Box that although their electricity has not been disconnected the screens showing their credit has been blank since Christmas and they cannot top up, so they have no idea how much electricity they're using or what it is costing them. The law says suppliers should take 'appropriate action' within hours - arranging to fix or replace the meter. Or at the least to arrange an appointment. We'll get reaction from their suppliers and talk to Matt Cole from the Fuel Bank Foundation. And where should you put your money to make the most out of it? We'll talk savings with Anna Bowes from Savings Champion. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Clare Worden Researchers: Sandra Hardial and Jo Krasner Editor: Jess Quayle (First broadcast 12pm, Saturday 25th February, 2023)
Mar 25
25 min
Money Box Live: Your Pensions and Investments
With the end of the tax year fast approaching, people are looking at their finances and investments. But in a cost of living crisis with unstable markets, are they performing, and how should we be investing? The experts on the panel are Sangita Chawla, Managing Director at Standard Life, and Kirsty Stone, Chartered Financial Adviser at The Private Office. Presenter: Adam Shaw Producer: Amber Mehmood Editor: Elisabeth Mahy (First broadcast 3pm, Wednesday 22nd February 2023)
Mar 22
28 min
Lasting Power of Attorney delays and Mortgages
The Office of the Public Guardian has told Money Box it apologises to its customers for the distress caused by delays in dealing with applications for Lasting Powers of Attorney. Its target is turning them round in eight weeks. But its own website says people should expect to wait twenty. It also says it has recruited more staff to process applications and teams have been working around the clock to reduce wait times and are now registering around 18,000 more LPAs a month than before the pandemic. We'll hear from listeners and speak to a legal expert. If you're one of the millions of people who have a mortgage, or indeed would like to get one, you might have struggled to keep up with ongoing changes to the market in the last few months. In the past two weeks nine lenders have started offering fixed term deals at less than 4% while another has doubled the amount borrowers can overpay. We'll look at how they’re affecting new and existing customers. How should I invest? New research looks at active and passive investing, we'll speak to co-author Professor Crawford Spence of King's College London. And how can you avoid an huge estimated bill from your energy company? Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researchers: Sandra Hardial and Jo Krasner Editor: Jess Quayle (First broadcast 12pm Saturday 18th January, 2023)
Mar 18
25 min
Money Box Live: Are you worried about debt?
The problem of debt is never too far from the headlines at the moment. This week a group of charities - Citizens Advice, Step Change and Christians Against Poverty - told the BBC they're seeing record numbers of people coming to them for help with problem debt. Why is that and what can people who're worried about debt do? We'll also look at the "Buy Now Pay Later" industry as the government looks impose regulation on the sector for the first time. And we'll talk about when credit can be used in the right way. All that and more with our panel of experts, Sarah Pennells, a consumer Finance Specialist at Royal London and Richard Lane, policy Director at debt charity Stepchange. Presenter: Dan Whitworth Producer: Sarah Rogers Researchers: Jo Krasner and Star McFarlane Editor: Jess Quayle (First broadcast 3pm Wednesday 15th January, 2023)
Mar 15
28 min
Cost of Living Crisis: Working People
The charity Citizens Advice says it's seen a sharp rise in the number of working people accessing crisis support in the past few years. In 2022, of the 200,000 people helped with a food bank voucher or an emergency grant, almost 24,000 - about 1 in 8 of them - worked. That figure was up more than double the number in 2020. We'll speak to Citizens Advice and get a response from the government. We'll hear from Harriett Baldwin, the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, on how she wants banks to stop dragging their feet when it comes to implementing changes designed to stop people from becoming victims of push payment fraud. UK Finance, which speaks for banks, says the industry is investing billions to try to keep customers' money safe and is working on plans to slow down certain high-risk payments to prevent fraud. From this week unmarried parents whose partner dies can claim bereavement support payment worth up to £9800. We reported a few weeks ago that the change was coming and this week the application process has opened. Anyone who thinks they should be eligible can now put in a claim online via, over the phone or using a paper application form. More details here: and from the charities Child Bereavement Network ( and Widowed and Young ( And we'll discuss what GDP means for our personal finance with Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and a former advisor to the UK Treasury. Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researchers: Eimear Devlin and Jo Krasner Editor: Jess Quayle (First broadcast 12pm Saturday 11th Feb, 2023)
Mar 10
25 min
Money Box Live: The Art of a Complaint
In the UK, millions of people go without the refunds, the replacements and resolutions they're entitled to - because they don’t know how to complain. In this podcast, we talk about the art of the complaint. What are your rights and how can you enforce them? The experts on the panel are Lisa Webb, senior lawyer at the consumer rights company Which?, and Helen Dewdney, a consumer champion. Presenter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Amber Mehmood Editor: Elisabeth Mahy
Mar 8
28 min
Energy complaints rise to record levels
Paul Lewis hears how complaints to the Energy Ombudsman reached a record high last year. Plus, the child benefit trap that is catching parents unawares. And we hear one listener's difficult experiences trying to sort out the financial affairs of her terminally ill father. Presented by Paul Lewis. Reporter is Dan Whitworth. Researchers were Sandra Hardial and Jo Krasner, studio manager Paul Lewis. Our editor is Clare Worden.
Mar 4
31 min
Money Box Live: Dementia and Money
It’s estimated that more than 900,000 people in the UK have dementia but that’s a number that's on the rise. It’s a diagnosis that raises a lot of questions, from the care that might be needed to the impact on family members, and of course there are worries about how best to manage finances as the illness progresses. This podcast is for everyone, but especially anyone who has concerns about how to protect their financial future if they lose the ability to manage their own affairs. It’s also for anyone who wants to know how they can best provide support for the people they love. To answer your questions, the experts in this podcast are, Victoria Lyons from the charity Dementia UK and Gary Rycroft a solicitor in private practice. Presenter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Amber Mehmood Editor: Clare Worden
Mar 1
33 min
Bereavement Support and Energy Vouchers
For the first time unmarried parents will be entitled to bereavement benefits after a change in law was passed this week. Until now these benefits have only been given to a bereaved spouse or civil partner. It comes more than four years since the Supreme Court ruled that denying them benefits was unlawful under the European Convention on Human Rights. The change will be backdated to the the day of that judgement 30 August 2018. We'll explain how it works and who can claim. Nearly a third of the vouchers issued to people on prepayment energy meters so they can access the government's Energy Bills Support Scheme have not been claimed according to figures released this week. It means more than a million households on the lowest incomes struggling to pay their energy bills are missing out on £400 of financial support offered this winter by the government. We'll investigate why that's happening, and what you should do if you haven't claimed yours. New figures from His Majesty's Revenue and Customs reveal that £5.3 billion was generated from inheritance tax, from April to December last year. That’s £700 million more than in the same period a year earlier. We'll explain how it works and who it applies to. Plus a reminder that the deadline to fill out you Self Assessment tax return is in just a few days time. (31st January 2023) Presenter: Paul Lewis Reporter: Dan Whitworth Researchers: Sandra Hardial and Jo Krasner Editor: Jess Quayle (First broadcast 12pm, Saturday 28th January, 2023)
Feb 25
26 min
Money Box Live: Your Mortgage
In this special programme we'll answer questions on mortgages, from interest rates to what to do if you're struggling to afford yours. Perhaps you’re looking to move or you need to re-mortgage this year - this is the podcast for you. The experts on the panel are, David Mendes Da Costa, Principal Policy Manager at Citizen's Advice, Charles Roe, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance and Sonya Matharu, Senior Mortgage Broker at The Mortgage Mum. Presenter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Amber Mehmood Editor: Jess Quayle (First broadcast 3pm Wednesday 25 January, 2023)
Feb 22
28 min
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