Friday, 26 May 2017


Money Box agenda Saturday 27 May 2017 BBC Radio 4 at midday

Divorce penalty
If you change your status from married to divorced you may find your car insurance premium goes up. One listener tells us the best buy she was offered by RAC rose from £582 a year to £919 after she told them she was no longer married but divorced and changed the status of her (now ex-)husband as second driver on the car. RAC now says it was a mistake – a ‘glitch’. And the original insurer has now offered her insurance on the same terms. But whose mistake was it? We reproduced our listener’s enquiry online with more than 30 firms. Most of them put up the best buy price by 20%-30%.

Tax rise
On 1 June, a week before the election, a tax rise begins which will bring in an extra £850m a year for the Treasury. The tax on insurance premiums rises that day from 10% to 12%. Insurance Premium Tax – which has now doubled in two years – applies to general insurance which protects your home, its contents, your car, and your pets. Altogether Insurance Premium Tax brings in around £5 billion a year.

Our series of interviews on election manifestos continues. This week I talk to some of the smaller parties. Plaid Cymru leader Hywel Williams, Liberal Democrat economics spokesman Vince Cable, and Molly Scott Cato MEP who speaks for the Green Party on finance issues. Next Saturday is the last before the General Election on 8 June when we hope to fill the remaining gaps in our coverage of the party plans.

Rent asunder
Are rents falling? Rising? Or staying pretty flat? The answer, of course, depends where you live. One national letting agent reports this week that in four of the nine countries and regions of Great Britain rents charged to new tenants have fallen over the last twelve months. In the other five they have risen. If you average out the whole of Great Britain they are pretty flat. But they are still hard to pay from low wages and help from the government in Housing Benefit for working people has been cut. Shelter says many are borrowing to pay their rent.

That will all make for a nice juicy filling for our 24 minute Radio 4 sandwich between the News and the News Quiz. Its best before date, as ever, is noon on Saturday and it is served up refried at 2100 on Sunday. Or it can be served up fresh anytime on the marvellous BBC Radio i-Player.

Send us your ideas or problems you want us to look into through the ‘Contact Us’ tab. Or email The website also has background and further information on all the stories on Money Box and Money Box Live.

I will be trailing one item on BBC One Breakfast on Saturday. Usually it’s around 0840 but the time can and does change.

26 May 2017