Prices are rising fast but official index misleads

Inflation is rising fast, but the Government and the supermarkets would have us believe that prices are not soaring above earnings.  Experts tell us we are mistaken when we think our weekly shop is more expensive. Today we are told that prices in the newly configured inflation basket have increased by 2.3% year on year.   That is according to the official consumer price index invented a few years ago and according to the new CPIH index that includes the economists’ take on the cost of owning a home unveiled today was also exactly the same as the CPI, which does […]

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Unfair contract traps to be outlawed

Hidden traps in consumer contracts that cause us to pay out far more than we expect  and for longer are to be outlawed in next week’s Budget according to Government pre-briefing. But don’t hold your breathe it is likely to take years for businesses that have spent decades devising new ways to con us to reform. They will kick and scream and be in denial about what they have been doing and legislation will probably take longer than Brexit  so prepare for an avalanche of unfair tricks to part us from our money in the meantime. We will have to […]

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The poor need help to get better deals

I met the personification of the spirit of Money Fight Club when I was a fellow panelist at the Money Advice Service’s Financial Capability Week at the QEII centre this week.  Vanessa Simao is a trainee with the Young Women’s Trust in London and an outreacher in Barking and Dagenham so she knows that to help clients in her work she has to share her own experiences as a single parent. She knows what it is like to take a loan to provide food or heating and then to get behind and agree to consolidate the loans into one payment […]

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True measure of inflation is ignored

How did it happen?  The upstart measure of inflation CPI has so overtaken RPI that is now ignored – particularly now that the Retail Prices Index is now running at 2% twice as much as the Consumer Prices Index. In other words we believe inflation is half as high as it really is. Since 2010 the Government has used the lower CPI for benefits, tax credits and public sector pensions.  But student loans, rail travel and mobile phone contracts are increased in line with the RPI. Savings rates are worse than they seem As savings rates are shy of both […]

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Blue Monday – good news about the most financially depressing day of the year

Blue Monday is coming up and so named because December’s pay cheque is often paid a day or two earlier and then January is a five week month, with many of us not seeing another pay cheque reach our bank account for another couple of weeks. When we worked out which day was Blue Monday we felt it fell on January 26. But the growing concensus is that it will actually fall on Monday, January 19. Sheeesh! You wouldn’t think people would be so keen to get there sooner, would yah? Why so blue, Monday? Credit card bills have landed […]

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12th night – money saving tips for the New Year

January 5 heralds the start of our post-Christmas battle plan Our money saving tips for the New Year First of all check what you owe on credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans, mortgage or rent arrears, gas and electricity bills, council tax arrears and compare with what your borrowings were a year ago. Nationally we’re getting further into debt so the chances are your personal borrowing will also look a little podgier than it did a year ago. Borrowing is a bit like how much you weigh… If you don’t keep an eye on things it tends to creep up year […]

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Why supermarket price wars aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Tesco has joined Morrrisons in tantalising supermarket shoppers with offers of price cuts. According to The Telegraph: Tesco has cut the cost of a cooked breakfast, with lower prices on eggs, bacon and tomatoes, saving families ‘£96 a year’. Hmmm… The Tesco salvo was in response to a similar promise to cut prices from Morrisons. Of course, it would be cynical to point out that both these generous offers were made on the back on dwindling profits. We’re all for basics such as bread and eggs costing less but we trust supermarkets about as far as you can throw a […]

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Dear Mr.Osborne – just a couple of budget pointers

Dear Mr.Osborne, or may we call you George? We’re sure you’re up to your eyeballs giving your budget speech a few final tweaks before tomorrow and passing a duster over your red briefcase. But we just wanted to send this short note your way. (Please return the carrier pigeon. His name is Stallone and he likes Byron burger crumbs, by the way.) While changes to tobacco and booze taxes will grab headlines (if you change them),  we’re more interested in how you deliver what you have to say and who you really want to pay attention. The fact is that […]

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