Bills, bills, bills – cost of living up 25% in five years!

According to uSwitch, UK household bills have gone up by 25% as a total average in the last five years. Yes, that’s right – 25%!

The uSwitch research, which shows that more people are worried about the rise in living costs than their health, includes the following findings:

  • Fully comprehensive car insurance has risen by 67% since 2008
  • Petrol prices are up by 33% since 2008
  • Gas and electricity bills have increased by 52% and 32% respectively, since 2008
  • Food bills have climbed 17% since 2008

Meanwhile, we’ve only seen pay increases of 6% during the same period.






‘Bedroom tax’ won’t extend to foster careres and armed services


The Government’s controversial changes to housing benefits, nicknamed ‘bedroom tax’ by some, will not apply to people caring for foster children and families of armed services personnel.

The housing benefit changes, which will see tenants in council flats and social housing who are deemed to have ‘too much space’ have their rental payments cut, are due to come into effect in April.

Source: BBC News


Simple savings & insurance products coming your way


Good news for anyone who feels confused by the many complex savings and insurance options on the market, as four ‘no frills’ products have been designed by a UK Treasury committee.

The committee has created an easy-access savings account; a 30-day notice savings account; a regular savings account; and a life insurance policy. Providers will use the same terms and conditions, but will be able to compete on price, service and value. 

It’s not yet clear when exactly the products, designed to make it easy for consumers to shop around, will be launched – so watch this space! 




Shareholders, you might want to think twice about Isa!

According to The Telegraph, certain Isa plans could actually end up costing you more than regular share holdings.

Isa savings plans may be tax-free, but if you’re not careful about what type of plan you put your shares into, you may end up paying more in management fees, without reaping any corresponding tax benefits. 

Read the full story on




Work Programme not actually working

The Government’s multi-billion-pound ‘Work Programme’, a scheme designed to get long-term unemployed individuals off benefit and into the work force, is said to be failing by MPs.

In its first 14 months, the scheme has only managed to get 3.6% of participants into secure employment, with Labour claiming the programme is “worse than doing nothing”.

Read the full story on BBC News.



It’s getting personal, as more financial data is supplied to lenders

Individuals’ financial information is being scrutinised with increasing diligence by lenders, as more personal data is supplied to credit reference companies.

These firms gather a host of data, including register of voters and credit card payments, to build up people’s credit histories, which in turn are used to decide whether or not would-be lenders are successful in their mortgage or loan application.

Recently, utility companies have started to supply information about customers’ payment habits to companies like Experian as well, to help lenders make a better informed decision.

Source: BBC News



£645m recovered thanks to My Lost Account

Free money-tracing service ‘My Lost Account‘, launched in 2008 by the financial industry, has helped around 315,000 people recover £645 million in forgotten bank accounts.

The service operators added that 580,000 search applications have been made in total, since My Lost Account was introduced five years ago.

Source: BBC News