BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The only way is up?

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 10 January
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

The Bank of England has cut interest rates to 1.5% - their lowest level in more than 300 years - in a bid to boost the economy out of the downturn.

The bank has now reduced rates four times since last October.

However, the latest half percentage point reduction, has prompted mixed views about whether it will be successful in encouraging people to spend more and for banks to lend to each other to free up credit.

There have been reports that the Treasury is considering more radical measures like injecting more money into the economy - known as quantitative easing.

But the Treasury has said that is not currently on the agenda.

To discuss the implications of the latest interest rate cut for the economy and for borrowers and savers: independent economist Michael Hughes, Simon Tyler of Chase de Vere mortgage management and Kevin Mountford of join the programme.

Further information/related stories:

George Osborne
The Tory tax plans are aimed at helping the "average" tax payer
Conservatives' tax plans

As savings rates plunge, the Conservative Party has outlined plans to offer 4bn in tax cuts for savers and pensioners.

If in power, the party would scrap taxes paid by basic rate taxpayers on savings interest and raise the level of non-taxable income for pensioners by 2,000 a year.

The measures would be funded by lower public spending.

The shadow chancellor, George Osborne explains their proposals in detail.

Further information/related stories:

Red telephone ringing
Could the person at the other end of the phone be a fraudster?
Fraudulent calls

As banks warn us to be ever more vigilant about fraud, could they be doing more to prove their own identities to us if they need to make contact by phone?

It is normal practice to ask customers to give some details to verify their identity.

But some customers in Scotland have recently been targeted and lost money to telephone fraudsters who tricked them into revealing their bank details.

Bob Howard reports.

Further information/related stories:

Financial Services Authority sign on their building in Canary Wharf, London
The FSCS covers the business of firms authorised by the FSA
Depositor protection

Savers at collapsed banks could get their money back within a week under new proposals by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The City watchdog has set out the plans in a bid to boost confidence in the banking system.

Last October the failure of Icesave, the UK arm of Icelandic bank Landsbanki, highlighted the importance of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in paying out to savers.

Customers started getting their money back after six weeks, but the FSA is consulting on how to speed that process up.

Its director of financial capability, Chris Pond joins the programme.

Further information/related stories:

Other News

Those people entitled to the 60 addition to the Christmas Bonus promised in the pre-budget report should receive it between now and the end of March according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 10 January 2009 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday 11 January 2009 at 2102 GMT.

External internet links
09 Jan 09 |  Moneybox

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific