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Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 10:59 UK

Age discrimination

Two older women
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 2 May 2009 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

People will not be discriminated against on grounds of age when buying services such as insurance if the Equalities Bill becomes law.

The plans - published this week - have been backed by charities for the elderly but would severely affect the financial services industry.

Insurance companies will have to justify charging older people more or refusing to provide policies at all to people beyond a certain age.

And banks will have to provide loans and credit cards to people however old they are as long as they can repay the debt.

We speak to Jane Vass of Age Concern & Help the Aged and Nick Starling of the Association of British Insurers about the bill.

Further information:

Swine flu and travel insurance

A young girl poses for photographers with a mask bought from Mexico after departing a flight from Mexico City at Gatwick Airport
Tour operators have been cancelling trips to Mexico since the outbreak

Influenza Type A H1N1 - or swine flu as we tend to call it - has so far infected less than 400 people worldwide. The number of deaths is now put at 16 - all but one in Mexico.

The Foreign Office says people should not visit Mexico unless it is essential.

But if you cancel your flight or holiday will your insurer or tour company refund your money? Bob Howard has been investigating.

Further information:

The future of banking

Northern Rock branch
Northern Rock was the first bank to show signs of problems ahead

The building society model has served people better than banks, according to the Treasury Select Committee.

In its second report on the current banking crisis it said banks had made an "astonishing mess of the financial system... leading to the meltdown that we have witnessed."

But is it realistic to think that building societies - which have about a fifth of the savings and mortgage market - could step into the breach?

We ask Jane Fuller of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation and Adrian Coles, director general of the Building Societies Association.

Further information:

Tax relief on pensions

Higher earners were hard hit in the 2009 Budget plans

People earning over £150,000 a year will pay tax on their employer's contributions to their company pension scheme from 2011, the Treasury has confirmed.

The high earners also face a reduction in tax relief on their own contributions.

But the tax regime is still very friendly towards higher rate taxpayers who pay into a pension.

We sort the myth from the reality of what the government is really planning with Angela Beech of Blick Rothenburg.

Further information:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday 2 May at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 3 May at 2102 BST.

Money Box



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01 May 09 |  Moneybox

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