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Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Friday, 22 October 2010 19:04 UK

The Spending Review in depth

George Osborne
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 23 October 2010 at 1204 BST on Radio 4 and Online

The Chancellor has unveiled what changes he will make to the bring the deficit, currently £149bn, under control.

While the details are still being digested, a debate is raging over whether the measures are going to hit the richest or the poorest in society.

It is clear that the welfare budget has been slashed by a further £7bn on top of £11bn announced in the June Budget.

We examine what effect the cut in the welfare budget is going to have for people as well as what the changes in the retirement age could mean for receiving the state pension.

Money Box talks to Will Hadwen, benefits specialist from Working Families, and Michelle Cracknell, a consultant at Bluerock Financial Services.

Paul Lewis has calculated people's retirement dates based on when they were born.

See his calculations here:

Related information:

Helploan struck by fraudsters

Thousands of people have become unwittingly caught up in an attempt to defraud a new payday loan company.

Helploan only started trading in the summer, but police believe fraudsters managed to get a steady stream of loan applications approved and paid out by using the personal details of ordinary people throughout the country. Many are now being pursued by a debt collection agency.

Bob Howard has been investigating.

Related information:

Hopes for compensation

During the Chancellor's spending review speech, he announced plans to help compensate people who have lost their savings with Equitable Life and the Presbyterian Mutual Society.

Some 1.5 million policyholders with Equitable Life will receive a share of a total of £1.5bn in compensation.

George Osborne said that the compensation payments would start in 2011.

Those who were hardest hit because they had already started taking their pensions through "with-profits" annuities will benefit most, but not all those who bought annuities will receive payments.

While around 9,500 people with money in Presbyterian Mutual Society heard that the Treasury is going to give support to the Northern Irish mutual which went into administration in 2008.

A loan of £175m is being made available to the administrator to pay creditors while £50m is going towards a fund for savers with less than £20,000 deposited.

Charlotte McDonald reports on the details.

Related information:

First building society to accept external cash

Borrowers and savers with Kent Reliance Building Society are voting on radical plans for a joint venture with a private equity firm.

If the deal goes ahead it will be the first time that a building society has accepted external capital. It is the the 11th biggest in the UK but has seen its profits drop significantly over the past year.

It is proposing to transfer its assets into a newly created bank so it can accept £50m from US private equity firm, JC Flowers.

Kent Reliance's members will, for the time being, own the majority of the new bank, via a new industrial and provident society.

Mike Lazenby, chief executive of Kent Reliance Building Society, speaks to the programmme.

Related information:

Lifemark investments safe a bit longer

The 19,000 people who bought Lifemark policies through the collapsed company Keydata will have their investments propped up by a £1.5m loan. It is being supplied by building society Norwich and Peterborough- who sold a number of the policies- and a US hedge fund.

Without this cash injection, it was feared Lifemark would not be able to pay the premiums on the life insurance policies it invested money in. If the payments stop, the policies lapse.

The loan will run out in February. By then, Lifemark's administrator hopes the company will have undergone restructuring and will be able to support itself and the investments.

Related information:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box: Saturday 23 October at 1204 BST and Sunday 24 October at 2102 BST.

Money Box



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