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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 13:51 GMT
Review your savings

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 3 January, 2004.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 4 January, 2004, at 2102 GMT.

The New Year is an ideal time to take a look at your savings and review whether you are being paid a fair rate of interest on them or could do better.

There are some savings accounts where people were lured to put in their savings some years ago by good interest rates, only for the rates to fall, so savers now get virtually no interest.

Money Box's Chris A'Court reported on whether you are getting a fair rate of interest and Melanie Stewart, head of research at the Financial Information Service, gave her advice.


Forestry Investment

They say money doesn't grow on trees but thousands of people are gambling that it does.

They are investing in forestry programmes, which pay out if the price of trees rises. You do not need a huge amount to get started, and if you do make money, there can be tax advantages.

This latest alternative investment idea is spreading from Ireland, and Money Box's Louise Greenwood went there to investigate.


Winter fuel payments

Almost everyone aged 60 or more gets a winter fuel payment from the Government to help with heating bills in the coldest months.

But Money Box found that people who receive too much money by mistake are not required to pay it back.


Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Chris A'Court
Reporter: Louise Greenwood
Web Producer: Matthew Allen



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