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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 16:12 GMT
Store cards branch out
Debenhams store
Debenhams card customers could see their card change

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 27 March, 2004, at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 28 March, at 2102 BST.

Money Box has learned that the UK's biggest store card provider could be taking steps to convert them into credit cards, a change that customers have not requested.

Louise Greenwood reported.

Further information:


DWP benefit errors

One in five benefit decisions made by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) during 2001 and 2002 contained an error, according to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report.

The poorest performance was found to be in areas "requiring the examination of medical evidence" such as Disability Living Allowance, which was found to have an error rate of nearly 50%.

The PAC has made a number of recommendations to the government which include developing the skills of the decision-makers, and providing greater transparency and monitoring.

To discuss the problem we were joined by Sir Richard Mottram, Permanent Secretary to the Department for Work and Pensions; Edward Leigh, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, and Lorna Reith Chief Executive of Disability Alliance.

Further information:


Identity fraud

The UK's Fraud Prevention Service - Cifas - launched its new identity fraud web pages on Monday.

Identity fraud is the UK's fastest growing crime with cases up from 20,000 in 1999 to 101,000 in 2003.

To discuss how you can avoid becoming a victim and what to do if you are, we spoke to Money Box listener Jamie Jameson and Neil Munroe, a director of Equifax credit reference agency.


Tax deadlines

A valuable tax concession benefiting small businesses which were making IT purchases will no longer be available at the end of the month.

And the end of the tax year is the the official deadline for opening a tax-free ISA and taking advantage of this year's ISA allowance.

But many providers of cash ISAs have already brought down the shutters.

Money Box's Louise Greenwood reported.


OTHER NEWS

Pensions regulator fines food firm

A food processing firm in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester has been fined for not offering its employees stakeholder pensions.

News of the 10,000 fine imposed by the pensions regulator came as new government research confirmed that three-quarters of stakeholder funds have no members, and no cash invested.

Further information

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Jennifer Clarke
Reporter: Louise Greenwood
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles


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