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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Also on Saturday
PCS union
The PCS union has called on the government to "think again"

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 3 July, 2004, at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 4 July, 2004 at 2102 BST

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a reorganisation of benefit offices and pension centres, which will mean the loss of 11,000 jobs.

Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith said the losses were "regrettable" but that "improving efficiency will release resources to make progress on child and pensioner poverty".

Are you happy with the service?
Do the job cuts worry you?

The Public and Commercial Services Union reacted angrily to the news, saying that pensioners and vulnerable people will suffer.

We spoke to Alan Barton, senior policy officer at Citizens Advice, which said the news is a "very worrying development".

And we took his concerns to Andrew Smith.

Further information:

Ombudsman complaints up 57%

Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) increased by 57% to nearly 100,000 in the last year, its annual report said.

There was a huge jump in endowment complaints which were up to 51,917 from 13,571 the year before.

The FOS had expected its workload would decrease when endowment complaint time-bars began to take effect.

But with leading companies now saying they will ignore the time-bar rule that looks less likely to happen.

We spoke to Chief Ombudsman Walter Merricks about the report's implications.

Further information:

Co-op overdraft could cost dear

Money Box has discovered that going into the red at the Co-op - even when you have agreed it in advance - could prove very expensive.

Because of the way it charges customers, an authorised overdraft at the Co-op is more than 20 times as expensive as the cheapest equivalent deal.

Further information:

OFT begins care investigation

An investigation into the care home market has begun, following an informal supercomplaint from the Consumers' Association.

It will examine consumer behaviour, price transparency, and whether contracts offer sufficient transparency and protection against unreasonable price increases.

We spoke to Naja Felter of the Office of Fair Trading about its investigation, and also to Les Bright of the Social Policy Ageing Information Network (SPAIN), which has welcomed the development.

Further information:

More compensation for lost luggage

The Montreal Convention has been ratified by 54 countries

Airline passengers will now receive more compensation for delayed, lost or damaged luggage, following new international rules.

The Montreal Convention - ratified by 54 countries - will eventually replace all previous agreements on air carrier liability.

Payouts will now be related to the quality of goods within each bag, rather than the weight as was previously dictated by the 75-year-old Warsaw Convention.

We spoke to a listener who lost out under the old rules, and also to James Freemantle, Industry Affairs Advisor at the Air Transport Users Council, about how the industry will cope with the extra cost.

Further information:

Old bond wins jackpot

A premium bond bought in 1959 as part of a 17 holding has become the oldest bond to win the monthly 1m jackpot.

Further information:

Windfall for Centrica shareholders

Centrica has announced plans to return 1.5 billion to its shareholders after agreeing to sell AA.

More than 1 million investors will get a special dividend of around 23p per share when the sale is completed.

Further information:

Producer: Jennifer Clarke
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles

Money Box



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