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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 February 2007, 13:03 GMT
Fuel poverty
A pensioner sitting in front of an electric heater at home
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday 10 February at 1204 GMT on Radio 4 and Online

Half of Britain's pensioners are said to be cutting back on other things to pay annual fuel bills averaging 1,100.

A survey by energy comparison website uSwitch indicated that two million over-60s spent more than a tenth of their income on fuel.

Experts warn the government may not meet its pledge that every pensioner could afford a warm home by 2010.

We heard from William Gillis, chief executive of National Energy Action.

uSwitch's Ann Robinson gave details of the new research; and we asked the chairman of the government's Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, Peter Lehmann, if the government can meet its target to eradicate fuel poverty among the elderly by 2010.

Further information:


Bank account closures

A person holding lots of cash
Thousands of customers have successfully reclaimed bank charges
For some time the banks have been fighting back against customers who successfully reclaim charges by closing their accounts.

Now the Financial Ombudsman Service has decided in one case that this action was neither fair nor reasonable.

Bob Howard reported.

Further information:


Tax campaign

An HMRC tax campaign advert
People who rent out rooms are among those targetted

HM Revenue and Customs has issued a warning to people who sell goods online or rent out property to make sure they are paying the correct tax.

New guidance stipulates the circumstances in which people need to register as self-employed and the steps they need to take.

HMRC has said it will treat people who come forward voluntarily "more leniently" than those who it discovers are breaking the rules.

We discuss the new guidance with Clare Merrills from HMRC.

Further information:


Keeping your identity safe

Thumb print
Mr Jamieson says signatures should be authenticated by thumbprints
Three years after appearing on Money Box, Jamie Jamieson has convinced credit reference agency Equifax to adopt his idea for safeguarding your identity.

Mr Jamieson believes the simple technique of adding your thumb print to any credit application will deter fraudsters from trying to take out a loan in your name.

Now Equifax has said anyone who wants to add a note to their credit report informing lenders that a thumb print must accompany any credit application can do so.

We heard from Mr Jamieson and spoke to Neil Munroe, external affairs director, Equifax.

Further information:


OTHER NEWS

BT customers who pay their bills by cash or cheque will be charged an extra 4.50 each quarter from May.

And Nationwide Building Society is to stop selling its own life insurance, investments and pensions - it will sell Legal and General policies instead.

Further information:

BT


BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 11 February at 2102 GMT.



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