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An emergency Budget?

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 22 November
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

In the run up to the chancellor's pre-Budget report on Monday there has been much speculation about what measures he will unveil to kick-start the troubled economy.

Alistair Darling is expected to announce details of tax cuts and plans to increase public spending.

He is also under pressure to come to the aid of small businesses.

The Conservatives have spoken out against the government's plans for a temporary fiscal stimulus, warning that it could lead to tax increases later, to combat increased public sector debt.

The latter has now risen to 640.9bn - or 42.9% of GDP.

To debate the issues we heard from Doug McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, Andrew Smith, chief economist at accountants KPMG and Anita Monteith, tax manager at the Institute of Chartered Accountants (in England & Wales).

Further information/related stories:


Beverley Hope-Smith in her car
Beverley Hope-Smith was surprised by the cost of her replacement car
Replacement car costs

After a serious road accident many drivers need a temporary replacement vehicle while a claim is sorted out.

Often these cars are not supplied by regular hire companies but through a separate industry - known as "credit hire" or "accident management".

This industry has grown up purely to service the demand for replacement vehicles after an accident.

But a major row between this industry and the insurers, who end up paying the bill, could lead to a rise in premiums for all drivers.

Bob Howard reported.

Further information/related stories:


An American International Group (AIG) office building
AIG is the US's biggest insurance company
AIG enhanced fund

Five and a half thousand people are facing the prospect of losing up to one eighth of their money after they were persuaded by their banks to take out the AIG enhanced fund.

Customers of the troubled insurer, AIG, have until 25 November to choose either to get half of their money back now and the other half in three or four years, or to take it all out now with a loss of up to 12.5%.

Nearly 900 of these account holders have come together to form the AIG action group, which claims the product was sold as safe when, in fact, it was partly backed by mortgages and credit card debt.

We heard from the chairman of the AIG Action Group, Zia Khan, Adam Samuel, former investment ombudsman and compliance consultant, and from Doug Brown, chief executive of AIG Life.

Further information/related stories:


Monopoly house pieces on a map of the UK
Lending rose slightly in October said the Council of Mortgage Lenders
Mortgages

Two weeks after the surprise 1.5% interest rate cut we bring you the latest developments in the mortgage market.

Is it any easier for new borrowers to get mortgages?

And what are the best deals out there?

We asked Rob Clifford of Mortgage Force for his view of the market.

Further information/related stories:


BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 22 November 2008 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday 23 November 2008 at 2102 GMT.



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21 Nov 08 |  Moneybox


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