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Sky high flight booking fees

Ryanair plane taking off
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 5 December 2009 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

Anyone who uses a Visa Electron card to avoid transactions charges when booking flights could soon be disappointed.

Despite extolling the virtues of the Visa Electron card on last week's programme, on Monday Ryanair announced that it would start charging for Visa Electron payments next year.

This week Money Box learns that now Aer Lingus and Easyjet have put the future use of the card as their one free payment option "under review."

Ryanair customers can now use pre-paid Mastercards to avoid paying booking fees.

But do pre-paid cards represent better value? Bob Howard investigates.

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Warm Front cooling?

The Government flagship scheme to insulate homes in England, Warm Front, is in danger of running out of money next year.

Warm Front provides up to £3500 per household to insulate and, if necessary, upgrade existing heating systems.

With fuel prices rising demand has grown. So Warm Front has been allowed to spent half of next year's money this year.

But that leaves a big hole in next year's budget - and the Chancellor is being asked to fill it.

The programme talks to Energy Minister David Kidney and the Chief Executive of the Government's Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, Derek Lickorish.

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Are bank charges justified for the 'feckless'?

In the controversy over bank charges, many Money Box listeners have contacted the programme to express their support for banks, and their frustration at the 'feckless'.

Last month, banks won an important ruling at the new Supreme Court in a legal battle over allegedly unfair bank fees for those who go over drawn.

But many people say those who do not manage their accounts efficiently deserve to be penalised.

This week the programme brings two Money Box listeners together.

Matt Briggs wants to claim back more than £1,000 of bank charges that he says were unfair.

But, Ray Seymour thinks people like Matt have been rightly penalised for breaking their contract, and should stop 'bleating' on about it.

Presenter Paul Lewis sees if they can reach a mutual understanding.

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British born, but taxed as a foreigner

One of the first things many millionaires spend their money on is tax advice. How to make sure you keep as much of your wealth as you can.

This week it emerged that even a 34 year old man born in Britain, educated in Britain, and standing for the UK Parliament could claim to be non-domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.

Prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate Zac Goldsmith, has an estimated fortune worth hundreds of millions. This week he said he was giving up his non-dom status. But how did he have it in the first place?

And if he can do it, can the rest of us do the same?

Mike Warburton from accountants Grant Thornton explains how it works.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT and repeated on Sunday at 2102 GMT.



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