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Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 17:25 UK

Children to pay for deficit mess?

Child benefits facing the chop
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 12 June 2010 at 1204 BST on Radio 4 and Online

A radical reform of child benefit, including stopping it at age 13 or taxing it, are among the options being considered by the coalition governement's new ''poverty tsar'' Frank Field.

Ministers have already made it pretty clear that the benefits and tax credits system - estimated to cost £200bn this year - is in the frame for cuts.

Child benefit - the £11bn a year successor to family allowance - is one of the few universal state benefits - paid without a means-test, without contribution conditions, and untaxed. The rate is now £20.30 a week for the eldest child and £13.40 a week for each of the others.

To explore the options Frank Field's independent review may be considering and the possible impact: Dr Patrick Nolan from the think tank Reform and Fran Bennett, senior research fellow at Oxford University, join the programme.

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Wrong account number leads to a right mess

Millions of us now use online banking to pay bills, send money to relatives or to top up a savings account.

As the majority of banks now use the faster payments system, this money can be sent instantaneously with the click of a button.

But what happens if you enter incorrect details?

We speak to one listener who, when trying to send a payment to his wife, got her account number wrong. He now faces an anxious wait to see whether he will get his £1600 back. The programme also hears from Sandra Quinn of the UK Payments Council.

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Addressing errors in your credit file

The address you give when you apply for credit is crucial in determining whether you're considered a good risk or not.

For people who live in houses it's normally clear what that address should be. But it's not always so simple if you live in a flat conversion, especially if it's only recently been changed.

Bob Howard's been talking to one couple who've been struggling to get credit as a result:

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ANNUITIES

If you're due to retire shortly you may be very disappointed when you find out what your pension fund will buy.

The rate for a pension for life or annuity hit a record low this week. For example, at age 65 with £100,000 in your pension fund you can get a pension of around £6,200 a year if you are a woman and £6,600 if you are a man.

A decade ago you would have got twice as much. So if you're planning your retirement what choices do you have?

Annuities expert STUART BAYLISS from Directly Financial explains.

Related information:


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



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