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Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Friday, 12 November 2010

Identity protection dispute

Man reads credit card details into telephone
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 13 November 2010 at 1204 GMT on Radio 4 and Online

Money Box has been contacted by listeners who were sold protection policies when they rang up to activate a new credit or debit card.

Many banks require you to activate a new or replacement debit or credit card when you want to use it.

But when customers called the number provided, instead of speaking to their card provider, they found themselves dealing with a separate firm, CPP which tried to sell them an insurance policy at the same time.

We hear from the listeners who declined the service but later found that they had been charged over £80 for the identity protection policy.

Bob Howard investigates.

Related information:


Universal Credit

The Government has announced plans for an overhaul of the welfare and benefits system. Its aim is to make work pay and those who refuse to take jobs will have their benefits cut.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith plans to bring in a single Universal Credit to replace work related benefits.

Universal Credit claimants will receive a basic personal amount with additional sums for disability, caring costs, housing costs and children.

But only six existing benefits will be part of the Universal Credit. At least 22 others, including Child Benefit and Council Tax Benefit will not.

The amounts claimants receive will be calculated closer to 'real time' with adjustments potentially made monthly rather than yearly. The new rules are set to come into force for new claimants by 2013 and for all recipients after 2015.

The Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud and Eddy Graham, welfare rights officer from the Child Poverty Action Group talk to the programme.

Related information:

Complaining about financial services

The High Court ruled this week that if you accept an award from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), you cannot go on to seek further compensation in the courts.

Robert Andrews complained to the FOS about the financial loss he suffered when SBJ Benefit Consultants transferred his occupational pension into a private scheme.

The ombudsman awarded its maximum compensation payment of £100,000, but Mr Andrews believed his loss was greater and sued SBJ Benefit Consultants.

Mr Justice Pelling ruled that because the ombudsman had already made an award, Mr Andrews could not pursue the matter any further in court.

Related information:

If you want to speak to the Financial Ombudsman Service for advice on a possible claim call 0845 080 1800 or 0300 123 9 123 during office hours.

Tax reliefs

There are a mind-boggling one thousand or so tax reliefs or allowances available to UK taxpayers hoping to reduce their overall bill.

The best known ones, like allowances against Capital Gains Tax, or National Insurance Contributions, which are deducted straight from your pay packet, you'll probably know about.

But have you heard of the more obscure reliefs? For example, that excise duty is not payable on angostura bitters, a key ingredient in pink gin.

The man charged with cutting back on the complexity of these tax allowances is John Whiting from the Office of Tax Simplification, who talks to the programme.

Related information:

Cycle to Work Scheme

If you are buying a bike using your employers cycle to work scheme, you may be under the impression that you will pay around half the usual price.

But advice given to employers by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in August means that many people will end up paying £200 more than expected.

We hear from Moneybox listener Jason who is faced with unexpected bill and John Whiting, Tax Policy Director, at the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

Related information:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box: Saturday 13 Nove mber at 1204 GMT and Sunday 14 November at 2102 GMT.

Money Box



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