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Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Friday, 20 May 2011 16:38 UK

Investors advised to be vigilant

Landbanking victim Billy McNaught
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 21 May 2011 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Two months ago we told the story of a retired soldier who was targeted by high pressure sales staff selling land.

Billy McNaught, was persuaded to pay over £100,000 for eight strips of land, which he later discovered were virtually worthless.

The Property Partnership which sold the land to Billy, has since been put into liquidation.

But Money Box believes the man behind The Property Partnership is now connected to a similar company.

Bob Howard reports.

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Tax code errors

More than 95,000 people have asked HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to let them off surprise tax bills, resulting from tax code errors.

HMRC sent out around six million wrong tax codes last year, over one million of which resulted in too little tax being paid.

The procedure for requesting that HMRC do not collect the tax due is called 'Extra-Statutory Concession' (ESC A19) .

To prove that the concession applies to you, it is necessary to show that gave HMRC all the information it needed, that it failed to make use of it in time, and that you had a reasonable belief that your tax affairs were in order.

Some 23,000 people who claimed under ESC A19 have been successful, but have the rejected 72,000 been treated properly? Chartered tax advisor Clare Goodswen, from MA Partners speaks to the programme.

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Petrol prices

This week petrol prices at pumps across the country hit a record high. One litre of unleaded petrol cost £1.36, with diesel above £1.40.

Money Box listener Steve Richards contacted the programme to ask us why the price of petrol was so high when the price of oil is 20% cheaper than it was in 2008.

As Ben Carter reports, various factors come into play, the amount of duty and VAT imposed on petrol and the exchange rate between sterling and the US dollar.

Malcolm Bracken, senior oil analyst with stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley also speaks to the programme.

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Inflation

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation has risen to its highest level since October 2008.

At 4.5% the rise in CPI is bigger than analysts had forecast, with jumps in transport and energy costs, alcohol and tobacco mostly to blame.

Yet again Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England has been forced to write a letter to chancellor George Osborne explaining why the inflation rate is more than 1% above the Bank's 2% target rate. .

So what are the long term prospects for inflation and should the target rate of 2% be revised upwards?

Independent economist Rosemary Radcliffe and Brian Hilliard, the chief UK economist at Societe Generale, debate the issue.

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Payment Protection Insurance

There are warnings this week that dozens of firms are trying to cream off up to a third of the compensation due to customers who have been mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance.

After their legal climb down a fortnight ago, the banks are busy renting offices and moving staff to deal with what could be millions of claims.

Also very active are the companies which offer to help customers who have been mis-sold get compensation.

Typically they charge nearly a third of the amount recovered, which could add up to more than a billion pounds. Paul Lewis speaks to the executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd.

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



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