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Number crunching the budget

two female pensioners
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 24th March 2012 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

We take a closer look at how the budget will impact on parents and pensioners. Are you a parent earning between fifty and sixty thousand pounds. Is there anything you can do to preserve your child benefit?

And we have the tale of two sisters-in-law. They live down the road from each other, there's a six month age gap, yet come April next year one will pay £259 a year more tax than the other.

How can this be? Moneybox reveals all.

Paul Lewis talks to Will Hadwen from Working Families and John Whiting, Director of the Office for Tax Simplification.


HSBC mortgage rule changes frustrate customers

Lenders have come under pressure to do more to tackle mortgage fraud by making sure that the solicitors working for them are bona fide.

But new rules at HSBC are frustrating customers who claim that their bid to buy a house is being slowed down, costing more and in some cases putting the process at risk.

On January the 9th this year HSBC required that all mortgage customers buying a house would have to choose a solicitor or conveyancer from a very limited panel of members.

Customers can still choose a solicitor to act on their behalf but listeners have told Moneybox that having to deal with two solicitors is adding extra layers of complexity.

We hear from Martijn van der Heijden, Head of Lending at HSBC and Desmond Morris, Chief Executive of the Law Society.

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Insurers change rules on drink driving

Should car insurers withdraw cover from people who drink and drive, even if they are under the legal limit?

Money Box has learnt that over the last year the wording of some insurers' policies has the potential to exclude anyone driving "under the influence" of alcohol or drugs.

But there are concerns that people with a minimal level of alcohol in their blood or who have taken prescription drugs could be caught out.

Bob Howard had been investigating. Paul Lewis talks to Keith Lewis from Zurich Insurance.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT.



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