29/03/2014 Your Money


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there would be no currency union. Now on BBC News, this week's Your


Money with Declan Curry. Hello, welcome to Your Money. We


help you make the most of your cash. Here every weekend on BBC News


television ` available all week on the BBC iPlayer. Here's what we've


got this week. Energy bills frozen by one big firm. Will the others


follow? Should you switch supplier? The people who make money lending


their spare cash to people or businesses ` the interest they earn


could soon be tax`free. Brian Milligan reports on plans to put


peer`to`peer lending into ISA accounts, but be warned, there is


also a risk you could lose some of your money.


And, too many parents are still finding their children looking at


unsuitable content on the internet ` how do we keep them safe online?


You're clever people. You know to check the small print, especially


when companies say they're freezing their prices. SSE, which includes


Atlantic, Scottish Hydro, Southern Electric and SWALEC, says it has


frozen gas and electricity prices until 2016 to give customers "peace


of mind". But, it's only for customers on, or who switch to, its


standard variable tariff. Other tariffs aren't covered by the


pledge, so not all of its ten million customers will necessarily


benefit. The freeze follows big rises in energy bills last autumn `


you'll remember SSE put up its prices by over 8% then. It then


reduced that increase to 4% when the Government reduced green taxes. A


typical SSE customer on a dual fuel bill now pays around ?1,200 a year


for gas and electricity combined. Ann Robinson is Director of Consumer


Policy at uSwitch.com. You welcome this price freeze? Yes, it is


important. I think it will give peace of mind, but I don't think it


is enough. The reason I say that is because the price is still on the


high side, and there is a lot more expensive than some of the smaller


players on the market. My advice to people is don't just sit back and


think great, fantastic. To shop around because you can save yourself


probably ?250 if you have never switched. Even after all these years


of saying you should switch supplier? Yes, people can still make


significant savings. There is quite a bit difference between the


cheapest and most expensive deals. I do think people should shop around


and not just think fantastic, I don't need to do anything. Looking


at the small print, it is only for customers on standard tariffs. If


you are only fixed rate, you will think they are frozen already, but


they could unfixed those rates before this one runs out? Yes, but


if you are already on a fixed rate, don't worry, they can't change that.


They cannot change your rate if you are fixed, so don't worry about


that. And SSE says customers can switch to the standard tariff


without penalty. Do you think people should switch to SSE because it has


frozen these rates? No, I don't, it is still one of the most expensive


providers. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't switch, so it is good


for the loyal customers who are not going to move, but I want to get


those loyal customers to think about moving because they could do a lot


better. You are hoping other companies will announce a similar


move? Yes. It is still worth switching. If they are going to


change their prices, there is still quite a big difference. And do you


know what? There are two really good long`term fixed deals on the


market. They are cheaper than SSE's standard. How good is that? So the


deals are out there. That price freeze isn't pain`free for workers


or shareholders ` the company's cutting 500 jobs to pay for it, and


shelving three planned offshore wind farms. There could be a more


substantial shake`up of bills for all the energy firms. The fair trade


watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority, is to investigate


the big six energy firms, effectively asking if they should be


split up. It's thought the six firms account for about 95% of the UK's


energy supply market. So, the energy markets are being


investigated, they have been before, but they effectively got a clean


bill of health. What is different this time? This new authority that


comes into life next week, I think it is going to do a really thorough


job. The important thing is, they are not just looking at things that


are going wrong, they are charged with making markets work, and this


market is not working as well as it should be. Why would spitting at the


companies make the market better? If spitting them up means we have a


better market, a better supply market, have new players on the


block so that there are lots of people actively competing for our


business, it will be good. I am not convinced they have to be split up.


What I want is to see a market that works for all of us. We need to take


the power back ourselves. Let's get involved. The other thing I would


say is that Ofgem have another fact that they are going to mount a


consumer engagement campaign. Yes please, and do it well. Get more


people doing something now. This investigation could take two years,


or longer, before anything comes out. We have to help ourselves. What


about the argument from the companies themselves that the


uncertainty now caused by this review means that they have had to


pause investment in new power stations, in improvements to the


supply network Aston Martin? What I would say is that investment has


already stalled, and the power network goes on anyway. As far as


generation is concerned, we have got about 10% of gas mothballed. It


would not take a big incentive to get that out of mothballs, so the


light should stay on. And Robinson, thank you for joining us.


Barclays has unveiled new terms and conditions for its overdrafts. From


the middle of June, instead of paying a percentage of the amount


you're in the red, you'll pay a daily fee ` somewhere between 75p


and ?3 a day. Will this leave you better off, we wondered? The


financial expert Andrew Haggar has done some sums ` if you were


overdrawn by ?300 for three days in a month, First Direct would charge


you 78p ` its interest rate is 15.9%.HSBC would charge you ?5.89 `


its interest rate is 19.3%. Metro Bank would charge you ?4.44 ` its


interest rate is 15%. He calculates Barclays new daily tariff could cost


you as much as ?27. Again, that's for being overdrawn by ?300 for


three days every month. You'll notice that's much higher.


People applying for a mortgage certainly think interest rates are


going to go up. The Mortgage Advice Bureau says 95% of people who


applied for a home loan in February fixed their mortgage at today's


rates. The City watchodg has announced an


investigation...into itself. On Friday, it announced a big inquiry


into the sale of millions of investments and endowments over the


last four decades. It's asking if the financial companies give these


older customers a bad deal and make it too expensive to switch to a


better offer. The news caused a slide in share prices in financial


companies ` hence the inquiry into the inquiry.


The broadband company more people are unhappy with is BT. It was top


of the list of most complained about broadband providers, says the


watchdog OFCOM. And, many new dads don't take


paternity leave because they don't think their bosses would like it.


The Institute of Leadership Management shows one in four new


fathers didn't take any time off after their baby was born. From next


year, mothers and fathers will be able to pool their maternity and


paternity leave allowance. Remember, we talked last week about


how tax efficient ISA accounts are about to change. The separate limits


on how much we can pay into a cash`only, or a cash and shares


accounts, are being scrapped, replaced by one single, bigger


limit. But there's also a change to what type of investment we can put


into an ISA. Within a year, we'll be able to earn interest on some loans


to people or businesses, and not pay tax on it. The loans are known as


Peer`to`Peer lending, they can earn more than a bank account, but


they're not as safe, and you could lose your money. Brian Milligan


reports. Even though they are tax free,


getting a decent return from a cash Isa these days is certainly


something of an uphill struggle. But, by lending out your money in


one of the new peer to peer ices, you could earn a good deal more. So,


where could you money go? One answer is right up there. I invested in a


wind turbine. The wind is blowing, the blades are turning... Andy Smith


invested ?750 to help build a wind turbine near his home. He gets a


cash return of between 7% and 8% a year. With a new peer`to`peer icer


that would be tax`free also. I am helping the environment and a green


and sustainable future, but it is great for the bank balance as well.


To reduce risk, most lenders spread their money wisely. John Davies lent


just ?100 to this film and TV composer. It is one of nearly 500


different businesses he has lent to, and he loves the money he is making.


Since I started investing in October last year, my average annual return


is 6.5%. You know, compared that to anything you might get with a bank,


and it is very favourable. What happens if it goes wrong and your


borrowers can't repay you? In a cash Isa, ?85,000 of your money is


automatically protected. In a peer to peer icer, it would not be. Some


landing platforms do have compensation funds, but in theory,


you could lose some of your money. Your capital is absolutely at risk.


It is a form of investment, but the investments Hull Magistrates


Treasury is going to allow is controlled, and you will only


qualify if you are a more established business with a track


record. The new peer`to`peer tax`free Isas will come in next


year. The idea is one that could reenergise the whole of the savings


market. The first stage of the overhaul of


pensions, announced in the Budget has come into force this week, with


retirees given greater access to their pension pots. The changes so


far mean: Pension savings of up to ?30,000 can be taken as a lump sum


by those aged 60 and over, up from a previous maximum of ?18,000. This is


an interim arrangement before full flexibility over pension savings


takes effect next April. A small pension pot of less than ?10,000 can


be taken as cash by anyone aged 60 or over, regardless of their total


pension wealth. Previously a small pot was judged to be less than


?2,000. Those with a guaranteed pension income of more than ?12,000


a year can draw down an unlimited amount from their pension pot.


Previously income needed to hit more than ?20,000.


Research suggests that thousands of children, some as young as six, are


regularly looking at unsuitable and inappropriate content on the


internet. The online video regulator claims nearly half a million people


under the age of 18 accessed adult material in the month of December.


Research also suggests that many parents are still in the dark about


parental control tools and software they can use on their home computers


and smartphones. Tom joins us now. Parents might be worried about what


their children are looking at. What are your top tips for keeping


children safe? Until your children are old enough or well versed enough


in the base of the Internet, you absolutely have to be accessing it


with them. Educate them, work with them, share the experience of going


online. The best way to think about the online world is a mirror for the


off`line world. All the unpleasant things you will find on the high


street or backstreets, you will find online. You would not let them roam


the high street on their own. And there isn't anything wrong in


interfering with what they are looking at? Or setting passwords? Or


worse, buying things that they shouldn't be paying for because you


as the parent and up with the bill? Too many times in the recent past,


parents have handed over passwords for online services, particularly


for purchasing apps. They have not taken the time to understand what


the possibilities are. It is like handing the child into a credit card


and putting them in the toy shop. Things will go wrong.


The first thing is to stay with him and read the online world like the


off`line world. There are tools to monitor your child and protect them.


The number one rule is to work with them until you can trust them to


make decisions for themselves. Do you have to set the rules for every


individual website and app, or can you set an overall thing that covers


the device, the computer or spark phone `` smartphone? From your


internet provider, you can set rules which block a broad set of websites


that you may want to keep out of their view. It may also block them


from accessing websites you do want them to, for example educational


websites, that get caught up. I would not rely on those. There are


useful tools on smartphones. Sometimes you want to give your


child a smartphone. I do it for entertainment. There are things like


parental guidance modes, where you can lock out certain aspects of the


phone's capabilities while you give it to them for a few moments to play


with it or watch a video, but. Them going on other websites are paying


for stuff while on it. It is a great baby`sitter! What do you do when the


kids work it out better than you know how to use it? You have to


assume that they can anyway. They will find a way round things very


quickly. It comes back to working with them. If they know more than


you, learn from them, get them to tell you about what they are dimming


and show you the games they play, the websites they access, how they


use the social experts. Let them explain it to you. You can spot the


risks as they are doing that. Thank you, Tom. He stares into the future


and does not fail in the face of! This is the best advice to keep


children safe online. Set boundaries, such as time limits, and


teach your kids about the dangers of technology.


Create a user account on the family computer with appropriate controls.


That is all for this week. Keep up to date on the website.


We are also on Twitter. Thanks for watching. See you next week.


Good morning. This is BBC News. The headlines... A nurse appears in


court charged with murdering three patients who were poisoned in a


hospital in greater amount. 48`year`old Victorino Chua is also


accused of grievous bodily harm and attempted poisoning.




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