Holiday price hikes, car insurance and inheritance tax

The pound has been in the doldrums this week, and is trading near a one-month low today. Traders are betting on further monetary easing from the Bank of England. According to The Guardian, sterling has fallen nearly 3 per cent since the Bank unveiled a bigger-than-expected stimulus package last week and dropped to $1.2952 this morning, after hitting a one-month low of $1.2936 yesterday.

Discount Holidays © Holiday costs

Holidaymakers have been warned that the cost of their summer breaks will rise next year because of the recent fall in the pound, the Daily Mail reports. Travel giant Tui, which owns Thomson and First Choice, warned British holidaymakers that because a number of its reservations are made a year in advance and paid for in euros by the operator, this would have an impact on this year.

While the tour operator said 60 per cent of the holidays it sells in the UK are packages paid for in pounds, it secures its hotels and airlines with euros and since the referendum the value of sterling against the euro has fallen 9 per cent.

Motor insurance

New research from the Co-op Insurance has found that 6.8 million drivers wouldn t buy car insurance if it wasn t a legal requirement. One in five of drivers are unsure if they would buy car insurance, with just three fifths saying they would definitely buy it, even if they weren t legally obliged to do so. This may not be a surprise as the research has also revealed that motor insurance is a grudge purchase for over two fifths of UK drivers.

This despite the fact that one in eight drivers claim on their motor insurance every year, according to Co-op claims data, with the average claim costing around 3,000.

Mortgages

The number of mortgages in arrears continued to fall in the second quarter of this year, and is now at its lowest level since records began more than 20 years ago. Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that at the end of June there were 92,500 mortgages in arrears of at least 2.5 per cent of the balance (0.84 per cent of the total), down from 95,900 at the end of March. The number of mortgages in arrears was 13.4 per cent lower than a year ago, when the total stood at 106,800, and is now at its lowest level since the run of figures began in 1994.

Inheritance tax

The Duke of Westminster s death has led to calls from tax campaigners to reform the system of trusts which has allowed Britain s wealthiest families to preserve fortunes through generations by avoiding death duties, according to The Guardian. The 7th Duke of Westminster, 25-year-old Hugh Grosvenor, is now the heir to a legacy worth more than 9 billion. Thanks to a series of trusts, which are thought to date to the death of the 2nd Duke in 1953, Hugh and his three sisters will avoid having to pay the 40 per cent levy ordinary families are faced with when parents die.

For people who are really wealthy, inheritance tax has become an optional choice, said John Christensen, director of the Tax Justice Network. If you are lucky to be born into a very wealthy family you will be untaxed.

For most normal people this is extraordinary and unacceptable.

Repossessions

Nearly 23,000 private renting households in England have been evicted by bailiffs in the last twelve months. This is equivalent to 56,480 people and is 88 per cent higher than the number five years ago. The loss of a private tenancy remains the single biggest cause of homelessness in the country These figures have been released just days after Shelter revealed that one in three working families wouldn t be able to afford their home for more than a month if they lost their job. Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: These figures demonstrate the terrible impact of crippling welfare cuts and a chronic lack of affordable homes on thousands of renters across England.

Renting privately is increasingly the only option available for many families, but high rents, a lack of stability and a wave of welfare cuts mean that every day at Shelter we hear from families desperately struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads.

Finally

UK users of the hugely popular Pok monGo have already purchased an average of 40 worth of credit in attempts to enhance their levels on the game. And more than half of participants admitted they would spend up to 150 on rare Pok mon like Mewtwo, Dragonite and Moltres if given the chance.

Lottoland.co.uk polled a total of 2,049 UK adults aged 18 and over during the study, all of whom admitted to researchers that they were users of Pok monGo.

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References

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