Our Take: Energy Bills To Rise By 54% / Base Rate To Hit 1.5% / Calls To Punish Success

Hello and welcome to Money Unshackled News. The headlines:

  • Energy bills to skyrocket by 54% or £693 in April for a typical bill, taking the total cost to nearly £2,000 a year.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak offers measly £150 rebate and mandatory loan arrangement of £200 in response to rising energy bills.
  • Bank Of England raises interest rates from 0.25% to 0.50% in an effort to tame inflation. Mortgages and loans to become more expensive.
  • Job Seekers will be forced to accept any work after just 1 month or risk having benefits cut, even if it’s outside of their field.
  • As oil prices near $100 a barrel and Shell rakes in the big bucks, some call to levy a tax on oil and gas producers.
  • The work from home tax loophole allowing people to claim up to £125 a year is set to close.
  • And finally, Bank of England governor who earns £575,000-a-year tells ordinary people to not ask for big payrises.

There’s been a lot happening in the last few weeks, so we’ve aggregated all the important money news to bring you the stuff that matters. Now, let’s check it out…

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Energy Bills Are To Rise By A Staggering 54%

The biggest news making the headlines recently is the colossal rise in energy costs from 1 April. Energy bills are to rise by a staggering 54%, which is on top of the large rises back in October 2021. The increase to hit in April will be £693 for an average bill, taking the total cost to £1,971 for a year.

What confuses many people about these price caps is that they’re not an actual cap on your total bill. It is in fact the rates that are capped, so if you use more, you’ll pay more. Unfortunately, and something that is really annoying is that the regulator Ofgem, and the media, prefer to report on the cost of a typical bill, rather than tell us what our actual rates are.

Thankfully Money Saving Expert have produced an average rate table, but even then your region will vary slightly.

We’ve gone a step further and calculated the percentage increases for both the daily standing charges and unit rates. The findings are astonishing, and we cannot believe the mainstream media aren’t reporting this. It turns out the typical 54% increase is based on a set of assumptions that could be way off your situation. If you’re a heavy gas user, you could be in for a nasty shock with the unit rate rising by 81%.

The only consolation regarding the gas price hike is that this is taking effect initially for the summer season, so hopefully much of this damage can be limited for the time being.

However, electricity costs are being massively hiked for both the unit rate and the standing daily charge. In fact, even if you were able to reduce electricity usage – which is unlikely – your daily charge, which you’re charged regardless of usage, is being hiked by 82%.

If you think all this is bad, then make sure you’re sitting down for this next one. We know that the energy price cap will change again in October, and if wholesale prices stay where they are now, Money Saving Expert is saying there will be a further rise of about 20%, putting the total bill up to more than £2,300/year on typical use.

We are extremely concerned. Most households cannot afford these hikes and people are sadly going to die when the colder months hit. In supposedly one of the wealthiest countries in the world, nobody should have to make the choice between eating or heating. So what action is the government going to take?

Government Response To Rising Energy Bills

Back in August 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak was spending our money like there was no tomorrow. He couldn’t give it away quick enough. Back then, if you wanted 50% off kebab, chips and a greasy pizza, no problem – the government was paying.

Fast forward to now and he’d rather you freeze your tits off. The government think we’re all idiots.  They’ve painted black and white stripes on a horse and are calling it a zebra.

They are forcefully giving every household a £200 discount in October, which must be paid back over the next 5 years. Or in other words we’re essentially having a loan forced upon us.

There are so many issues with this scheme it’s unreal. Firstly, it assumes that bills will come down in the future but there is no evidence to suggest this will happen. Any conflict with Russia – just as an example -would send energy prices skyrocketing. If households can’t afford energy now, how will they afford it if prices increase further and they have to pay £40 extra a year for 5 years to clear that debt? Debt to cover living costs is never the answer.

Moreover, you may not even get the £200 discount, but you will still be expected to pay it back via increased energy bills. For example, a 24-year-old living with their parents wouldn’t get £200 now, but when he or she moves out next year and gets their own place, the way the mechanism works is that they will have £40 added to their annual bill regardless of the fact they never received the original discount in the first place. Unbelievable!

It’s not all bad news though: the government are helping 80% of households, who will receive a £150 rebate in their April council tax bill which will not have to be paid back. You’ll need to be in bands A-D to receive this. This is by no means perfect as there will be many cash poor people in higher bands but given the circumstances this is probably one of the fairest ways to target support to those that need it. Local authorities would also receive £150m to make discretionary payments to the neediest.

Truth be told, we broadly think people should only rely on government support in dire circumstances – even worse than what we’re experiencing now – but in the case of rising energy bills we can’t help but feel that this government and past governments are responsible, so need to provide support. Rising wholesale costs will always be a threat if we continue to rely on foreign imports of energy.

If the government hadn’t capitulated to the objections to developing more of our own oil and gas fields off Scotland, and permitting fracking, and rolled out renewable sources much faster, your finances would be in a far better situation. A country with energy independence would never be as vulnerable to energy prices as we are right now.

Interest Rates Raised To 0.5%

The Bank Of England has raised interest rates from 0.25% to 0.50% in an effort to tame inflation. It’s the first back-to-back rise since 2004, and the central bank is forecasting that inflation will increase to 7.25% in April.

Five of the nine members in the committee voted to increase the rate to 0.5% but four of the nine members wanted an even larger increase to 0.75% to get a grip on surging inflationary pressure.

The Financial Times is reporting that markets are now expecting the Bank of England to lift interest rates to at least 1% by May, and 1.5% by November. Thisismoney said the increase will add almost £1,300 a year to the cost of a typical mortgage and City analysts are warning that the rise will be a shock to those who are accustomed to cheap home loans. Rates have been at 0.5% or lower for much of the last 13 years.

About ten million British adults have never experienced base rates above 1%, according to analysis by AJ Bell.

Another action the Bank of England is taking is bringing the curtain down on its £895billion money-printing programme after almost 13 years. As the £875billion of government debt from quantitative easing gets repaid, the Bank will allow the cash to simply disappear. This will reduce the cash supply by £28billion this year and just over £70billion in total by the end of next year.

After the interest rise, Nationwide and Santander have rushed to raise mortgage rates and are the first lenders to do so, reports The Telegraph. We’ve yet to see any banks raise the rates offered on savings accounts but with more base rate hikes expected to follow, we expect banks will adjust savings rates in time – so look forward to making a few more pennies each month on your savings account while your mortgage payments skyrocket.

Job Seekers Will Be Forced To Accept Any Work After Just 1 Month Or Risk Having Benefits Cut

In news that is being heavily criticised by the likes of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, there will be a crackdown on jobseekers who claim Universal Credit. Claimants will be forced to widen their job search outside of their preferred sector of work after four weeks, rather than three months, or face sanctions that will slash their benefits if they are deemed to not be making a reasonable effort to secure a role, or if they turn down a job offer.

At some point you do need to draw the line but are they expecting a trained and specialised computer programmer to apply for jobs shovelling crap into a skip? The whole process is a total waste of time. For one, the programmer is unlikely to get the job in the first place because he is likely to be deemed underqualified for this particular role and obviously not interested, and if he did get the job, he’s equally likely to quit as soon as he lands a more suitable role. Surely, it’s better all round to allow more time to search for jobs?

Shell Rakes In The Big Bucks As Oil Approaches $100

Crude oil prices are back up to levels last seen in 2014. West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude have pushed up towards $90 a barrel. Many experts think the next stop is $100.

As a beneficiary of this rise in oil prices, Shell has received criticism for its success. We should be celebrating these stories of successful UK companies, not reprimanding them. Shell posted a $19.3bn profit for 2021, up from just $4.8bn a year earlier. They also raised their dividend by 4% and are buying back shares worth $8.5bn in the first half of 2022.

The timing of this release was unfortunate. It came on the day that Ofgem hiked the energy cap by 54%, prompting calls by Labour to levy a windfall tax on oil and gas producers. We don’t recall oil companies being offered state handouts when they were struggling back in 2020 when prices collapsed. In 2020 they reported a $21.7 billion loss.

Rishi Sunak said the idea of a windfall tax sounded “superficially appealing,” but it would ultimately deter investment. We’d also like to point out that punishing Shell also punishes British pensioners, whose pensions are tied to the fate of FTSE 100 companies. Let’s hope this is the end to silly ideas about punishing success.

Work From Home Tax Loophole Allowing People To Claim Up To £125 A Year Is Set To Close

The tax loophole on working from home that has cost the exchequer about half a billion pounds over the course of the pandemic is expected to close. It had only cost the Treasury £2million a year before the pandemic. However, the cost of the scheme to the Treasury has increased over 100-fold because of homeworking since the pandemic.

The relief was introduced in 2003 as a way to help home workers with gas, heating, internet and other utility bills, and allowed people to claim up to £125 a year for working at home even if they only spent a single day away from the office in the entire year.

Claims could also be backdated, meaning anyone who has worked from home due to Covid but has not made a claim for the relief could be entitled to a two-year payout of up to £250.

You might think that something as boring as an obscure tax relief might go unnoticed by the British public, but HMRC said 4.9 million successful claims for the tax break had been made since March 2020. But sadly, it looks like its days are numbered.

Bank Of England Governor Who Earns £575,000-A-Year Tells Ordinary People To Not Ask For Big Payrises.

‘Sick joke’: Bank of England governor who earns £575,000-a-year is criticised over pay restraint call, reports Sky News. Foolish and out of touch comments were made by the Bank of England’s Andrew Bailey in an interview with the BBC.

He said workers should not demand big pay rises as the Bank battles surging inflation. If employees ask for big wage increases to match the cost of living, the Bank’s task could be made harder. He doesn’t want his job to be made harder despite his epic half a million-pound salary, but he seems unconcerned about the millions of ordinary people who will struggle to put food on the table. His theory is that employers would then pass on those higher wage costs to consumers in the form of higher prices, creating an inflationary spiral.

We on the other hand would like to say the exact opposite – that it’s your duty to go and obtain a much higher wage. Most people cannot cut back to the extent that surging inflation demands, therefore you have no choice but to go and take what is yours.

Are you worried about rising inflation? What are you doing to keep your head above water? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Written by Andy

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S&P 500 To Crash 50% / “ISA Millionaire” Numbers Revealed / Crypto Ban

Hello and welcome to Money Unshackled News. The headlines:

  • The S&P 500 is in freefall. Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham predicts the S&P 500 will crash almost 50%. Here’s where to invest to protect your wealth.
  • New figures from HMRC reveal that the UK has around 2,000 “ISA millionaires.”
  • Soaring food costs and the energy bill crisis drove inflation to 5.4% in December. The energy industry has called on the government to intervene ahead of huge expected rises to household bills in April.
  • Microsoft is set to acquire Activision Blizzard in a $69 billion mega deal as gaming content land-grab heats up.
  • Russia set to invade Ukraine with 100,000 troops stationed at the border. Dire consequences for the world and investors could follow.
  • And in other Russia news, as the third largest crypto mining country, Russia proposes a ban on crypto trading and mining.

We’ve gathered all the latest money news from the past few weeks that matter most to your finances. Let’s check it out…

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Jeremy Grantham Predicts The S&P 500 Will Crash Almost 50%

The S&P 500 is currently in free fall. Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham predicts the S&P 500 will crash almost 50% after the 4th US ‘superbubble’ in the past century pops. Jeremy Grantham is the co-founder of asset-management firm GMO which had $120 billion of assets under management at its peak, and he has predicted the last three market bubbles.

He said the S&P 500 index may slip to around 2,500 – even with multiple efforts underway to prevent it. This is a drop of 48% from January’s peak, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, might see an even sharper downturn, he added.

Grantham said, “This time last year it looked like we might have a standard bubble with resulting standard pain for the economy. But during the year, the bubble advanced to the category of superbubble, one of only three in modern times in U.S. equities, and the potential pain has increased accordingly.”

He goes on to say that “Even more dangerously for all of us, the equity bubble, which last year was already accompanied by extreme low interest rates and high bond prices, has now been joined by a bubble in housing and an [emerging] bubble in commodities.”

He compared this bubble to Japan in the 1980s, which saw two asset bubbles at the same time – real estate and stocks. The US, in contrast, has three and a half major asset classes bubbling simultaneously for the first time. These are stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities. He said, “When pessimism returns to markets, we face the largest potential markdown of perceived wealth in U.S. history.”

By now he has scared the living daylights from anyone who has their money invested, so what advice does he give to investors? He advises to avoid U.S. equities, invest in value stocks of emerging markets and several cheaper developed countries, most notably Japan. He likes to have some cash for flexibility, as well as a little gold and silver.

And for all the Crypto fanboys, unfortunately for you he takes a dig at digital money. He says cryptocurrencies leave him increasingly feeling like the boy watching the naked emperor passing in procession.

For those that don’t remember that folklore: two swindlers offer to supply magnificent clothes to the emperor that are invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent. Everyone goes along with the pretence, not wanting to appear inept or stupid, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all.

HMRC Reveal That The UK Has Around 2,000 “ISA Millionaires”

New figures from HMRC reveal that the UK has around 2,000 “ISA millionaires”, sitting on pots worth an average £1,412,000 according to the data obtained by InvestingReviews.co.uk.

Included in these incredible numbers are 60 investors who are in the £3 million+ bracket with the average pot among them standing at £6,199,000. And 80 investors had pots valued between £2 million and £3 million.

Becoming an ISA multi-millionaire is more difficult than you might think, due to the historical deposit limits. The predecessor to ISAs was the Personal Equity Plan (or PEP), which was only launched in 1987 with just a £2,400 allowance. With the annual allowance for the PEP being around £6,000 for most years after that and the ISA being around £7,000 for many years, the data released by HMRC indicates a small number of investors have benefited from supercharged returns over the years.

AJ Bell commented that if somebody had saved the full allowance since 1987 and earned 5% returns a year, they would only have built up almost £708,000 in their pot.

Investors starting from scratch now could expect to reach millionaires’ row in around 22 years by making maximum use of their annual ISA allowance, assuming a compounded 7% annual return, InvestingReviews.co.uk said.

Currently, there are around 2.7million Stocks and Shares ISA holders of which 37 per cent are maxing out their allowances, which at £20,000 per year is very impressive.

Inflation Soared To 30-Year High

In mainstream financial news, the biggest problem facing ordinary people is soaring inflation. The BBC report that surging food prices have pushed inflation to a 30-year high. Soaring food costs and the energy bill crisis drove inflation to 5.4% in the 12 months to December, up from 5.1% the month before, in another blow to struggling families.

Food writer and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe said the inflation index measure “grossly underestimates the real cost of inflation” and what it means for people in poverty. She went on to list some examples.

“This time last year, the cheapest pasta in my local supermarket was 29p for 500g. Today it’s 70p. That’s a 141 per cent price increase as it hits the poorest and most vulnerable households,” she said.

“Baked beans: were 22p, now 32p. A 45 per cent price increase year on year.

“Canned spaghetti was 13p, now 35p. A price increase of 169 per cent.”

As for energy, the energy price cap is due to be revised on 1 April and as a result, fuel bills could increase by another 50% in the next few months pushing the average bill to around £2,000 a year. This is a potentially terrifying prospect for many people up and down the UK who simply cannot afford these price increases. The energy industry has called on the government to intervene.

One of the issues is dependence upon oil and gas from other countries. Theconversation.com say that the UK government should be taking a stronger position on developing the Cambo oil field off the Shetland Islands, which is estimated to have 53.5 billion cubic feet of gas undeveloped, not to mention 180 million barrels of oil.

These days companies seem to simply index their prices with inflation, rather than increase them because their underlying costs have gone up, so high inflation is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Mirror reports that millions of phone, TV and broadband customers are facing £42 a year hikes on their bills under a series of price rises from the likes of TalkTalk, BT, Plusnet, Vodafone and EE.

Here at Money Unshackled we try to find a silver lining and inflation is good for at least one thing – the erosion of debt. Both the British public and the government are up to their necks in debt, and if we are able to maintain our earnings in line with inflation (a big ask), paying down the debt should in theory be a lot easier.

The best example we have seen of this is student loan plan 1 debt, which is the student debt held by people who started Uni between 1998 and 2011 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The interest rate on this is calculated as the lower of the Bank of England base rate + 1%, or the rate of inflation.

A few years of high inflation and relatively low interest rates would make that debt disappear, so for some it’s not all bad news.

Takeovers Heat Up

In takeover news, Unilever has had its third offer for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health business rejected. The business includes brands like Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpaste, Panadol painkillers and Nexium antacids. The final bid was £50 billion, and Unilever have said they will not be increasing the offer.

The Financial Times said that Glaxo is likely to try to proceed with a planned demerger of the consumer health business in the middle of this year unless another bidder emerges.

In other mega takeover news, Microsoft is set to acquire Activision Blizzard in a $69 billion mega deal. It’s one of the biggest acquisitions in the tech industry in recent years, one that will boost Microsoft’s standing in the growing gaming industry, making Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue, after Tencent and Sony.

The agreement is pending regulatory review and Activision Blizzard shareholder approval, with the deal set to close in 2023.

Activision Blizzard own game franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, and Overwatch. Activision has hundreds of millions of people playing its games, which could help Microsoft win subscribers to its Game Pass service, says CNBC. Overtime massive game franchises could become exclusive to Microsoft.

This acquisition comes on the back of the ZeniMax purchase in late 2020 in a $7.5 billion deal, which added game franchises including The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Doom to Microsoft’s growing intellectual property. Microsoft are not messing about when it comes to a land-grab of video game content.

Russia Set To Invade Ukraine

In other takeover news, Russia is set to launch a hostile takeover bid for Ukraine. Russia already has a small holding in the eastern European country after acquiring the Crimea in 2014 and is looking to take full ownership. Joking aside this a serious situation we find ourselves in and it could have devastating consequences for both the region and the wider world, including a heavy financial toll.

Mainstream media is reporting that Russia has an estimated 100,000 troops deployed near Ukraine’s borders. US President Biden says his guess is that Russia will move in but has warned that a full-scale invasion would be a disaster for Russia. From what we can tell it would be a disaster for the world, as the West would have to act. To do nothing would set a precedent and likely stoke further aggression from Russia in the future. Let’s not forget that World War 2 started after appeasing Hitler for far too long while he annexed European territory.

The West’s main tools for dealing with Russia, outside of military action, could be to disconnect Russia’s banking system from the international Swift payment system, and/or to prevent the opening of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Germany.

Other sanctions are mostly unknowns for now, but if they are indeed severe, both a military conflict and/or the sanctions could have a serious impact on the world economy, reports barrons.com.

As Russia supplies a lot of gas to Europe, any gas supply sanctions self-imposed by the West or a counter-reaction by Russia would lead to spikes in the price of natural-gas above the punishing increases we’re already experiencing.

Proposed Crypto Ban

In Crypto news, Russia’s central bank proposes a ban on crypto trading and mining within Russian territory. The announcement surprisingly did not appear to knock the price of Bitcoin any further down. Russia is the third largest cryptocurrency mining country after the US and Kazakhstan, and it has developed a thriving mining industry after China last year outlawed the practice. Russia’s share of Bitcoin mining rose to 11% last year from 6.8% in 2020.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Treasury plans a crackdown on ‘misleading’ cryptocurrency ads by making them subject to the same regulations as marketing for other financial products such as shares and insurance.

Bitcoin’s price is down more than 50% from its November high. Is this a buying opportunity? Or could the price fall further? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Written by Andy

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AJ Bell Launches Free Investing App / Tax Hike Scrapped / Brexit Win

Hello and welcome to Money Unshackled News. The headlines:

  • Proposed Capital Gains Tax hike scrapped by Rishi Sunak. The Office of Tax Simplification had previously suggested it should be aligned with income tax rates.
  • Mortgage lender, Accord Mortgages, part of Yorkshire Building Society, will no longer require a minimum income for buy-to-let landlords, opening the door to potential investors. Previously landlords had to earn £25,000 in addition to rental income.
  • AJ Bell to launch free investing app called Dodl, in acknowledgement that commission-free trading is the future.
  • Interactive Investor will be sold for £1.5bn to British fund management giant Abrdn. CEO promises customer pricing will remain the same.
  • You can now get up to £50 cashback in thousands of shops without buying anything. More retailers are expected to join as Cashback Without Purchase scheme is rolled out further.
  • In a move seized by the UK government as a post-Brexit vote of confidence in the City of London, Royal Dutch Shell will move its headquarters and tax residence to the UK and change its name.

We’ve gathered all the latest money news from the past few weeks that matter most to your finances. Let’s check it out…

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Capital Gains Tax Hike Scrapped

Let’s kick-off with a financial rarity – some good tax news. Rishi Sunak has shelved the proposal to hike capital gains tax, pointing to the “burden” it would place on HMRC. Interestingly, the burden it would place on the public wasn’t mentioned as a motive. At the end of 2020, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) proposed to the Chancellor that the Capital Gains Tax rates should be aligned with income tax.

Capital gains tax is charged at 10% for basic rate taxpayers and 20% for higher and additional rate taxpayers, with rates of 18%and 28% on residential property.

In contrast, income tax is charged at a basic rate of 20%, rising to 40% and 45% for higher and additional-rate taxpayers. Therefore, an alignment of these tax rates would be a major blow.

From the moment the tax hike proposal was made we thought it was utter madness. In our view, as a minimum everyone should have the ability to preserve the buying power of their financial assets. But with inflation constantly nibbling away at the real value and then a huge tax payment of up to 45%, we can’t imagine anybody would want to attempt to build wealth and prosperity in the UK as this tax would simply punish success.

Hargreaves Lansdown commented, “There would have been huge unintended consequences of the proposed CGT changes, because people would have been artificially trapped holding assets they didn’t want – because the tax benefits of hanging onto them until they died would have been too good to lose. This would mean, for example, buy-to-let investors refusing to part with properties they don’t really want in an effort to avoid CGT, while first time buyers struggle to get on to the property ladder.”

It was also proposed that the Capital Gains Tax annual allowance was lowered but thankfully this suggestion has also been put on hold.

Perhaps the worrying part of this proposed tax hike being scrapped is the reason given, with wider policy trade-offs and the burden on HMRC being cited. There seems to be no concern for doing the right thing. We fear we haven’t heard the last of this story.

Mortgage Lender, Accord Mortgages, Will No Longer Require A Minimum Income For Buy-To-Let Landlords

In other good news – that’s 2 out 2, so don’t expect many more – Accord Mortgages, the intermediary-only lender of Yorkshire Building Society, will no longer require a minimum income for buy-to-let landlords.

Previously, a landlord would have needed to earn at least £25,000 on top of any rental income to qualify for its buy-to-let mortgages. The move is designed to help more landlords to qualify for its mortgage products.

However, in cases where landlords are using earnings from outside of their property portfolio to top up any shortfall in the rental calculations, Accord will continue to specify a minimum income of £50,000 per year.

Generally, first time buyers might struggle to buy a rental property if they don’t already own their own home. But now, on a case-by-case basis, Accord will also consider lending to first-time buyers who want to become landlords.

According to the Telegraph, Accord has followed NatWest, which eased its rules earlier this year. Around a quarter of lenders now no longer require any minimum income for borrowers to qualify for a buy-to-let mortgage.

The relaxed requirements will particularly help retired freelancers, consultants and business owners, as well as those with smaller pensions, who were previously blocked from getting a loan because they lacked the annual income to qualify.

It also means that somebody who may never have earned good money but has still managed to build up a large amount of equity in their own home, could release some of that equity and start investing in buy-to-let property.

AJ Bell To Launch Free Investing App

We’re on a roll, so let’s keep the good news flowing – AJ Bell appears to have conceded to commission-free investing with the planned launch of a new app called Dodl. The name might be silly, but the fees will be competitive with the existing commission-free apps.

There will be no dealing fees, but there will be an annual fee of 0.15% of the portfolio’s value with a minimum of £1 per month. There will be no additional charges for the use of a tax wrapper, so it will be amongst the cheapest providers for ISAs, LISAs, and SIPPs.

AJ Bell is aiming to launch Dodl during the first half of 2022. The disappointing news, however, is that Dodl will have a very limited investment range. The platform will offer just 50 UK shares and 30 funds at launch, with aims to add US shares later down the line. Frankly, with such a small investment range it’s launch might be a bit of a damp squib.

AJ Bell are clearly struggling to make the shift to commission-free investing in one fell swoop, probably in fear that it will cannibalise their existing business.

Over in the US, all the major players swiftly cut their trading commissions to zero in order to remain competitive. We have long expected the UK market to do the same but equally thought it would take some time.

While we don’t think Dodl will be a game changer at launch, the competition is heating up, which is only good news for us as investors. As we always say, fees matter, so you’ve gotta keep driving them down.

Interactive Investor Will Be Sold For £1.5bn

In other investment platform news, Interactive Investor will be sold for £1.5bn to British fund management giant Abrdn.

Following weeks of speculation of a deal, the board of each firm said Abrdn would purchase 100% of Interactive Investor’s share capital, including those owned by its majority shareholder JC Flowers.

Abrdn said, “that the direct investing market has grown at an annual rate of around 15% and is expected to continue growing at a similar rate in the future driven by accelerating demographic and structural market trends”.

In an email customers received, Interactive Investor stated that pricing will remain the same. “We are committed to our transparent, fixed fee subscription pricing.” We’re glad that the fixed fee pricing model won’t increase but following on from the last news point, we can only see downward pressure on their trading charges. If they don’t eventually take an axe to those commissions, surely they will begin to haemorrhage customers to the platforms that do.

We’re not privy to the finances of Interactive Investor as it was a private company but the increasingly intense competition between platforms forcing them to lower fees cannot make the platforms good investments themselves when they have such sky-high valuations.

For example, Freetrade have just undertaken a fresh round of funding which has valued the company at £650m, which is an eyewatering sum considering the company is projecting a loss of £26m before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation. The new valuation represented a multiple of 13 times projected 2022 revenues, never mind profits.

£50 Cashback In Thousands Of Shops Without Buying Anything

In our last news episode, we reported that in the past 5 years, 660 banks per year were closing in the UK. With closures expected to continue at pace, this would obviously make it more difficult to access cash.

Moreover, thousands of cash points have disappeared during the pandemic with many not being replaced. Around 8,000 ATMs have been switched off in the past 18 months, according to research by consumer group, Which? – equating to a loss of around 13% of all ATMs.

Personally, we’re not too fussed about access to cash because we, like most younger people, have fully embraced the cashless society where we can. In fact, shops and businesses that don’t accept card annoy us way more than the limited access to ATMs does.

But if you still need cash, fear not, because you can now get up to £50 cashback in thousands of shops without buying anything. Earlier this year, the government relaxed rules on shops offering cashback.

Under EU law, a business wanting to provide cash to customers had to register with the Financial Conduct Authority, a lengthy and expensive process. But new post-Brexit deregulation cut that requirement. More than 1,000 retailers are already part of the Cashback Without Purchase scheme, with 1,000 more expected to join by the end of 2021, according to The Sun.

Royal Dutch Shell Will Move Its Headquarters And Tax Residence To The UK And Change Its Name

In another Brexit win – honest we didn’t plan this – Europe’s biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell will move to London and change its name.

Royal Dutch Shell announced a major overhaul of its legal and tax structure that will see the company walk away from the Netherlands. Shell will drop its complex dual share structure and move its headquarters and tax residence to the UK.

Shell said the simplification was designed to strengthen its competitiveness and accelerate both shareholder distributions and the delivery of its strategy to become a net-zero emissions business.

Shell’s decision to quit the Netherlands follows similar exits by Unilever and RELX. According to Sky news, part of the impetus for Unilever’s move – and, it is thought, that of Shell’s – is the 15% withholding tax levied by the Dutch government on dividends paid by Dutch-domiciled companies.

Under the current arrangement, holders of Shell’s ‘A’shares pay the tax, but payments for the ‘B’ shares are routed through Jersey, avoiding the tax. In March this year, however, the Dutch government announced plans to tax dividend payments to low-tax jurisdictions, which would mean the tax would also apply to ‘B’ shares. This may well have concentrated Shell’s mind.

As part of the move, the company will be forced to change its name, since it will no longer qualify for ‘Royal’ designation. Subject to shareholder approval, the Board expects to change the company’s name from Royal Dutch Shell plc to Shell plc.

Do you care that cash machines are disappearing? And what do you make of Shell becoming British? Join the conversation in the comments below.

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Written by Andy



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News Wrap-Up: Pensions Under Attack | Time To Bet On Ethereum | Net-Zero To Cost £1.4 Trillion

Hello and welcome to Money Unshackled News. The headlines:

  • BoE fails to raise interest rates, despite everyone saying they should have. Bank governor denies policymakers ‘bottled it’.
  • Hidden tweak to pension rules in the Budget could see workplace pension fees shoot up.
  • JPMorgan says Ethereum is a better bet than Bitcoin as interest rates rise.
  • UK leads the way in retail footfall recovery among EU peers and Christmas is expected to be the biggest spend ever.
  • Watch out for new ‘pig butchering’ crypto scam which saw somebody lose $60k.
  • As Lloyds Bank shuts 48 more branches, high street banks will disappear from the UK by April 2032 if the current rate of closures continue.
  • Are you sure you want to go green? The real cost of Boris Johnson’s Green Britain plan is expected to be £1.4 trillion.
  • And finally, half of borrowers will still have a mortgage aged 65+.

We’ve gathered all the latest money news from the past few weeks that matter most to your finances. If you find this financial news bulletin useful then hit the like button and let us know down in the comments. Let’s check it out…

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BoE fails to raise interest rates

The Bank of England holds interest rates at an all-time low of 0.1%, despite widespread anticipation it would increase the rate to 0.25%. The Monetary Policy Committee voted by a majority of 7-2 to maintain the Bank rate as it is.

Analysts have said that they expect the rate to be hiked to pre-pandemic levels in the next 18 months as the economy resumes a more steady course.

Governor Andrew Bailey fought back amid suggestions that the Bank wrong-footed investors by signalling an imminent rate rise ahead of the decision and told Sky News: “It was a very close call”.

Lenders Natwest, Lloyds and Barclays – whose profitability tends to be boosted by higher rates – saw their shares fall by 4% or more as a result of the news.

Mr Bailey told Sky News that rate-setters still needed to see “hard evidence” on the state of the jobs market before any hike and that an increase would not directly address supply chain issues that are key causes of the acceleration in price rises.

In related news the UK is facing a cost-of-living squeeze after the Bank of England predicted that inflation will be heading to 5% early next year, its highest level in a decade.

Our take on the matter is that it’s only a matter of time before the decision is made to slowly begin to start raising the interest rate but as stated many times before we cannot see this increasing much due to the financial struggles that both Britons and the government are facing.

Hidden tweak to pension rules in the Budget

The Budget slipped by largely unnoticed in October, as for once it seemed that taxpayers, savers and investors had managed to avoid the usual punishment beatings.

But a little reported tweak to pension rules slipped though the net which may have big consequences for those of you saving for retirement. Workplace pensions currently have a fee cap in place which stops your fund provider from fleecing you for fees. This Budget paves the way for this cap to be removed.

Martin Lewis says: “This can be positive, as it allows a wider choice, but must not be allowed to push up the norm for charges for simple funds.” And if you’ve looked at your workplace pension, the fees on funds can be pretty steep already.

A half solution might be to at least move old workplace pensions to a SIPP where you can pick your own low-cost funds; more information on SIPPs can be found here and includes welcome offers for some providers. But if you want your employer to match your contributions, you’ll likely have to stick with the more expensive workplace pension.

JPMorgan says Ethereum is a better bet than Bitcoin as interest rates rise

JPMorgan says Ethereum is a better bet than Bitcoin as interest rates rise, due to the boom in DeFi and NFTs. Ethereum is at the heart of decentralized finance and the market for non-fungible tokens, two booming areas. Bitcoin is apparently more akin to digital gold, which is likely to fare less well as interest rates and bond yields rise.

JPMorgan analysts, said in a recent report that rising interest rates could pose a problem for Bitcoin, just as they traditionally do for gold. “With Ethereum deriving its value from its applications, ranging from DeFi to gaming to NFTs and stablecoins, it appears less susceptible than Bitcoin to higher real yields.”

The bank’s analysts also said Ethereum may be the better bet over the longer-term due to the growing importance of environmental concerns in investing.

Both cryptocurrencies currently use a validation and security system that uses vast amounts of electricity. Yet Ethereum plans to move away from this system to a far less energy-intensive one by the end of 2022.

However, JPMorgan has said that both cryptocurrencies currently appear overvalued since most institutional investors won’t touch them due to being far too volatile.

Honestly, we have no idea how anyone can attempt to value any crypto at this early stage in their lives. Who would seriously be surprised if Bitcoin or Ethereum tripled in value from here, or collapsed threefold? Much of their value depends on their always being someone else willing to buy the coins.

Could either follow the path of SQUID coin, a cryptocurrency designed around popular Netflix show Squid Game, which rocketed 23 million percent in value to $2,860 a coin… only to plummet to nearly $0, when investors found no-one else was waiting in the wings to buy their coins.

UK leads the way in retail footfall recovery amongst EU peers

Now for something you’ll never see on the telly – some positive news! The number of people shopping on Britain’s high streets in October beat all major economies in the European Union new data has shown, reports Yahoo Finance.

Total UK footfall saw a 3.2 percentage point improvement in October compared with the month before, boosted by the school half-term and Halloween.

However, it’s still down 13.7% compared to this time 2 years ago – i.e., if we compare it to the October before the pandemic.

We may have lost the Euros to Italy back in the summer but we’re smashing their retail figures; Italy’s footfall was down 34.6%. Similar dire figures were seen for Spain, down almost a fifth; Germany slumped 26.2%; and France declined 34.9%.

The Sun reports that Christmas shoppers will spend a record £85bn as eager families are already hitting high streets for presents and food. Brits are expected to splurge over £5 billion more than last year’s £80bn Christmas shopping bill. Money saving website VoucherCodes says the average Brit will spend nearly £1,300 per person for the special day.

Watch out for new ‘pig butchering’ crypto scam

A massive global crypto fraud which began in China has recently spread to the US and Europe. The Sun reports that a guy lost $60,000 in a new crypto scam when a dating site fraudster brainwashed him into investing in a fake scheme. This unfortunate guy is one of thousands who have fallen victim to the scam.

The fraud is known as sha zhu pan – or “pig butchering”- in a sick reference to how the target is said to be “fattened up” ready for slaughter. It sees professional con artists linked to the Chinese mafia spend months building victims’ trust before pushing them to invest in bogus get-rich-quick schemes.

The guy bought some Ethereum via an online broker she recommended. The clever part of the scam is that the victim initially makes a profit and is even able to withdraw the money – but by then they are hooked. Sha zhu pan has been huge in China in recent years but was virtually unknown in the West until this year.

The scam focuses on tech-savvy young professionals with an interest in cryptocurrencies. This could include many of our audience, so stay vigilant. It’s probably similar to the scammers that are always clogging up the comments section below our and other Finance YouTubers’ videos, so be wary of YouTube comments about crypto too!

High Street banks will disappear from the UK by April 2032

Lloyds Bank is to shut 48 branches amid a decline in customer visits. Similar stories to this have been hitting the headlines for years now, so should come as no surprise. But what may surprise you is the rate of closure. Financial analysis firm AskTraders said high street banks will disappear completely from the UK by April 2032 if the current rate of closures continues.

Just 7,655 banks remain on British high streets, with an average of 55 banks closing every month for the past five years – that’s 660 a year.

While the loss of a useful service and jobs is quite sad, honestly when was the last time you actually visited a bank branch? Anecdotally, people we’ve spoke to who say they occasionally use a bank to pay in a cheque had no idea that most good banks allow you to pay in cheques using their mobile app by simply taking a photo.

Of course, closure of banks will hurt some people more than others. Trade union Unite said “These closures will deny access to vital services and cash to thousands of customers who will be disadvantaged as a result.”

But the fact of the matter is that society is increasingly moving towards being cashless and online, so surely banks cannot incur massive costs to please a small percentage of people? Moreover, most people are unaware that basic banking services for your bank are likely accessible via the Post Office, which are usually present in every town in the country.

The real cost of Boris Johnson’s Green Britain plan is expected to be £1.4 trillion

Is going green such a good idea? While most will answer yes and say it’s of vital importance, the cost is set to be astronomical. Downing Street has set out its plan to cut carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, and the inflation adjusted cost of doing this is expected to be £1.4 trillion over the next 30 years, the Office for Budget Responsibility has warned. That’s the equivalent of £1,700 a year for the average household, on top of £3,000 of tax increases per household already announced over the last year.

Phasing out gas boilers over the next decade and investing in home insulation, electric car charging points, and nuclear power plants are all part of Boris Johnson’s vision for ‘Green Britain’. We are yet to be given an exact breakdown of how costs will be spread, but higher taxes and higher consumer prices are expected to contribute to the total sum.

Replacing boilers with low-carbon electric heat pumps is expected to cost £10,000 on average and not everyone will benefit from a voucher scheme which covers half that sum.

The Telegraph reports that less than half the population is willing to pay thousands of pounds to make their homes greener and help meet Boris Johnson’s net zero goals.

Half of borrowers will still have a mortgage aged 65+

And finally in property news, half of borrowers will still have a mortgage when they are aged 65 and over, reports whatmortgage.co.uk. Increasing numbers of people are borrowing with mortgages in their later life leading to concerns the dream of retirement may be under threat for many.

UK Finance said: “There’s been growing demand for mortgages from those aged over 55 and this is set to continue as more people live and work for longer.” For the average person this is a very worrying sign. The ability to work past your sixties should not be taken for granted. Ill health leaving you unable to work and unable to fund your mortgage repayments in retirement is a real threat.

For the investors watching, you may actually prefer to still have an outstanding mortgage in old age because you might be willing to tolerate the risk of borrowing on a cheap mortgage to invest and earn greater returns elsewhere. This is something we ourselves might plan to do if we’re not already loaded at this point!

What’s your opinion on higher consumer prices and higher taxes to fund green policies? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Written by Andy


Featured image credit: Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock.com

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The News: EFFing Crisis | Shrinking Rental Market | Student Loan Repayments To Increase

Hello and welcome to Money Unshackled News. The headlines:

  • EFFing Crisis: Energy bills set to rise by £400, empty shelves at the supermarkets set to ruin Christmas, and no fuel at the pumps.
  • 15% global minimum corporation tax rate to be imposed. Are consumer prices set to rise as a result?
  • US bank JPMorgan Chase launches in Britain offering 5% interest on savings.
  • Average salary per head at Vanguard is revealed as a whopping £195k.
  • Crypto-trading hamster is now beating world’s top investor Warren Buffett and the S&P 500.
  • Deutsche Bank predicts a 5-10% stock market correction before the year end. Are you prepared?
  • Britain’s total rent bill falls by £5bn despite rising rents as more young people stay living with parents.
  • Twitch hack has revealed how much revenue the platform’s biggest streamers make.
  • And finally, Rishi Sunak reportedly plans to slash student loan repayment threshold, costing graduates billions.

We’ve gathered all the latest money news from the past few weeks that matter most to your finances. If you find this financial news bulletin useful then hit the like button and let us know down in the comments. Let’s check it out…

Don’t forget to check out the Money Unshackled Offers page where you’ll find free stocks, hundreds of pounds of free cash in welcome offers, and discounted memberships to stock analysis tools like Stockopedia. Stockopedia will help you pick stocks like a pro, and with our link you’ll get a free 14-day trial followed by a 25% discount.

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‘EFFing crisis’

Brace yourself for the ‘EFFing crisis’ this winter – that’s “E F F”, for energy, fuel and food. Energy bills set to rise by £400 for millions of households in the spring as gas price soar to record highs!

Food and fuel shortages are set to continue for months ahead with prices skyrocketing. There are rumours circulating that Christmas will be cancelled due to an escalating food crisis with many families having to go without Turkey or pigs in blankets this year.

More serious than that though is the surging cost of wholesale gas, which is pushing up gas and electricity prices across the country. According to power-technology.com the wholesale gas price is up by 300% year-on-year.

Consumers have been somewhat protected from an immediate serious price hike due to the energy price cap. The cap was increased on 1 October, meaning about 15 million households face a 12% rise in energy bills. However, the Energy regulator, Ofgem said the cap will go up again in April, the next time it is reviewed. The Independent are reporting that bills will be going up by a further £400!

The energy price cap is another failed model by the UK government. It is designed to control the amount that suppliers can charge customers for each unit of energy, making sure prices are fair and reasonable.

This sounds good in theory but it’s destroying the entire business model of energy companies who are now being forced to sell energy at a cheaper rate to their customers than what they can buy it for themselves in the wholesale market.

Energy companies have been dropping like flies and Omni Energy predicts it will be the 13th UK provider to go bust. The Lancashire post reports that as many as 60 energy companies could collapse before the year is over, reducing the number of suppliers to as few as 10. And then the government will no doubt allow the prices to increase when it’s too late, by raising the cap after these companies have gone bust.

Martin Lewis, consumer champion, has criticised the government calling them short sighted. Allowing the energy sector to be decimated in this way will have long-term effects on the cost of energy, since good competition drives down prices.

Global Minimum Corporation Tax Imposed

Ireland scraps low corporation tax to fall in line with global peers according to City A.M. Ireland is set to hike its competitive corporate tax rate from 12.5% to 15%, as the country signs up to the global tax reform. The G-7 and G-20 nations agreed earlier this summer to join forces to tackle tax avoidance and harmonize rules across the globe.

Almost 140 countries have taken a decisive step towards forcing the world’s biggest companies to pay more tax, with plans for a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to be imposed by 2023.

While many will rejoice, this is bad news for the consumer as price rises will surely follow.

The Republic of Ireland had one of the most attractive rates for corporations in the world at 12.5% and had, until now, refused to join the plan. Its low tax rate had previously drawn in tech giants like Apple and Facebook, who both centre their European operations there. Despite the tax hike in Ireland, it still leaves their tax rate significantly better than in the UK, which is set to rise to 25%.

We here at Money Unshackled have long campaigned for low corporation tax here in the UK, arguing that it attracts the biggest and best companies and encourages entrepreneurship. Ireland has been a shining example of this. As an outsider looking in it would seem that Ireland has been coerced by more powerful countries to conform to their will.

If this was a company working with another company in cahoots to set prices it would be labelled as collusion and would be illegal. Seems like collusion isn’t criminal when it’s between governments.

JPMorgan Chase Launches In Britain

In less depressing news, US bank JPMorgan Chase has just launched in Britain with an online current account. According to CNBC, it marks the first international expansion of JPMorgan’s consumer bank brand in its 222-year history.

It offers customers 1% cashback on most spending for a year, 5% interest on savings made when you round-up purchases, and fee-free debit card use abroad. Although 5% interest sounds epic don’t get too excited about this particular feature. The fact that it only applies to round-ups means you’ll be getting 5% on next to nothing, not your entire savings.

It’s hard to care about current accounts as they are all so similar, but at launch, JPMorgan Chase do seem to be attempting to disrupt the market with some industry leading features. It’s fee-free debit card use abroad will be much appreciated now that travel is opening up again, and it also gives you the ability to split your current account cash into different ‘jars’, which we think is an awesome feature.

These jars have their own separate current account number, and you can use your debit card to spend from the account of your choice by selecting which account to use via the app when you make payments. The idea is to help people with budgeting and saving. We both currently use spreadsheets, and this might be perhaps the first time we can close the spreadsheet for good.

Average Salary at Vanguard Revealed

If you’ve been thinking of a career change recently then you might want to consider applying for a job at Vanguard. According to efinancialcareers, the average pay per head for the 510 employees in Vanguard’s European business is £195k. This was an increase on the £160k average per head that Vanguard paid in the previous year. If anyone from Vanguard is watching, note we are both available… part time only of course.

Crypto Hamster Beats The World’s Top Investor

A crypto-trading HAMSTER is now beating the world’s top investor Warren Buffett and the S&P 500. Since June, the hamster is up by about 20%. The Germany-based anonymous owner of the furry investor describes him as the “world’s first crypto hamster”.

The hamster runs on an “intention wheel” that chooses one of 30 different cryptocurrencies to trade, and the buy or sell decision is determined when the hamster runs through one of two “decision tunnels”. Special thanks to The Sun for this important news.

Stock Market To Fall 5-10%

In stock market news, Deutsche Bank predicts a 5-10% stock market correction before the year end, reports Yahoo Finance. In the lender’s latest survey of more than 550 market professionals, it found that 58% of respondents forecast a change of up to 10%, a cautious sign that the bull run could come to an end.

The survey, which was conducted between 7 and 9 September, found that the biggest risk to the current relative market stability was new variants of COVID-19 that bypass vaccines, with 53% of those surveyed most concerned about this factor. This was followed by concerns over higher-than-expected inflation, weaker-than-expected economic growth, a central bank policy error, and waning vaccine efficacy.

Other causes for concern included geopolitics, fiscal policy being tightened too quickly, a tech bubble bursting and worries about the debt burden. In short, there seems to be a hell of lot to be worried about right now, but as always, we will be continuing to drip feed as much as we can into the market and riding out any temporary declines.

Britain’s Rental Sector Shrinks By £5bn

In property news, Britain’s total rent bill falls by £5bn despite rising rental prices, as millennials jump on the housing ladder… and Gen Z stays at home with Mum and Dad, reports thisismoney.

As everyone is already aware, individual rents have been massively increasing, but in what is some very surprising news, the total rental market across Great Britain fell by 8% to £57.3billion in 2021, down from a peak of £62.4billion in 2018, according to new research by Hamptons International.

This chart shows the total amount of rent paid by each generation by year. Millennials (that’s those born between 1980 and 1996) dominate the rental market right now but is dropping sharply as they start to buy their own homes. However, the problem is that Generation Z (that’s those born between 1997-2012) are not replacing them fast enough causing the rental market to shrink. Generation Z may skip renting altogether and only fly the nest to buy. The rental sector is likely to continue shrinking as a result.

We’re both shocked by this shrinking rental market as we had just assumed that it must be growing due to an increasing population and extreme difficulty of buying. What doesn’t come as a surprise though is that individual rents continue to rise, increasing 7.4% in August compared to the same month in 2020.

Twitch Hack Reveals Earnings Of Streamers

A recent Twitch hack has revealed how much revenue the platform’s biggest streamers make. Twitch, the videogame streaming platform owned by Amazon suffered a data breach, with information leaked online.

Streamers on Twitch typically generate revenue through advertising, sponsorships and tips from viewers upon achieving certain viewership metrics. Twitch also cuts special deals with its most popular streamers for additional income.

It has been revealed that a Twitch channel called Critical Role is the service’s number one earner, raking in $9.6m (£7.1m). Not bad for playing some computer games.

However, don’t quit your day job just yet. According to the Washington Post, many of the listed top streamers make less than minimum wage. While the big names do indeed make millions of dollars, further down the list of Twitch’s top 10,000 highest paid streamers, payouts drop off steeply, to the point that many are not even making a liveable wage off Twitch alone.

10,000 streamers might sound like a big list and something that you could break into but there are around 9 million streamers on Twitch, so your chances of breaking into the very top ranks are slim at best.

Rishi Sunak Plans To Lower Student Loan Repayment Threshold

Students face huge loan repayments as Rishi Sunak is considering plans to slash the salary threshold for when repayments begin, reports the Daily Mail. Repayments would change from the current £27,295 to £23,000. The National Union of Students said it would be ‘totally opposed’ to such a reduction.

The current student loan system is a farce. Most former students who started uni after 2012 will never pay back their loans due to low earnings and the fact that the average student now graduates owing in the region of £45,000. The government estimates that more than half of the loans will never be paid back. As such, student loans should be considered a tax on education rather than a normal loan.

However, a retrospective alteration to the terms of the repayment threshold would save the Treasury as much as £2billion a year and would cost graduates an additional £386 per year. The NUS said to the Financial Times, ‘The injustice is simply astounding.’

We can’t see how such action can even be legal. Millions of students have taken out student loans based on a set of agreed-upon terms. In no other commercial arrangement can the terms be changed at a later date, so why on earth do the government think this is even a possibility?

How do you plan to make your millions? Will you be following the Crypto Hamster, streaming games on Twitch, or getting a job at Vanguard? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Written by Andy


Featured image credit: Dmitry Nikolaev/Shutterstock.com

Also check out the MoneyUnshackled YouTube channel, with new videos released every Wednesday and Saturday:

Boris Delivers Tax Blow | House Prices Going Mental | Brits Are Unprepared For Next Crisis

Welcome to MU News. Today’s financial headlines:

  • Boris Johnson U-turns again by breaking Conservative manifesto pledge not to increase national insurance, income tax or VAT.
  • Average UK house price hits eye-watering eight times average salary.
  • Mortgage price war ramps up as Nationwide offers record breaking sub 1% five-year fixed rate deal.
  • Lloyds Bank plans big move into the UK rental market by becoming the UK’s biggest landlord with 50,000 homes.
  • Contactless card payment limit to increase to £100 from October. Expect it to be a ‘thief’s dream’.
  • James Dyson is telling you to get back to work. Dyson says that working from home makes firms less competitive.
  • The UK’s finance watchdog declares Binance is ‘not capable’ of being supervised.
  • The Royal Mint has recorded a fivefold rise in young adults taking a stake in Gold. Is it time to protect yourself against inflation?
  • Interactive Investor lines up banks for blockbuster London flotation.
  • And finally, the UK faces a £371bn savings shortfall.

In today’s episode we’re trying something new. We’ve gathered all the latest money news from the past few weeks that matter most to your finances. If you find this financial news bulletin useful then hit that like button and let us know down in the comments. Let’s check it out…

Don’t forget to check out the Money Unshackled Offers page where you’ll find free stocks, hundreds of pounds of free cash in welcome offers, and discounted memberships to stock analysis tools like Stockopedia.

Stockopedia will help you pick stocks like a pro, and with this offer link you’ll get a free 14-day trial followed by a 25% discount.

Watch The Video Here > > >

Written by Andy


Featured image credit: andrewvect/Shutterstock.com

Also check out the MoneyUnshackled YouTube channel, with new videos released every Wednesday and Saturday: