Monthly Archives: February 2012

On capitalism we lefties are clueless – it’s not just a rightwing caricature | Zoe Williams

Emma Harrison and her ilk are free to reap the benefits of our shame at being smart with money and investment Imagine if everything the right said about the left were true. All the personal stuff – where we’re never … Continue reading

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What mortgage options are there when our interest-only fixed-rate deal ends?

Q We are considering downsizing next year when our interest-only fixed-rate mortgage ends. The problem is that we will still need a mortgage and we are both now 62. I still work full time and also have a good pension. … Continue reading

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Will there be stamp duty and house buying changes in the budget?

Q I am buying my first house. I recently had an offer accepted but realise this is not going to go through before the end of March to avoid paying stamp duty, so I have built a contingency for a … Continue reading

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Retire to the country? Don’t fall for the myths, city folk warned

Author Mavis Cheek, who can’t wait to get back to London, says country life ‘is tough, a little bit dangerous and not for wimps’ Exchanging the harsh reality of urban life for the romance of rural living is a dream … Continue reading

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House prices rise may signal start of market upswing

First-time buyers keen to beat end of stamp duty holiday and easier access to mortgages are helping to boost the market Estate agents and property analysts say the latest Land Registry house price figures could be a sign that the … Continue reading

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Money-saving tips from America … road tested by penny-pinching Brits

US websites suggest plenty of ways to spend a few dollars less – but do they work for British penny-pinchers? Americans are far ahead of us Brits when it comes to financial matters – or so they like to think. … Continue reading

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Pawnbrokers’ efforts to shed Dickensian image suffer setback as OFT moves in

Office of Fair Trading to investigate alternative lending industry amid concerns over high interest rates “It is a low, dirty-looking, dusty shop, the door of which stands always doubtfully, a little way open: half inviting, half repelling the hesitating visitor.” … Continue reading

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Energy giants ‘overcharge families’ as bills keep rising

‘Sticky’ customers who don’t shop around are subsidising the cheapest tariff prices Millions of families are paying up to £330 a year more for their gas and electricity than neighbours who consume the same amount, because of anti-competitive practices by … Continue reading

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Downton Abbey and the politics of work | Joe Moran

Today’s arguments about job snobs are strangely reminiscent of what used to be called the servant problem Ronald Fraser, who died earlier this month, was an oral historian who, in his haunting book, In Search of a Past, focused his … Continue reading

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Going bussed: economy and tuition fees drive the young away from the car

Sales of coach and train discount cards surge as driving becomes a minority pursuit among cash-strapped students A generation of students facing higher tuition fees and lower job prospects appears to be embracing the mixed joys of budget travel in … Continue reading

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