James Coney  

Insurance policies prey on the time-poor

James Coney

James Coney

But their call centre staff just do not seem to care.

The point is that the premium increase may only be a few quid a year, but it adds to the few quid a year before and so on.

I do not have the energy for the fight, not after dealing with the home and travel and car and water and gas and electricity and phone and broadband and mobiles and TV and... you get the point.

And this is why some people’s accounts are in such a mess and why so few can find the time to get proper financial advice that will save and make them some real money. 

Cleaning up UK policies

The world always starts turning again in September after the deadly nothingness of August. We have already got talk of a pre-Brexit budget.

It is hard to see what policies our new chancellor will unveil that are going to be helpful for everyone’s finances. He may promise a spending spree, return free TV licences to the over 75s and scrap HS2. 

But what we desperately need is an overhaul and simplification of tax and pension rules. 

I lost hope that will ever happen a long time ago.

The pension system is a diabolical mess, best witnessed by the chaos over the NHS Pension Scheme.

So many policies have been added on top of one another that it makes financial planning a total disaster.

Not only that, but it chronically hampers aspiration, restricting people from building up pension pots to protect their own futures in retirement. 

And then across the income tax system we have daft marginal rates brought about crackpot restrictions on allowances and benefits. 

It is a mess – but no one has the stomach to tidy it up. 

Brexit deflation

As we waited to get on the motorised train to take us to the beach while on holiday in Italy, we spotted a sign: due to safety reasons no large inflatables are allowed on the train. 

So all us Brits diligently deflated our rings and lilos. The train arrives and on we get crammed in by the dozens of Italians and French who have not deflated theirs. 

The driver just shrugged. 

“This is why we have Brexit,” said son number one. Sometimes a 10-year-old manages to sum up what everyone else is thinking. 

James Coney is money editor of The Sunday Times