The irony of running a giftcard competition: Moneywise readers' best comments and letters from October 2018

20 November 2018

Each month we publish the best comments, emails and letters from our readers the star of which will win a £50 M&S giftcard. Here are the best of October 2018

Ironic take on M&S giftcard prize

I just wanted to feed back that the irony amused me in October’s leading Fights For Your Rights article stating that giftcards should never be used – then on the next page in the Ask the Experts section is a prize of a £50 M&S giftcard for the best star question.

PH/via email

Moneywise says: We quite agree there was a certain irony running a story highlighting the dangers of buying giftcards. However, we would only ever offer giftcards from companies not in danger of going bust (M&S is still in the FTSE 100 last time we checked). Mr Hill has been rewarded for his eagle-eyed spot… with a £50 giftcard for M&S!

Law Commission proposes a fairer deal for leaseholders

Here in the Midlands, leasehold has always been more common than in the South where I was brought up. It seems to me that those in leasehold properties should have the right to make improvements. Current planning rules and building regulations should be good enough to safeguard the landlord without the need for them to interfere. A proper price calculation (which we don’t have at present) is vital to safeguard both parties.

JL/via online comments

Scottish break winner

I thought I should drop you a line to let you know that my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful few days in Scotland, courtesy of the Moneywise competition we won last year.

We finally made it up to Scotland last week and were extremely well looked after. The Taynuilt Guest House was very comfortable and welcoming and meals in the Etive restaurant were absolutely superb. It was well worth the long drive north.

Thank you for running the competition and I’m grateful you pulled my name out of the hat! Thanks to David Lapsley and his team for their kind hospitality.

DM/VIA LETTER (pictured above)

Labour plans council tax hike on holiday homes

This policy will force up holiday rental prices rather than free up affordable homes. Any homes that are freed up would not be affordable to those families needing housing. For the most part, these holiday homes are not in areas where employment is available so tenants would need to be on benefits.

LT/via online comments

Councils already have the power to increase council tax on holiday homes, so this proposal is already in place.

We have a holiday home that is used full-time for holiday lets and this year our council tax was increased by 25% over the local rate.

We spend several thousand pounds a year employing local people and our visitors are likely to spend hundreds each week locally, so we feel it is an unfair tax when we do not get anything extra for it.

As this is part of our pension, to maintain income our prices would have to be increased.

WB/via online comments

I honestly haven’t got a problem with that proposal.

DL/via online comments

10 years since Lehman Brothers collapsed, can we trust banks again?

As an 82-year-old retiree, I and all the members of good old Blighty are still paying for the bank collapse and will be for at least the next 20 years.

I think the banks should be paying for this and those which cannot should go under. It is time the government brought in controls to make the banks act in favour of their customers.

PN/via online comments

Best investment funds to boost children’s savings

It’s all very well suggesting these particular funds (Moneywise, September issue), but financial planning is a marathon not a sprint. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of ongoing financial advice and reviews.

Investing money is like tending a garden: you have to revisit and keep it trimmed. You can’t just put your money in the best-buy fund and hope for the best for potentially 18 years. The fund you are suggesting may be fine today but may be gone tomorrow.

I do get a little frustrated with recommendations such as this as if you were buying potatoes.

PF/via online comments

Moneywise says: We think PF is absolutely right: investing in any kind of fund requires careful preparation and attention over time. That is why we update our First 50 Funds for beginner investors every year to reflect top-performing investments that people can use to help grow their savings.



Write to us (including your name, address and telephone number) at: Letters, Moneywise Publishing, 8 Devonshire Square, Office O3W112, London EC2M 4PL. Or email us at

Alternatively, you can air your views at using the comment facility at the bottom of articles.

For all the latest news and updates from the Moneywise team, follow us on Twitter: @moneywiseonline

Find us on Facebook at