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 March 2019
Grandpa is our answer to the cost of childcare
We used to pay £1,300 a month to hire a nanny to work just two days a week to look after my three children, all aged under nine.
It was an incredible amount to pay when I only work 2.5 days a week. But now my 67-year-old father (pictured) is our nanny, arriving at 7am both days and staying until 2pm.
My husband’s firm are also amazing, allowing him to work flexi-hours, leaving at 1pm on the two days to take over childcare and making up the time elsewhere.
We’ve never been happier. The kids spend time with their grandad, and we only pay him a small monthly amount for expenses.
It’s a struggle facing so many working parents and is a perfect solution to the rising cost of childcare. We can now even add some of our savings to the kids’ Junior Isas and finally feel like we are getting somewhere.
My dad’s amazing!
Ripped off for being a loyal customer
Following my father-in-law’s recent death, my mother-in-law asked my wife and I to assist her with managing her household finances.
It quickly became apparent that on several financial products my in-laws had been paying significantly more than they needed to.
Some of the products were provided by companies which specialise in looking after older people. This has upset my mother-in-law, who believed that such companies would treat them fairly.
We recently renewed her buildings and contents insurance, and were able to obtain comparable cover for about 60% less than the premium quoted by the existing firm.
At the same time, the new company was very helpful. Having obtained the necessary consent from my mother-in-law, it was happy to deal directly with me.
There must be many older people out there who also prefer to keep their financial affairs private and still believe that loyalty pays and that companies specialising in their needs will look after them fairly.
Sadly, this is not the case and one must ask whether such companies are any better than conmen.
Before renewing any financial product, please check with a trusted friend or family member that you are not being overcharged [if you are elderly and need help organising your finances]. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and could save you hundreds of pounds.
Following the news on 5 March that council tax is set to rise to over £1,800 a year in some regions, two readers commented:
My annual council tax bill in Kent for an average semi-detached house is currently £2,520. In April, this will be increased by 4.99% (does this really sound better than 5%?).
Apparently, I have cause to celebrate as the proposal to charge £52 a year for garden waste collection (previously included in the council tax) has been deferred from April to October.
I wonder whether dear old Mrs S down the road will try to sneak her flower clippings in the general waste having been informed the council is mounting video cameras in the bin lorries to catch acts of criminality?
BB/via site comments
Police? I recall seeing one around here a while back. 2016 I think it was...
JY/via site comments
After our news story on 1 March that the government is set to crackdown on ‘No DSS landlords’, one reader commented:
The government created this problem years ago by stopping direct payments to landlords. Now it is accusing landlords of discrimination.
A lot of vulnerable people receive DSS benefits. The Local Government Association warned in 2010 that this exact same problem could occur by expecting claimants to budget and pay the landlord themselves.
Why punish landlords for protecting their financial position that is a result of government stupidity?
MS/via site comments