April 13, 2017

Friday has been cancelled. That was the shocking news that greeted Bankstone News staff as they reported to their newsdesks bright and early this meteorologically unremarkable April lunchtime.

Apparently it’s something to do with an ancient pagan fertility festival involving rabbits, buns and chocolate eggs. But basically – in case you haven’t already heard – this week quite literally has no Friday in it – or at least not the kind of Friday where you have to turn up at work.

Which sounds fine in theory (we’ll be free, for example, with a unaccustomedly clear conscience, to spend the entire day down the Badgers, or reclining in recuperative recumbency upon the scruffy sward of Dilmans Piece), but it also means we have but a few short hours in which to get an issue of Bankstone News done, dusted, and posted somewhere electronically.

Quite, you’re probably thinking, so why don’t you stop baffling on about nothing in particular and get on with this first story! Alright, then. We will.

Without wishing to spoil your extended weekend, Bankstone News feels itself bound to exclusively reveal that car insurance (a commodity already viewed as an unaffordable luxury by many more cost-conscious Brits) is about to get a whole lot costlier.

Steve Feltcher, data head at leading insurance comparison thing confusing.com, reckons average motor premiums could break through the magic £1,000 barrier by sometime next year. What, why, how?, you are probably stammering at this point. Well, it seems that’s just the kind of thing that’s apt to happen as “the industry adapts to additional pressures, such as the drastic Ogden rate cut and the hike in IPT to 12% from June this year.”

If you doubt such a thing could come to pass, then contemplate this. The widely respected Confused Towels What’s On index, freshly unveiled to an expectant world, suggests, with some authority, that ‘UK motorists paid an average of £781 for comprehensive motor cover in the first quarter of 2017 – £110 more than the £671 they paid in the same quarter of 2016’ (assuming, that is, presumably, that they bought or renewed an annual policy during Q1 2017).

All of which underlines the urgent need to HMG to get on with banning whiplash and other PI claims, establish an Ogden rate that’s comfortably in the (positive) double digit zone, abolish IPT and provide some tangible incentives for organisations willing to offer motor insurance to hard pressed UK citizens on a competitively commercial basis.

In the meantime, if you don’t relish the prospect of shelling out more for your motor insurance, you could always try moving to Scotland (apologies, obviously, if you already have) (or if you’ve been there all along) (or whatever). The Confused Towels Index also shows that average premiums dropped by nearly 9% in Galashiels, if you fancy setting up home in sunny Selkirkshire.

The air quality’s splendid up there, there’s extensive forestry provision and plenty to see and do (including the internationally renowned Torwoodlee Broch Festival of the Naked Human Form). Plus: you could spend your weekends reaving.

Just a suggestion.


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