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On Your Behalf


Linda McAuley champions the cause of consumers in Northern Ireland, helping them to solve their problems, make the right choices and avoid the pitfalls - contact the show with your consumer and benefits queries: Write to: OYB BBC Ormeau Avenue BELFAST BT2 8HQ


London, United Kingdom




Linda McAuley champions the cause of consumers in Northern Ireland, helping them to solve their problems, make the right choices and avoid the pitfalls - contact the show with your consumer and benefits queries: Write to: OYB BBC Ormeau Avenue BELFAST BT2 8HQ



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On Your Behalf: 18/05/2024

Linda McAuley champions the cause of consumers in Northern Ireland.


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AI, Electric and Fuel Prices

Electric Ireland pulls out of the domestic market in Northern Ireland - What does it mean for Consumers? The march of AI continues - this time the bots are taking over the PR Industry! The Competition and Markets authority tell us why filling up the tank on your car has been getting more expensive over the last few years, why Disability Benefits may be under threat from the government, the listener whose boots weren't made for walking - or anything else - because they never turned up and how safe is your pre-paid funeral plan?


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May Day Travel Special

Linda is joined by Independent Travel Editor Simon Calder and Michelle Kelly from the Consumer Council to discuss consumer rights and top tips for stress free travel. What happens when you're blind and travelling with a guide dog. Andrew McConnell from CAA explains what the law says. Hiring a car - how to avoid the pitfalls and not end up with unwelcome extras. We hear from one young woman who told Disney her fiance had died early on the morning of their special trip and that's why she hadn't given them 72 hours cancellation notice. Disney refused to budge on a refund! As Great Victoria Street railway station closes in just a matter of days what happens to schools and commuters? And the £340 million question - Is the new Grand Centra Station on track to open this autumn?


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Carers, Consumers and Cost of Living

Ninety percent of us are worried about the cost of essentials - food, fuel, shelter and utilities. The consumer council share some tips on how to make your money go further. Carers NI tells us that this week’s Stormont budget could be catastrophic for unpaid Carers. Craig Harrison is in the studio with Linda to explain why. Next week is a Bank Holiday weekend which is always a good time for DIY but if your skills are lacking could Bryson House and its Handyman scheme help out? And lightning strikes twice for one listener's BT line while another isn't yodelling when his hiking boots fail to arrive!


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Rates, Parenting and Policy

This week everything you ever wanted to know about your Rates bill but were afraid to ask. Sharon Magee, Chief Executive at Land & Property Services, explains all. If you are struggling to pay your rates bill there is help available. Matt Cole from Advice NI joins Linda in the studio. Stormont debates scrapping the Two Child limit for benefits but worries about the cost. Andy McClenaghan from the Cliff Edge coalition tells Linda that the money should be seen as an investment to combat child poverty. And Parenting NI is rebranding ....What will Parenting Focus do differently – Muriel Bailey explains the new direction. And finally waiting lists for MOT's that caused breakdown assistance problems for many Radio Ulster listeners but the AA and RAC have now agreed to help stranded drivers here temporarily.


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Careers, Childcare and Cash

There is still no sign of a Childcare strategy for Northern Ireland and we receive less government support for parents than anywhere else in the UK. Linda speaks to Casey McGivern from Melted Parents and Aoife Hamilton from Employers for Childcare about how parents are coping. Do you know how to fill in a CV or job application? Consultant Helen Todd teaches Linda her to beat the robots and get to the interview stage. And Linda talks to Laura Dowie from Timely Careers about the help and support available for those going back to work or changing career. Finally your money may be safe in the Bank but can you get it out when you want? - not according to our listener John who is not at all happy. We discover how new Financial regulations can make it tricky to withdraw cash.


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Property Management Companies, Carers and Passports

Simon Murray from The Law Society gives advice for people living in apartments and town houses that have communal areas like car parks and green areas. These are normally maintained by a management company but what happens if the company goes bust? Listener Tom encountered just such a problem when he came to sell his house. Carers in England, Scotland and Wales are going to be entitled to 5 days unpaid leave from their employers under a new law, but not in Northern Ireland. We hear from carer Natasha about how her job is a lifeline for her to take a break from the pressures of caring for her two children and Craig Harrison from Carers NI calls for the legislation to be introduced here. And, are you going to an EU country on holiday this year? Make sure you check your passport as it is no longer possible to enter the EU if your passport was issued less than 10 years from the date you enter the country. The price of a UK passport is also going up next week on Thursday 11 April. Money Saving Expert’s Peter Lekarski has the details.


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Cars, Greenwashing and Helplines

On the programme this week - Everything you ever wanted to know about cars but were afraid to ask! Consumer guru and car aficianado Jimmy Hughes and Motor Ombudsman Bill Fennell talk to Linda about everything from wear and tear to finance, leasing and breakdowns. Have you had a bad experience with the health service but don’t know what to do? Linda goes to the Helplines NI annual awareness day and speaks to Una McKernon from the Patient Client Council about their role in fixing problems. We also visit the All Ireland Sustainability conference and find out why the Competition and Markets Authority are looking at greenwashing! And while Jimmy is here we also look at the tale of Goldilocks and the 3 mattresses. Would it be the soft, the medium or the firm that was just right!


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Ageism, Taxes and Travel

The workplace has changed forever and employers now have to offer flexible working as part of the job. But are a new generation of workers missing out by working from home? Emily and Martin came to On Your Behalf when Amazon said the One Time Code had been scanned and therefore they'd got their orders. Spoilers - they didn’t, but things changed once we got involved. Easter Travel - The CAA tell us the pitfalls to avoid! The strange case of HMRC's helpline. On Tuesday it was being shut down for 6 months but the next day that decision was reversed. Linda talks to Tax expert Adrian Huston. Is the future of tax online? And Challenging Ageism - a fifth of older people feel they're treated differently because of their age. Eddie Lynch Commissioner for Older People talks to Linda about their latest research.


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Helplines, Mediation and Cost of Living

This week we look at the cost of living. Research from the Consumer Council shows that half of Northern Ireland households have less than £90 per week after their essential spending costs. Was there any help in the budget? is there any help coming from Stormont? Benefits Adviser Rachel Jeffers is in the studio. The cost of mobile phone and broadband contracts are about to rise mid contract but there are ways skip those price hikes and U Switch will tell us how. We're looking at Helplines - many and varied with Clodagh Crowe and Claire O’Prey ahead of the annual Helplines NI gathering. Last week we talked about the rights to property and finances for cohabiting couples when relationships break down. This week we're looking at alternative resolutions with Joan Davis from Family Mediation NI.


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Money Matters

Money talks - money matters - money's tight. Linda talks to solicitor Karen Connolly about the financial realities for women when they divorce or come out of a long term relationship. James Jones and John Webb from Experian the Credit Reference Agency are in Northern Ireland to talk to health workers about their financial concerns. I was with them at Altnagelvin Hospital earlier in the week as they ran a financial clinic. We also look at money and the cost of energy - A quarter of Northern Ireland’s households are left with less than £32 per week after paying for essentials according to the Consumer Council. Raymond Gormley Head of Energy at the Consumer Council tells Linda how to make sure you're getting the best deal on your fuel. And Linda heads to a teachers event designed to inspire financial wellbeing for young people where two P6 teachers planned a "Dragons Den" type challenge between their classes.


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Driving far & wide to get an MOT: but what happens if you need your car taxed?

Listener Hazel tells Linda McAuley about the stress of struggling to get an MOT test slot booked. And chief executive of DVA, Jeremy Logan, explains how his organisation is continuing to increase test capacity, and how a car owner can book a last minute test to get the MOT they'll need if their car tax is up for renewal. A nurse explains why her caring responsibilities at home meant she had to give up up work after 36 years: a recent report suggests she is not alone with one in four women cutting their hours to accommodate caring responsibilities and one in three women giving up work early. People with disabilities face challenges getting into work: Linda hears about support on offer from the NOW Group and chats to three people attending an event to find out about options and opportunities to get help and support into employment. And being safe in your home isn't just about being safe from fire, from electrical faults, and your personal safety. It's also about staying safe on your devices and online activity. You can contact the programme at any time on oyb@bbc.co.uk


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Ageism, Money & Pensions

Do employers write off the over 60s who still want to work?


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Changing transport, Universal Credit, and bank accounts

A show about journeys. Two experts join Linda in the studio to discuss the continuing rollout of Universal Credit. We hear about the new integrated transport hub and how it will change journeys into and across the city of Belfast. What happened when a listener's mother tried to switch her bank account? And London's night czar Amy Lamé explains what contributes to a safe and vibrant nighttime economy.


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Poverty, Pensions & Parking

As the final cost of living payment is sent out this week we bring you a tale of 2 Prime Ministers! Rishi Sunak says pressures are easing for families but Gordon Brown says the government has created obscene levels of destitution not seen in generations! Siobhan Harding from the Women’s Support Network and Rachel Jeffers from Banbridge Advice Centre tell Linda what they are seeing at the grassroots. Divorce is traumatic enough but women often overlook one of the biggest financial assets in a settlement. Linda finds out why not including pensions leads to a big loss in later years. We have lots of listener queries from online grocery problems to mobile phones and credit. And if you are flying off for half term don’t get your car stuck at the airport on your return – Motoring journalist Maria McCarthy has some top tips.


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Childcare Special

Today we're taking an in depth look at childcare in Northern Ireland and why we are losing out compared to the rest of the UK. We hear from childcare providers, parents and experts. And take an overview of the importance of early learning – it’s not just about who's minding the baby! The Public Service Ombudsman is Margaret Kelly and you've probably heard her on Television or radio, or on this programme talking about major issues like nursing homes, but she's also there for the smaller issues. This morning I'm going to find out what she does and who she can help.


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Building Regulations, Broadband and Debt

Oil tanks – the saga continues as new building regulations might mean your tank needs to move. Blue Monday became Brew Monday last week and this week its Budget Monday. Linda talks to Christians Against Poverty about how they can help those in debt. Which? magazine tell us why they think mid-contract rises for broadband are immoral and should be made illegal. And have you got a shock recently when your insurance renewal came through the door. Malcolm Tarling from the Association of British Insurers tells Linda why prices have gone up so much in the last year.


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January Blues, Oil Tanks & Silver Surfers

Christmas is a distant memory and the nights are still dark and cold but is describing the start of next week as Blue Monday helpful? Fiona McClelland from The Samaritans tells Linda why they prefer Brew Monday with a cuppa and chat. It has been cold this week and Raymond Gormley from the Consumer Council is recommending that you check your oil tank. If it ruptures the cost could be astronomical! We also help a listener whose car was written off by his insurance company who then went on to auto renew the policy for the next 2 years. We also find out why Northern Ireland uses more cash than the rest of the UK and why silver surfers are ruling the internet?


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Tackling textiles, Plane Pains & Button Batteries

Tackling textiles, Plane Pains & Button Batteries


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What we've learned in 2023

The useful. The surprising. The vital - we're looking back at what we've learned in 2023