DEAR SIR

A Christmas Present for the UK Government although the Daily B and I got no letter of thanks for solving the student grant furore by a revised/intensified academic year from 3 10 week terms to 4 10 week terms reducing a 4 year course to 3 and costs by 25% or relocating our unneeded and unwanted troops in Germany back to the UK saving even more money.

This time it is another double solution (win-win in politicians speak) for our airports and air force. The world's busiest airport Heathrow (and others) has frozen runways and we have scores of redundant Harrier Jets doing nothing. Send them to Heathrow and have them hover over the tarmac with their jet engines pointed down. Goodbye ice, hello travellers, well done RAF.

Now a Christmas Present for Daily B readers.
As Michael Caine might say “not a lot of people know this” but exchange rates for Euros from Sterling are worse in the UK than in Spain. This means you get fewer Euros for your Pound in London than in Palma. With many of us having income in Britain (pension, dividends etc) but expenditure in the Baleares (utilities, food etc) we regularly have to move money from the UK to here. Like author and Daily B columnist Anna Nicholas I am a fan of our local Banca March. I have an account with them in London and two here, one in Sterling and one in Euros. I transfer my UK sterling pound for pound (i.e. cost free) into my village branch here and then convert it to euros when I need them or when I think the pound is strong. I get a rate at least 1% better than in the UK and no transfer charges. Over a year it soon mounts up.

If you have a bank in the British Iles with a branch here you may be able to do the same. Next time you make a transfer check out the “transaction” exchange rate for that day published in the Daily B. If every UK pound doesn't get that quantity of euros consider shopping around.

Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma

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