Rather than contribute to charities and support their huge overheads I make occasional gifts to a poor family in the Philippines.

I process a payment on line and they are able to collect the cash just a few minutes later.

On February 1, my bank inadvertently sent a council tax instalment and after several phone calls I eventually spoke to a finance officer who said if I had my bank details he could organise a refund on Wednesday, February 10, which should reach my bank 'within seven days'.

So I can send money 7000 miles around the world in a few minutes but it takes the Isle of Wight Council over a week to make a local refund. Crazy!

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