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A budget about insurance: John Stones at the House of Commons

It was a Budget all about insurance. National Insurance, that is. Chancellor Brown unambiguously ruled out private medical insurance and social insurance to pay for an improved health service, bunging a penny on National Insurance on employees and employers for an extra £8bn for the NHS. This route was &#45 in Brown&#39s unfortunate adjective &#45 &#34equitable&#34 -.
To ensure the billions would be spent properly, there would be yearly NHS audits. Luckily, as the Chancellor was giving his speech, beleaguered auditors Andersens announced it was shedding 30 per cent of its UK work force – a ready pool of labour then.
Go forth and procreate! That had been family friendly sentiment of the budget. To this was added another message to resonate with the more mercenary advisers as consultation on polarisation draws to a close: go forth and flog your businesses!
It was as if the only time the Chancellor does anything for IFAs it is to make selling their businesses easier by changing CGT. As Brown said, the small businesses of today are the big businesses tomorrow.
Then William Hague, oops, Iain Duncan Smith stood up for the unenviable job of responding blind to Brown.
But he had something he had prepared earlier attacking the Chancellor for not supporting savings and pensions, and savaging stakeholder.
IDS gave the clearest proof that he is not regulated by the FSA saying that with the Chancellor, &#34like the markets, past performance was a guide to future performance&#34.
Blair, Blunkett and Brown had been uncomfortably shoe-horned together on the House of Commons&#39 cramped benches, their suits giving off sparks that did not speak of mutual affection. Now the three Bs softened into studious bonhomie. After all it was only yesterday that Blunkett had bitterly referred to the Chancellor as the &#34Money God&#34. It was now for the country to decide.


Growth forecast set between 2 and 2.5 per cent

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown confirmed this year&#39s growth target will be 2 to 2.5 per cent. For 2003 the target will be 3-3.5 per cent and 2.5 to 3.0 per cent in 2004.He also said he believes the underlying state of the public finances remains strong adding that Britain has the lowest debt […]

Tax free and tax favoured savings

ISAs and PEPsNo changes have been proposed to ISAs or PEPs. PARENTS AS INVESTORS Growth Collective InvestmentsWhen considering investments for children it also worth remembering that there are no anti-avoidance provisions with regard to the annual CGT exemption and parents could therefore invest on behalf of their children (through, for example, designated unit trusts and […]

IMA offers savings guide

The IMA is offering a factsheet to promote savings plans for people looking to build up a capital sum.The leaflet, Monthly Savings – A Guide to building up Capital in Investment Funds, sets out the ways in which savings plans can effectively offset the risks of stockmarket volatility. It points out that regular instalments mean […]

Baillie Gifford expands retail range

Baillie Gifford has expanded its range of retail funds by opening up its institutional developed Asia pacific fund to the IFA market.This Oeic has been available to institutional investors since June 2001 and focuses on four countries — Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. It aims for growth by investing in companies listed on […]


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