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Amanda Davidson – Partner IFA Holden Meehan

For IFAs traditionally dealing with the upper end of the market there was little to get excited about in this year’s Budget. Even with over inflationary increases to capital gains tax (up to £7,500), inheritance tax allowances (to £242k) and the earnings cap (to £95,400) looking generous, a longer memory reminds us that these allowances were pretty measly in previous years.

Lots of good noises about environmentally friendly proposals. A mention of the Kyoto summit gave more than just a nod to Tony Blair’s very recent environment speech. Tax incentives for community investment emerging as a separate Budget document, reduced vehicle tax for smaller (and by definition less harmful) cars coupled with reduced duties on "cleaner" petrol, point the way to the Government’s thinking. Big picture stuff of £100million to promote environmental technology and 150% accelerated tax credit for cleaning up contaminated land mean the Government intends to put its money where its mouth is. With ethical investment funds already performing well this should give them an extra fillip.

But what a disappointment for those of us who were waiting for annuity rate age to increase from 75 or better still to be abolished. This has to be an increasingly important issue as people live longer and demand greater investment flexibility. The 75 age is too paternalistic for today’s pensioner.

Sticking with pensioners, why Gordon Brown thinks that 70 per cent of pensioners not paying tax is a positive is beyond me. It has to mean their income is very low. With the savings ratio expected to fall 4.75 per cent, the Government will have to think of better incentives for retirement savings.

Less red tape for small businesses should be welcomed by small IFA firms in particular.

Whatever your thoughts on the Budget, it will cost the same to drown your sorrows as yesterday, so there is some good news!


Isa limit extended to 2006

Chancellor Gordon Brown has extended the £7,000 limit on Isa investments to 2006, as announced in November&#39s pre-Budget report. The £3,000 maximum limit for cash will also be retained. Brown said savers will have gained a total of £700m in tax relief from Isas.

VAT turnover threshold up to £54k

IFAs are set to benefit from changes to VAT and corporate tax. Firms with a turnover of up to £54,000 will be exempt from VAT while the Chancellor&#39s decision to make annual company accounts the basis for calculating tax will help cut costs. Armstrong Neal partner Gareth Fatchett says: “Most IFAs are currently commission-based and […]

Treasury rethink on journalist rules

The Treasury is reviewing its plans laid out last week to force financial journalists to disclose share interests in firms which they write about in articles. It said there would be a debate on proposals in Article 20 of the Financial Promotions Order obliging journalists to put in print any financial interests held in a […]

Close fund management goes for the feelgood factor

Close Fund Management is striking while the iron is hot by introducing the first fund to track the forthcoming FTSE4Good UK index.The fund is an open ended investment company (Oeic) that will track the index, and is aimed at investors who want to place their money in a socially responsible area of the market. The […]

Is this the endgame for the current mergers & acquisitions boom?

Last year, worldwide mergers and acquisitions (M&A) rose to an unprecedented $4.7tn, according to Thomson Reuters, a 41 per cent increase over 2014. Anthony Forcione, senior equity analyst at Loomis Sayles, an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management, looks at what’s been driving this particular wave of mergers. Click here to view full article: Loomis-Sayles


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