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At last, some good news for IFAs from the Chancellor

It was a Budget about insurance. National Insurance, that is. Chancellor Gordon Brown unambiguously ruled out private medical insurance and social insurance to pay for an improved health service, bunging a penny on National Insurance to provide an extra £8bn for the NHS.

To ensure the billions will be spent properly, there will be yearly NHS audits. Luckily, as Brown was giving his speech, beleaguered auditor Andersen announced it is shedding 30 per cent of its UK workforce – a ready pool of labour, then.

Go forth and procreate was the 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 seems the only thing the Chancellor has done for IFAs it is to make it easier to sell their businesses by changing capital gains tax.

Then William Hague, oops, Iain Duncan Smith stood up for the unenviable job of responding blind to Brown.

IDS gave the clearest proof that he is not regulated by the FSA, saying that, with the Chancellor, “like the markets, past performance is a guide to future performance”.

Blair, Blunkett and Brown were uncomfortably shoehorned together on the Commons&#39 cramped benches, their suits giving off sparks that did not speak of mutual affection. Now, the three Bs softened into studious bonhomie. It was only the previous day that Blunkett referred bitterly to the Chancellor as the “money god”. It is now for the country to decide.

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