After what seems like never ending preliminaries, the general election campaign is now in full swing. When it comes to the outcome the only thing certain is that no one really knows what is going to happen. With the impact the smaller parties are having, we are looking at a wide range of different outcomes and effects on the financial services sector.
We have just seen the start of a significant reform of the pension market and I would expect different governments to develop this in markedly different ways. Further tinkering on pensions and tax seems inevitable. Certain outcomes will have a profound impact on our relationship with the European Union and so potentially for the economy and regulation. Others may put the integrity of the UK into question again and it would be a brave person who had confidence in the outcome of a second referendum on Scottish independence. So it is an important election for the UK and important the advisers’ voice is heard.
People need advice more than ever and this has been recognised by the Government and baked into pension reform and changes to paying for long-term care. As such, it is important to raise the issues that drive access to affordable advice: the cost of regulation and liabilities the profession face. We need to ensure it is on the radar of the returning and new MPs. This is where advisers can make a difference in contacting prospective parliamentary candidates now, or the new incumbent MPs after the election. You can find our Manifesto for Advice and draft letter on our website.
Chris Hannant is director general at Apfa