As I predicted in my Budget preview, the Chancellor has consolidated his strong record. So, no bribery and no giveaways.
I consider the lack of an announcement to raise the compulsory annuity purchase age to 80 or higher to be disappointing. We have clients using income drawdown who are knocking on the door of age 75 and who desperately want more flexibility.
The widening of the 10 per cent income tax band is welcome but we must bear in mind that the actual impact on the amount of income tax paid is fairly insignificant.
There was nothing new in respect of Peps and Isas. Ironically, the UK stockmarket looks favoured this year. This is at a time when IFAs are gearing up to use the relaxation of Pep rules to give clients greater diversification. My hope is that IFAs do not lose the impetus for diversification.
I was also disappointed not to see the raising of the maximum property values for housing investment trusts, particularly as we are seeing the launch of the first housing investment trust from Williams De Broe.
The increase in the childcare tax credit to a maximum of £200 a week will, I think, lead to many more registered childminders. These childminders will, in my view, provide more potential stakeholder clients.
The new R&D tax credit could prove a boost to UK healthcare companies and, therefore, those funds investing in them. Healthcare funds are receiving a lot of Isa money.
On a personal note, I am disappointed that paid paternity leave does not come in this year – I will be a father in September.