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Drawing a careful economic picture

There is, as yet, no Mrs Brown to pose with the bachelor Chancellor on the steps of No 11 for the pre-Budget photocall &#45 but prudence was much in evidence.

Dealt one of the best economic hands of any Chancellor in living memory, Mr Brown was determined not to give the slightest hint of enjoying the experience.

Instead, we had a rollcall of &#34discipline&#34, &#34work ethic&#34, &#34civic society&#34 and (repeatedly) &#34hard-working families&#34.

Mr Brown was not only setting out his tax plans but also drawing a careful economic picture, making it clear that he is not about to blow his Iron Chancellor stance in a second term.

The proposal to raise the Isa limit at least for next year was top news. Let&#39s hope that it becomes a permanent feature of the Isa landscape.

But I was disappointed there were no proposals to abolish stamp duty on share dealing.

One of Mr Brown&#39s most cautious but most interesting passages came in the context of his announcement of a possible &#34pensioner credit&#34 &#45 the possibility of an integrated approach to pensioners&#39 total income, taking account of, but by implication not penalising too heavily, &#34modest savings&#34.

It would be very good news if this review was to extend more widely. There are important issues for pensioners, notably in the area of the timing of the purchase of annuities, where we need to liberalise the present rules.


Pensioners facing less annuity cash as £17bn surplus hits gilt issues

The announcement of a £17bn surplus in the Budget has raised fears of a further fall in the value of annuities, plunging more pensioners into a funding crisis over retirement income.Industry experts believe the surplus means that the Government will not need to make any further public borrowing, which will have a knock-on effect on […]

Pension holders told to seize the moment

With the new tax year and lower tax relief on pensions only days away, now is the time for personal pension holders to up their contribution.A lump sum paid into a personal pension by April 5 attracts 23 per cent tax relief for a basic rate tax payer. But on April 6, this falls to […]

ISA boost may herald simplification

The ability to invest £7,000 into an ISA for 2000/2001 rather than the anticipated £5,000 will give savers a boost.There may be even better news in prospect as a review of the operation of ISAs will start in 2000 and will look at the problems encountered during their first year. Hopefully this will lead to […]

Group Relief Rules

The group relief rules for companies will be modernised to allow groups and consortia to be established through companies resident anywhere in the world. The changes are intended to respond to the increasing globalisation of business and will give multinational groups of companies greater flexibility in structuring their commercial activities in the UK. The changes […]

Trusts and Taxations

Take a look at the trusts and trustee taxation video – The definition and classification of trusts. Once you’ve viewed the boxset, visit our Test Centre to test your learning and get your CPD certificate. View here


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