View more on these topics

Dull Budget aims to turn down the heat

Tony Blair’s former deputy director of communications Lance Price believes the dull Budget was part of a wider political strategy to “turn down the heat”.

Speaking at the Lansons Public Affairs Budget breakfast last week, he said that he thinks that Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants to be perceived as boring but competent and, as a result, he has not only put an end to spin but has also put an end to news.

He said: “At the Labour party spring conference, there was no news. When I worked at Downing Street, we would not have dreamt of going into the office in the morning without something for the newspapers.

“We now have a Government which seems to be consciously turning the heat down politically.”

But Price believes that the Budget has strengthened Chancellor Alistair Darling’s position because, in turbulent times, the public is more likely to choose a dull but dependable Chancellor over a “cheeky chappy” such as Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Jeremy Browne said the Budget speech made the Government sound “as though it had been in power for 11 years” and he criticised the lack of genuine green initiatives in the Budget.

He also attacked the Tories for not offering alternatives.

He said: “Every single tax the Conservatives criticise, you know they are going to introduce another identical tax to replace it because they want to spend to the nearest pound the same amount as the Labour party.

“Also, I do not remember the Conservatives saying the Government should be saving during the good years when we were in the good years. I do not remember anyone saying, no we do not want all this money on schools and hospitals we want you to be saving it for when 2008 comes around and the outlook is bleaker.”


Relief road

The proposals to reform and simplify the capital gains tax regime generated an enormous amount of comment. The changes will affect individuals, trustees and personal representatives when disposals are made on or after April 6 this year.

Living proof

Last week, I made reference to the Cofunds platform conference on Investing in Retirement. With the rise in commodity prices and the Budget, I omitted some of the more interesting aspects. I know I am biased, being chairman, but it was not the usual post-retirement patter.

Website shows Sipp valuations

Merchant Investors has set up a website for advisers which includes online valuations and illustrations of its OneSipp and incomewithdrawal products.

Axa launches onshore and offshore bond toolkit

Axa has launched an adviser sales toolkit to help investors who are considering opting for onshore and offshore bonds.The toolkit has been designed in the wake of the Budget to help advisers understand what advice to offer their clients. It examines the new tax treatment of bonds and their IHT planning and trust benefits.Axa Wealth […]

Boosting our annuity strategies

Targeting annuity purchase in lifestyle strategies isn’t anything new but we’ve just lifted the bonnet and injected an enhancement shot into the end-point of these solutions. The recent volatility has shot short-term volatility into equity markets and painted a very turbulent backdrop but we’re also equally faced with a stressed fixed interest environment. This can […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm