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F&C calls for PBR investment shake-up

The Chancellor should open access to Child Trust Funds to everyone under 18, increase the Isa allowance and reverse the change to the gross assets test for VCTs, says F&C.
F&C is calling on Gordon Brown to use the upcoming pre-Budget report to extend CTFs to all children under 18, rather than just new born babies. It says if family members are willing to self fund a CTF they should be able to.
It also wants to see an increase in the annual £7,000 Isa allowance, something Treasury minister Ed Balls hinted was a possibility at a recent Pima conference.
The asset management firm also wants to see last Budget’s decision to change the gross assets test so VCT launches can only invest in companies with maximum assets of £7m before investment, where the previous limit was £15m.
F&C director, head of communications Jason Hollands says: “Slashing the size of companies eligible for VCT investment has reduced the universe of potential opportunities. Many advisers and investors have concluded that the risks of VCTs have been increased at the very time the tax attractions have reduced and are therefore less inclined to invest in these schemes. Reverting to the original VCT gross assets test would be a very welcome move by the Chancellor, providing an important boost to smaller company financing,”

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