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Giving credit to the less well-off

My predictions for this year&#39s Budget are as follows:

Any major changes will be made primarily with an eye to the forthcoming general election.

Any income tax changes will continue to be targeted mainly at the needy and low-income groups.

Still on income tax, there will be a continuing shift to tax credits.

There may be an announcement in the Budget of a comprehensive review of the whole issue of funding for retirement, including but not restricted to the annuity issue.

There could be some further movement on executive share option schemes by raising the current £30,000 limit by a substantial amount.

Some fundamental changes to the taxation of intellectual property could be forthcoming. There has been consultation on this issue since 1998.

Few, if any, fundamental changes will be made to inheritance tax this year but do not rule them out for the future.

Despite the many capital gains tax changes we have seen in the recent past, there could be some more aimed at further encouraging the enterprise culture.

Surprise tax changes will be announced that grab the headlines and are appealing in light of the forthcoming general election but which nobody has predicted.

The following predictions are cheating really as they are from the pre-Budget report so must go down as “favourites”.

-The £7,000 Isa limit extended for a further five years.

– Extension of cash Isas to 16and 17-year-olds.

– Alignment of Peps with Isas.

– Some taper relief relaxations for employee shareholders and the enterprise management incentive.

– The personal allowance to increase from £4,385 to £4,535.

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