The Treasury may have been flying plenty of tax policy kites over the summer but any early-stage plan to cap Isa pots deserves to have its string cut off straight away.
The Sunday Telegraph reports the Treasury has been discussing plans to cap the amount an individual can hold in an Isa. The Treasury denies it is looking seriously at such a move but admits to have been in “listening mode” over the summer.
Given low savings rates, the Government should be exploring more ways to encourage an aspirational savings culture, not mulling a new tax on investment performance.
Any such cap could hit the investments of people who have been diligently saving on a regular basis over the years and do not deserve to become the target of politicians looking to engage in cheap symbolic gestures ahead of the general election.
A cap would have a retrospective impact on the pots of people who assumed the incentive structure they were promised at the time would be honoured.
It would also send a terrible message to a nation already lacking confidence in long-term savings due to a generation of politicians obsessed with tax rule meddling in order to claw back a little more revenue at a time.
Time for Ukip to fight UK’s corner?
With around three-quarters of financial services regulations emanating from the European Union and the UK’s unique intermediary landscape, advisers need a strong voice at the table.
Research in this week’s issue reveals Ukip MEPs turned up for only 65 per cent of parliamentary votes between 2009 and 2013, compared to an average of 80 per cent for all UK MEPs.
Ukip says it will participate in close votes but as its main purpose is to push for an EU exit it has no intention in engaging with policy matters.
The party refuses to attend trialogue meetings between the parliament, European Commission and council of ministers, where important policy details are decided.
With some predicting Ukip could win next year’s European elections the UK’s representation on important financial services is likely to weaken further.
While pushing for a European Union exit, Ukip may wish to reconsider the stonewalling tactics it is employing until, if ever, its dreams are realised.