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O come, all ye party faithful

This is set to be an unusual Budget in that few commentators expect a fully fledged Finance Bill to have time to wend its way through Parliament before a general election. It is in the details of the bill that the really interesting items for advisers can often be found.

Will there be sweeteners for savers? I doubt it, because a key objective of this Budget will be to combat voter apathy and get the faithful into the polling booths – and the faithful are unlikely to be over-impressed with concessions for savers.

A good popular move would be to do something with annuities. There is plenty of evidence that the annuity trap is causing problems for many pensioners and it could be a real killer in the future for those with only modest stakeholder pots.

Dr Oonagh McDonald and her working party have shown one way round this obstacle. But I expect promises of action rather than action itself.

The Treasury may want to use the Budget to show pro-industry credentials by abolishing stamp duty on purchases of securities but I am not holding my breath.

Technical changes to help individual pension accounts are likely to be high on the legislative agenda.

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