View more on these topics

Proof is in the pudding

Winston Churchill once rejected a pudding on the grounds that it had no theme. I know it&#39s a clich&#233 but I have been listening to the Chancellor and the leader of the Opposition and it is infectious.

I am not quite clear whether this Budget has an overall theme. Lots of bits and pieces, many of them positive and some neutral, squillions of figures, double-digit prudence and some sentences of quite impenetrable construction.

The whole Budget process is looking increasingly overblown, especially when so many announcements look ahead to further announcements or consultations.

Many elements of the speech could have been the subject of individual announcements where the specifics of the policy would have been better explained and contextualised. Ritual is fine but it can get in the way of good explanation and debate.

Some of the policy can be welcomed. It is about time that the elderly with modest savings did not find themselves penalised for their prudence (that word is catching) by the benefits&#39 structure. A continuation of the £7,000 Isa ceiling gives the impression of a Chancellor keen on saving, if only for a year. Nothing on securities&#39 stamp duty, whose abolition I successfully lobbied for in 1990 but which never came about because it was conditional on the success of the Taurus project, the stockmarkets&#39 settlement project which never worked.

Personally, I welcome the boost for charitable giving. Professionally, I doubt if IFAs will either make their fortune or go bust as a consequence of this Budget. Perhaps that is the best outcome.

I am as suspicious of boom and bust as the Chancellor. As a Parliament watcher, I recommend looking at the body language on the respective front benches. Beats listening to the speeches.


Extra Discount for Employers Paying Tax Credits

An extra £50 discount for small employers paying Working Families&#39 Tax Credit and Disabled Person&#39s Tax Credit to their employees has been announced in the Budget. Small employers with tax credit cases in 2000/2001 who file their PAYE end of year returns over the Internet and pay any tax due electronically will receive the discount. […]

Capital Gains Tax

The Chancellor&#39s pre-Budget report flagged the likely improvements to taper relief for business assets and changes to this relief have indeed been proposed (see below). ANNUAL EXEMPTION This is increased from £7,100 in 1999/2000 to £7,200 in 2000/2001 for individuals and personal representatives, and (in most cases) from £3,550 to £3,600 for trustees.RATES OF TAXIt […]

More than a million face self-assesment fines

Over a million people face a £100 penalty for having missed the January deadline for Self Assessment forms says the Inland Revenue.More than three million have missed the deadline since the system was introduced in 1997.There are still 350,000 returns still outstanding from January1998 and the Inland Revenue has sent out at least 20,000 penalty […]

B&B probes consumer opinion

Bradford and Bingley has commissioned a poll of its customers to find out their views on its conversion plans.The poll comes at a time when predicted windfalls have fallen from £1,000 to £600 and has sparked claims that the poll was designed to whip up members support for conversion ahead of the vote on its […]


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