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Raising awareness

I Refer to Nick White’s comments in Money Marketing last week, First, regarding borrowing, the whole point of the article was to raise the awareness level of advisers, not to serve as a technical master class.

It was not my article anyway, being written by a Money Marketing journalist. Within the 200-word constraint imposed on the journalist, I thought that they made an excellent job of getting the main idea across. The 78,000 figure was used for simplicity. The Sunday Telegraph covered the same story the weekend before it appeared in MM. They had 600 words to play with and did indeed mention the recycling issue.

Regarding residential property, it is simply ridiculous to suggest that what I first said in January 2005 had anything to do with the Treasury’s U-turn in December 2005. At least three other commentators (including an independent firm of analysts) made similar, if not identical, estimates. Are they also to blame? Whether my estimate was “inaccurate” or not is debateable.

Moving to SSASs, the Revenue may or may not decide to close this loophole. However, what is important is that we get clarity now rather than in 10 year’s time, when we will have people stuck in SSAS scheme pensions that no longer want to be there without the accompanying tax break.

If the Revenue does not act, then it is clearly content that this sort of tax planning is acceptable. At least everyone who reads MM now knows that this exists rather than that knowledge being limited to a select group of tax planners (although whether they are “cynical” is also debateable).

If I was the Treasury, I would rather have everything out in the open. I would guess that what really winds them up are those people who have taken a close interest in the legislation and are intent on surreptitiously exploiting its sieve-like holes.

John Lawson

Head of pensions policy,

Standard Life

EdinburghMoney Marketing Money MarketingJohn LappinJames PhillippsAndrea TryphonidesPaul McMillanSam ShawJames Salmon, Guy AnkerRavneet AhluwaliaMatt GoodburnPhilip ScottNicola YorkRoger PackerGary WestAlison JolleyAmanda NewmanAnna RuddockDevika CampbellGareth Tudman Julia O’Brien,Elaine O’GradyEmma Hashem,Rory Wilson,Chris Bond,Simon HadleyNita Patel,Amanda Shaw,Denton ZeemanJulia StuartLisa O’RourkeTim Potter,Sam StroudPatrick Ponsford

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