View more on these topics

Savings gap is the result of economic success

Tony Byrne’s recent Independent View column is his usual mixture – highly entertaining with spin and misconceptions (Money Marketing, January 6).

Whether or not you feel that insurance company funds should enjoy negative taxation, as has happened in recent years (speaking as a taxpayer, I do not), this Government has not “taken tax-raising to a new unacceptable high”.

Taxes here are still considerably lower than in almost all European countries and still lower as a proportion of GDP than under the Thatcher Government, admittedly due mainly to the latter’s chronic inability to manage the economy.

The reason that we have a relatively high proportion of “stealth taxes” (that is Tony Byrne’s spin for indirect taxation) is that, more often than not during the last century, we had a Tory Government and indirect taxation has a lesser impact on that party’s relatively wealthy supporters.

The Tories’ cheerleaders in the press – the Daily Mail chief among them – have over the years managed to create a climate of hysteria such that any Government has found it impossible to increase the much fairer income tax.

Oh, and the Government has not created the savings deficit “purely from its taxation policy alone”. In fact, the deficit has arisen almost entirely as a result of the massive increase in disposable income that has been enjoyed since Labour came to power while the amount that people save has remained fairly static.

Whether the taxes raised have been used wisely is a matter of opinion but if Tony Byrne took the trouble to descend from his ivory tower once in a while and visit the real world of schools, hospitals and police stations, he might see the very real improvements that have taken place.

I cannot help thinking that what we need is not so much “more unemployed politicians” as fewer under-employed advisers with too much time on their hands and a political axe to grind.

Jim PattenIFA,Liverpool


Professional indemnity edge: Alan Harris

In November 2002, my PI insurance renewal application was declined by the Markel syndicate at Lloyd’s because, in their view, the premium and excess they would require would be uneconomical for the size of my firm.

Standard board failed pension test

Standard Life claims that its need to demutualise is the result of its management having responded too slowly to the demands of new solvency regulations. That may be part of the reason but I do not believe it to be the most significant part. The main reason is that it has tried and failed disastrously […]

Downing tops up

Downing Corporate Finance is raising up to 1.104m for a top-up share issue of the Aim distribution trust. This is a venture capital trust which focuses on companies listed on the Alternative investment market.


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