View more on these topics

Setting the environment scene

For IFAs tra- ditionally dealing with the upper end of the market, there was little to get excited about in this year&#39s Budget.

Even with over-inflation increases to capital gains tax (up to £7,500), inheritance tax allowances (to £242,000) and the

earnings cap (to £95,400) looking generous, a longer memory reminds us that these allowances were pretty measly in previous years.

There were lots of good noises about environmentally friendly proposals.

A mention of the Kyoto summit gave more than just a nod to Prime Minister Tony Blair&#39s recent environment speech.

Tax incentives for community investment emerge as a separate Budget document and a reduced vehicle tax for smaller (and by definition less harmful) cars coupled with reduced duties on “cleaner” petrol point the way to the Government&#39s thinking.

There was big-picture stuff of £100m to promote environmental technology and 150 per cent accelerated tax credit for cleaning up contaminated land means the Government intends to put its money where its mouth is.

With ethical investment funds already performing well, this should give them an extra fillip.

But what a disappointment for those of us who were waiting for the annuity rate age to increase from 75 or, better still, to be abolished.

This has to be an increasingly important issue as people live longer and demand greater investment flexibility. The age of 75 is too paternalistic for today&#39s pensioner.

Sticking with pensioners, why Gordon Brown thinks that 70 per cent of pensioners not paying tax is positive is beyond me. It has to mean their income is very low.

With the savings ratio expected to fall to 4.75 per cent, the Government will have to think of better incentives for retirement savings.

Less red tape for small businesses should be welcomed by small IFA firms in particular.

Whatever your thoughts on the Budget, it will cost the same to drown your sorrows as yesterday, so there is some good news.


Yorkshire launches new fixed rate mortgage

Yorkshire Bank is launching a mortgage fixed at 5.6 per cent for 12 months, with no extended penalty period.The mortgage is available to new and existing customers, for both residential and buy-to-let mortgages, and carries an arrangement fee of £350.Yorkshire general manager of personal finances (Great Britain) Paul Fegan says: “We have a strong record […]

Can you pass the stakeholder test?

With just weeks to go before the official launch of stakeholder on April 6, Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says unless IFAs can correctly answer the 20 questions posed here,they are unfit to advise on stakeholder. Bamford says: “In my view no one should be providing advice on the highly complex subject of stakeholder […]

Tax move &#39stigmatises poor areas&#39

Chancellor Gordon Brown&#39s abolition of stamp duty on property transactions in deprived parts of the UK has been branded a “cheap giveaway”. The Treasury claims dropping stamp duty will revive depressed property markets and encourage families to live in disadvantaged areas. But mortgage experts say few houses in such areas would be worth over £60,000 […]

Keep it in the family

It seems an age since John Major, who was then the Prime Minister, made his famous comment about “cascading wealth down the generations”. For many people who have built up any savings, those words touched a chord. If you have savings and you worked hard to build them up, you can probably think of better […]


Guide: what you need to consider for your auto-enrolment project

In this guide, Johnson Fleming reveals what items you need to understand to gauge the impact of auto-enrolment on your business. The guide focuses on: the impact that your auto-enrolment scheme will have on you; assessing your workforce; understanding your staging date; reviewing your current provision; and modelling contribution levels and costs.


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