The Tory Tax Reform Commission is recommending a £21bn cut in taxes, including scrapping IHT on primary residen-ces and slashing corporation tax levels.Head of the commission Lord Forsyth told an audience at KPMG’s headquarters last week that the proposals are realistic and set in place ref-orms that would result in a “simpler, lower, flatter, fairer and more stable tax system”. Responding to the commission’s report, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said he hopes the menu of proposals starts a major political debate about making taxes simple, fair and competitive. Osborne repeated his mantra of not promising tax cuts but emphasised the Tory focus on rebalancing the current tax system – on a neutral basis – in the lead-up to a general election. He said such rebalancing would reduce the taxes hitting families while increasing green taxes although he acknowledged concerns that such taxes potentially hit the poorest hardest. Osborne said there was a strong case for a major simplification of business taxes that would then pay for a “significant” reduction in business tax rates. He said he has asked PriceWaterhouseCoopers to conduct a detailed technical study of how proposals on simpler business taxes could be put into practice. Osbourne said more work would be done to assess the potential benefit to Britain’s financial services and pension funds in reducing or abolishing stamp duty on shares. He said: “I believe lower and simpler taxes encourage aspiration and opportunity and help people take more responsibility for their own lives.” However, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable says: “It is utterly irresponsible to present plans for tax cuts without saying who would pay for them.”
John Charcol senior technical director Ray Boulger says lenders should only call redemption penalties exit fees in their literature to avoid confusing consumers. His call comes as the FSA is set to rule on whether lenders unfairly increase their fees during the term of a contract. Boulger says: “The FSA’s requirements could be met by […]
Scottish Widows has signed a deal with FundsNetwork, which will allow Widows retirement accountholders to access over 800 funds.
Edeus managing director Alan Cleary has launched a scathing attack on retention fees, branding them a “web of sin” and insisting they contravene treating customers fairly principles. Cleary says lenders do not have brokers’ best interests at heart and are only out to kill the remortgage market, which could mean considerably less business for brokers […]
The Financial Services Authority has fined Best Advice Mortgage Network £7,000 for poor record keeping. The regulator says the firm did not “record and retain sufficient personal and financial information about customers before recommending a mortgage contract between June 2005 and June 2006”. The FSA says it failed to inform customers that had made a […]
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As the outlook for the UK’s economy remains uncertain, how can advisers prepare portfolios for any change in inflation? As higher inflation fails to appear on the horizon and wages grow faster than expected, fund managers are weighing up their portfolio moves for any potential changes in the economy. The UK consumer prices index rose […]
IFA directors Kevin and Cheryl Neal have been banned from being company directors by the Insolvency Service for six and four years, respectively. The married couple ran the now-defunct Hertfordshire-based Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management. They were disqualified for taking assets from an insolvent company. The firm had been incorporated to take over the business interests […]
Hartley Pensions has bought the “untainted” assets of the Lifetime Sipp Company, which went into administration earlier this year. An update published today on the website of Lifetime’s administrators Kingston Smith & Partners says Hartley Pensions has also agreed to administer the tainted Sipps held by Lifetime Sipp. The administrator described tainted assets as those where […]