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Waiting for Sandler: Paul Smee, Aifa

As far as the IFA sector goes, the sub-title of this budget is “Waiting for Sandler”. Nothing structural here. Remember the Savings Gap? The Chancellor didn&#39t. Future of Isas? Not this year. Very,very delicately the Government confirms its intention to allow limited period annuities and to introduce more flexibility. But they are not unveiling much more than the careful reader of their consultation paper had already surmised.
Of course, as with all budgets, there will be new opportunities for bright advisers to help some of their clients; as with all budgets, as one door closes, another door shuts (as the late William Whitelaw would have said). But there is no grand sweep or vision for the future direction of savings. And at least there is no new review! But this is, as advertised, the NHS budget and perhaps we were foolish to expect anything else to share centre stage.
I continue to find the process and build up out of proportion to the outcome. The sheer volume of figures and the multiplicity of small measures make the budget statement a statistical marathon not an economic portrait.
Must go now; off to the bingo. So tax-advantaged these days.
Paul Smee is director general of the Association of IFAs

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