Tax Winner or Loser? The Devil Is In The Detail . . .

Some of the main headlines from last week’s Budget may have been about the Sugar Tax and the proposed change to Personal Independence Payments, but there was a lot more “under the hood” to take note of for taxpayers. The Chancellor increased the higher rate income tax band from £42,375 to £45,000 and increased the personal allowance more »

Budget 2016 Boost For Savers

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a raft of Budget 2016 measures to encourage saving for old age. The annual ISA limit is to rise from £15,000 to £20,000, there will be a new “lifetime” Isa for the under-40s, with government putting in £1 for every £4 saved and there will be a new state-backed savings more »

Spring Brings Mortgage Green Shoots For Borrowers

There could be some welcome cheer for house buyers this Spring with signs that the mortgage market is opening up for borrowers with small deposits. The range of mortgage products on offer is the widest for nearly eight years, with lenders increasingly willing to compete for riskier business. According to Moneyfacts, the average two-year fixed-rate mortgage rate more »

Cash ISAs: Don’t Lose Out To Inflation

Low interest rates might be great news for borrowers but they can have a devastating effect on the long-term wealth of savers. Furthermore, when inflation runs in excess of interest rates, the buying power of your money will be eroded, even though the value of your capital might appear safe. You therefore need to keep more »

Chancellor’s Spring Pension Threat

Chancellor George Osborne plans to mount an assault on pension tax relief for higher earners by introducing a lower, flat rate in the March Budget – according to reports. Under the plans, the 40% and 45% rates of relief would be scrapped and replaced with a flat rate of between 25% and 33%. In total, more »

Small Firms Facing Pensions Timebomb

Nearly half of small businesses say they are not yet ready for pensions auto-enrolment with many firms complaining the additional burden is too great, according to a study. The research, carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses, found that although smaller firms generally believe auto-enrolment will be good for their staff and that workers more »

Fed Fires Interest Rate Starting Gun?

The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates in the US by 0.25% bringing some much needed Christmas cheer for savers and perhaps signalling to other national banks to follow suit. In adjusting rates to 0.5% (from the historic low of 0.25%) the Fed said that the decision was based on the economy “expanding at a more »

UK state pension ‘worst in the world’

The UK state pension is one of the worst in the world, according to research comparing retirement provision among the globe’s wealthiest nations. The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that Britain’s state pension pays out on average of 38% of what a recipient earned before they stopped work. Across 34 countries, only Mexico more »

Tax hike bad news for buy-to-let investors

Chancellor George Osborne’s revelation that he had found an extra £27bn of wriggle room for his Autumn Statement on Wednesday was good news for working families fearing a cut to Tax Credits and of modest benefit to state pensioners who will see a weekly rise of £3.35. However, there was a sting in the tail more »

For Freedom! But With a Dash of Prudence … 

Savers are embracing new UK pension freedoms but also acting with prudence and rationality, according to the latest figures. Since April, when the new rules came into effect, the Association of British Insurers say savers have withdrawn £4.7 billion from their pension pots. £2.5 billion was paid out in 166,700 cash lump sum payments – an average payment more »
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