On your marks – an early Spring Budget for 2024

Early Spring Budget 2024

A date to note in this year’s calendar is the early Spring Budget on Wednesday 6 March. The Treasury issued a press release in the time between Christmas and the New Year revealing the Spring Budget date, a week earlier than in 2023. The unusual timing of the announcement may seem strange, but there were […]

Tax is too complicated… say the legislators 

A parliamentary committee has been examining efforts to simplify tax, but progress is still a long way off.   Among other things, last year’s ill-fated ‘mini-Budget’ was notable for the swiftness with which Jeremy Hunt reversed most of the proposals it contained. The promise of reduced corporation tax and abolition of additional rate income tax went […]

NICs deadline deferred, again

If you were planning to fill the gaps in your national insurance contributions (NICs) record by 31 July, you no longer need to rush or worry – you now have until 2025.  As is often the case with financial deadlines, publicity in the form of press stories and subsequent public awareness often arrive late in […]

SPA increase to 68 deferred

The government has deferred its decision on when to raise the State Pension age (SPA) to 68. In the US drama series, The West Wing, the day before the parliamentary recess was referred to as “Take out the Trash Day”. On both sides of the Atlantic, this day marks an opportunity for the government to […]

The Budget surprise: changes to the pension tax rules

New measures affecting pension allowances announced in the March Budget could mean your retirement planning strategy needs to be reviewed. If Jeremy Hunt did produce a ‘rabbit-out-the-hat’ in his Spring Budget, it was the announcement of the effective abolition of the pensions lifetime allowance (LTA) from 2023/24. Since 2006, the LTA has been a cornerstone […]

2022 Investment wrap-up

In 2022, most of the world’s major share indices had their worst year since 2008, but the UK’s FTSE 100 was a star performer Index 2022 Change FTSE 100 +0.9% FTSE 250 -19.7% Dow Jones Industrial -9.2% Standard & Poor’s 500 -19.8% Nikkei 225 -9.4% Euro Stoxx 50 (€) -11.7% Shanghai Composite -15.1% MSCI Emerging […]

News – Winter 2022

The ‘triple lock’ increase to state pensions offers two important lessons.
In November’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced that the ‘triple lock’ would again operate on State pensions, meaning that from next April pensions rise by 10.1%, in line with the September 2022 rate of inflation. Mr Hunt applied the same increase to nearly all other benefits, a move with two important lessons for your own financial planning.

2021: six months down…

News and newsletter

The first six months of 2021 have been rewarding for investors, but the next six are uncertain. The first half of 2021 was a much less traumatic ride for investors than the first half of 2020. With hindsight, last November’s Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine breakthrough announcement gave investment markets a fresh momentum that continued through the first […]

2021 investment wrap-up

News and newsletter

The world’s share markets generally produced solid returns in 2021, but UK stocks and fixed-interest investments suffered. Maintaining an international outlook in your portfolio can help underpin its value. 2021 was a good year for most investors in share-based funds, particularly those who had holdings linked to the US market. Despite the optimism around the […]