Category: Weekly 60 Secs

262 – BRAVE NEW WORLD OF UBI?

If those three letters mean nothing to you now, they may do soon. Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become a topic attracting attention among some think-tanks and political parties, both in the UK and overseas.The idea behind UBI is simple and has an obvious electoral appeal. In its most basic form, UBI would give every…

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261 – PENSION FLEXIBILITY: TOO TAXING FOR MANY!

Recent HMRC statistics highlight the over-taxation of some pension benefits. More than one million people have received flexible pension payments thanks to therules introduced just over four years ago. HMRC’s most recent statistics, to the end of March 2019, show that 1,113,000 people have withdrawn over £25,600m from their pensions, across 6,136,000 payments.The amounts withdrawn…

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259 – A POPULAR PEAK FOR VCT

Figures recently released for last tax year show the highest level of VCT investment since 2005/06. The Association of Investment Companies was quick off the mark after 5 April in announcing a near record level of fund raising for venture capital trusts (VCTs) in 2018/19. At £731m, 2018/19 VCT investment just beat the 2017/18 figure…

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258 – HOW LONG DO YOU WANT TO WORK?

As people are living longer, a parallel older-age profile is emerging in the labour force. Labour market statistics for the period December 2018 to February 2019 revealed some impressive results. In the UK, employment of those aged 16-64 was running at 76.1%, the joint highest level ever and up 0.7% on a year ago. Drill…

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256 – LIVING LONGER …

A recent report shows that life expectancy is still improving, but not as quickly as was once expected. “British life expectancy falls by SIX MONTHS for men and women” That was one recent headline in response to the latest report of the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. While it…

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255 – HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY!

6 April marks the 20th birthday of the Individual Savings Account (ISA). When the ISA was introduced in 1999, many thought it to be little more than a rebranding of the two schemes it replaced: the Personal Equity Plan (PEP) and Tax Exempt Savings Account (TESSA). The following 20 years have proved ISAs to be…

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254 – AN OVERSHADOWED SPRING STATEMENT

The Chancellor's Spring Statement was almost obscured by other events in mid-March. Ever since he announced a move to an Autumn Budget in 2016, Mr Hammond has made it clear that he wanted to avoid the Spring Statement counterpart becoming a mini-Budget. His vision was that in March he would be presenting a brief response…

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252 – ONE MORE TWIST ON BUY TO LET

Buy-to-let investors will be hit by another notch up of the tax ratchet. When George Osborne announced in his summer 2015 Budget a variety of tax changes aimed at discouraging buy-to-let (BTL) investment, they came as a surprise. To ease their impact, the then Chancellor phased in the most significant reform, a revised treatment of…

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251 – THE RISE OF UK DIVIDENDS

Dividend payments from UK companies in 2018 once again outpaced annual inflation. Your income could have increased by more than double the rate of CPI inflation in 2018. Link Asset Services, a leading share registrar, reported a 5.1% growth in total dividend payments of UK companies last year. Their January dividend monitor showed that in…

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