Share
Print
Print Share

Press comments: Budget 2018

29/10/2018

If you are covering today's UK Budget Statement please see the below comments from our spokespeople. 

Problem debt 

Jane Goodland, corporate affairs director at Quilter:

The Chancellor heralded that there is a journey towards the end of austerity and the economy is working for all. As part of those commitments government have launched a package to help those in problem debt, including launching a consultation.

While, these schemes are substantially needed for the current group of people who are suffering from a vicious circle of debt, we cannot lose sight that it is still a symptomatic treatment of consumer financial problems.

To protect the next generation we need to do more than tackle the symptoms, we need to fight the cause – a lack of knowledge and capability when it comes to managing our financial lives, starting with an effective programme of financial education integrated into the primary school curriculum.

Financial education was not often part of the curriculum for the current generation of UK adults, with research showing that 3/5ths* did not receive this education when they attended school. Nearly 80% (79%) of those who didn’t receive financial education, wished they had.

*2,000 national representative sample of UK adults surveyed in October

 

Social Care

Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert for Quilter:

“The social care green paper was not among Philip Hammond’s ‘star bunnies’. The paper is still due ‘shortly’, according to the Chancellor. The paper was pitted for the autumn, but has been so often delayed that the public isn’t holding its breath.

“The £650m sticking plaster on top of the £240m will give the local authorities security to fund much needed social care during what is likely to be a chilling winter.  

“However, a long-term plan is desperately needed. 55% of UK adults believe a tax should be paid while working to fund adult social care and that should be taken into consideration as the Chancellor seeks to fill the social care pothole. Any money from such a tax would have to be held in a ring-fenced fund so that taxpayers would be confident this money will not end up in a government slush-pile of funds.

“The government will not be able to fund all of social care and so they must seek to incentivise and encourage people to save for their own care. The success of auto-enrolment in the pensions world has not gone unnoticed and so it makes sense that other savings issues, such as adult social care, would seek to tap into that success. If you put a social care contribution rate at 1% then a person who is aged 25 today on an average salary would have a pot of about £56,000 in personal provision.”

 

Tax planning

Rachael Griffin, financial planning expert at Quilter:

“In today’s budget the government reaffirmed its commitment to tackling tax avoidance and evasion. The government is right to take these steps and ensure that people pay the right amount of tax at the right time. However, those that save for the future and build wealth for themselves and their families should not be put off planning because others choose to abuse the system.

“There is a worrying lack of aptitude in the UK when it comes to planning finances tax efficiently. 61% of people say they don’t have a good understanding of tax rules when investing money and nearly half (49%) say they do not contribute to an Isa*. This is the simple end of financial planning. Other tools, such as trusts and potentially exempt transfers are permissible under UK tax law and there is no issue with using them to manage personal tax liabilities. These tools are designed to allow people to pass on their accumulated wealth to their children, grandchildren or other friends and family without giving almost half of it to the tax-man.”

*2,000 national representative sample of UK adults surveyed in October

 

Net Pay

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter:

The Chancellor’s commitment that we are in an economy that works for all is flawed for numerous reason. What’s worse is he had a chance to fix a flaw that is building inequality in savings -  the tax anomaly which mean low-earners miss out on government top-ups on their pension contributions in net pay schemes.

Workers who don’t earn enough to pay tax, who have been enrolled into pension schemes using a “relief at source” arrangement, as opposed to “net pay” can receive the Government tax relief top up.

A few weeks ago the Treasury confirmed that it was looking to tackle the difference in ways that savers claim upfront tax relief, but any update was absent from the budget and is a missed opportunity.

In fact, in a perverse way they have exacerbated the issue, by bringing forward the increase in the personal allowance, those in net pay arrangements will be further disadvantaged compared to similar employees in relief at source schemes.

 

Pension

Ian Browne pension expert for Quilter:

What felt like a marathon budget from Fiscal Phil as he now  wants to be called had no mentions of pensions, a welcome relief. Rumors of cuts to pension tax relief swirled at an alarming rate this year.  Despite how painful some of his jokes were, they are a welcome substitute to the pain of tinkering with an already monstrous pension system.  

The Treasury documents continue the theme, simply confirming expected announcements such as the lifetime allowance increase to £1,055,000 for 2019/20.

The government also tried to tackle some of its skeletons, such as pensions dashboards and the ban on cold calling. Despite its commitment to pensions dashboards, which they’ve said will include the state pension, the extra funding seems miniscule. It also remains unclear what the dashboards will look like, particularly given that the budget refers to more than one.

Figures from the red book show the government are expecting to spend a one-off £5m in 2019-20, with all other tax years remaining unaltered. The small amount could mean that the government is costing how much it would be to link the state pension data feed with an industry-led dashboard.

The consultation response on the cold-calling ban is full of sensible commitments including raising awareness and having the ICO publish guidance. It is vital the government keeps to these promises and the timeline. Of note is the government use the response as an opportunity to clarify the FCA do not necessarily want a ban on investment in unregulated investments, but they will rely on financial advice and the SIPP operator will be required to conduct effective due diligence to safe guard investors.

The self-employed are also back on the pensions policy agenda, with a government paper promised. NEST is currently undergoing a trial of a savings side-car, which may be a potential solution for self-employed saving dilemma, allowing self-employed savers to have a liquid savings pot that attaches to their pension.

 

Entrepreneurs relief

Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert for Quilter:

“Despite plenty of criticism levelled at the entrepreneurs’ relief the Chancellor revealed today he has opted to save the scheme but apply additional rules aiming to reduce the amount of people who qualify for the relief.

“This was predictable at this delicate political time as it is popular within the Conservative party but in some people’s minds had got out of control. Some of the opposition levelled at the relief included the Resolution Foundation saying that the scheme was ‘expensive, ineffective and regressive’. However, these additional rules are unlikely to appease any critics as the new restrictions make little difference and will ultimately make no impact to 95% of people that take advantage of the relief.

“According to the foundation when the scheme was originally introduced it was estimated to cost around £200 million. Since then, the foundation states that the figure has mutated to an eye watering estimated £2.7bn. These new restrictions will go some way to reducing this figure and add to pot which will be directed towards to the NHS.”

For more information contact

Tim Skelton-Smith02380 916 99807824 145 076tim.skelton-smith@quilter.com
Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990 004932kathleen.gallagher@quilter.com
Alex Berry023 8072 626007741 151931alex.berry@quilter.com

Notes to editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £118.1 billion in customer investments (as at 30 September 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Quilter Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years:

• The Multi-asset business is now Quilter Investors

• Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning

• The private client advisers business is now Quilter Private Client Advisers

• The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions

• The International business to Quilter International

• The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance

• Quilter Cheviot will retain its name

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.