If you’re anything like us at MRM, you won’t have forgotten the last time the Government announced a budget, and the controversy that arose over a proposed rise in the price of cider. Therefore, if the consensus opinion is right about tomorrow’s budget, we’re unlikely to see another call for the Wurzels to reform, and more likely to face a rise in GCT and VAT, a threat to higher-rate tax relief on pensions and a likely rise in alcohol duty – we’re not entirely sure what’s worse.
In the interest of keeping everyone fully aware of the proposals, here is our summary of the weekend’s money sections.
Merryn Somerset Webb writing in the FT Weekend hopes to get an overall sense of simplicity, transparency and stability from tomorrow’s budget. She’s calling for the top rate of CGT to be brought down to around 25%, thereby removing the evasion incentive, and would also like to see a low flat-rate contribution limit put on pensions. On the other hand, Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber in the Saturday Independent said that CGT is the tax dodger’s tax of choice and if the Chancellor is serious about us all being in this together, he should implement the Lib Dem’s proposals in full. Also in the Independent, Martin Bamford of Informed Choice said that the most urgent priority is making pension contributions if you are a higher rate taxpayer and had planned to make contributions later in the year anyway in order to avoid any potential threats to tax relief.
The Sunday Times’ coverage of the Budget highlighted that middle income earners could be more than £800 a year worse off as a result of the Government’s measures, but eco-friendly assets such as woodland and green energy could help investors beat the rise in capital gains tax and is also exempt from inheritance tax.
Looking at insurance, the Mail on Sunday highlighted that Tuesday’s emergency budget is expected to push up the costs for motorists and homeowners as the Chancellor is poised to double the insurance premium tax, which would apply to most personal insurance policies. The estimate is that the rise would add about £36 to the average motor and home insurance costs.
All in all, much of what was written over the weekend falls in line with what our own spokespeople had to say about the budget tomorrow, their views can be accessed here.
On another note, we’ve spotted over the last few weeks an increased enthusiasm towards highlighting the risks of ‘fronting’ children on car insurance policies with The Guardian taking the reins this week to exposure the number of parents who are unaware of the dangers involved. We weren’t aware this was such a serious issue, but you have been warned.
Scores on the board this week were: