The 2017 Budget – Between a rock and a hard place

In the post Brexit environment and with the next general election up to 3 years away, Phillip Hammond could, in his first budget, afford to disappoint those expecting the economy to receive a fiscal boost from new spending initiatives.

The circumspect tone of the 2017 budget seemed to blend with the caution most commentators express regarding the prospects for the UK economy. The absence of clear exit terms as the UK transitions away from EU membership into an unknown and uncertain trading entity, make his caution understandable. Perhaps he is also frustrated by the lack of a clear post Brexit agenda.

Download Issue 15 – H&P Newsletter

The backdrop to this edition is one of all change. Changes at Holden & Partners, on political stages and in investment markets.

In the face of change, there is no shortage of material on which to inform and provide commentary. The newsletter containing a diversity of articles from Brexit, through to new technology at Holden & Partners.

We hope you will find plenty of interest and please if you are minded, provide us with your feedback.

Download the Issue 15 – March 2017 newsletter.

Perspective on Donald Trump

Politically Correct Investment Strategies

Both written and unwritten constitutions are under threat with the pillars supporting them under attack, as populist forces gather, chipping or pulling apart conventions and traditions embedded across Western democracies. Looking back at periods of calm, today’s investors are being challenged in a way unimaginable a decade or so ago.

Assessing Brexit

Implications for Investors

Prior to the EU referendum result, investors had witnessed an extremely volatile environment in the first half of 2016, attributable to a complex array of factors. Global equities retreated significantly in February due to concerns surrounding a slowdown in global growth, exacerbated by the weakness in Chinese economic data and Yuan devaluation, as well as a persistently low oil price, which markets seemed to interpret as a sign of scant consumer demand. All of this took place against a backdrop of rising US interest rates, which resulted in an unlikely scenario of monetary tightening in the world’s largest economy, with the remainder of the globe struggling to generate meaningful growth of any sort. Risk aversion and volatility reached near-term highs, although this now pales into insignificance when compared to the instability created by the Brexit vote in the final weeks of June, particularly for UK investors.

Download the Latest H&P Newsletter

hp-newsletter-novemberIn the latest edition, Jack Rawcliffe looks at the implications of a UK exit from the EU, Stefani Rogers reviews the dividend tax regime, Amelia Sexton discusses the impact of the UN Paris agreement, Neil Sargeant looks at the latest round of proposed changes to pensions and Aram Kupelian considers how the new inheritance tax regime will work. Finally, Reece Biggadike evaluates end of tax year planning opportunities.

Download the Issue 14 March 2016 newsletter.

Pension Contributions Get Complicated

Up until 6 April 2015, pension contribution limits, known as the annual allowance, were relatively simple.

In essence you could contribute up to £40,000 (gross) per annum either via an employer, individual or a combination of both. In addition, where you had unused annual allowance (AA) from the previous 3 tax years, you could carry forward the unused allowances to the current tax year.

State Pension Top Up

From October 2015, existing pensioners and those retiring before 6 April 2016, will have the option of making additional National Insurance Contributions (Class 3A) in order to increase their state pension by a maximum of £25 a week / £1,300 a year.

The income is taxable, linked to inflation (CPI) and 50% can be inherited by a surviving spouse. The scheme operates like an annuity in the sense that the individual pays a lump sum in exchange for a guaranteed income for life. The amount of the lump sum required will depend on the individual’s age.