No more March Budgets!

Until 2017, the Chancellor of the Exchequer traditionally delivered a Spring Budget, usually in March, and in more recent years this was preceded by an Autumn Statement to announce interim changes. But no more! Chancellor Philip Hammond has broken the mould, and there will in future be a single Budget each year, which will be […]

Helping children to buy homes

The 3% stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of second homes which was introduced in April 2016 has posed a problem for parents wanting to help their children onto the housing ladder by buying in joint names. However, some enterprising lenders have devised plans which avoid the problem. These plans are called joint borrower sole […]

Stamp duty exemption

Stamp duty land tax is payable on the purchase of residential property at escalating rates. The first £125,000 of value is exempt from tax, but the next £125,000 is taxed at 2%. The rate then continues to rise until it reaches 12% on purchase prices in excess of £1.5 million. However, relief is available to […]

Unmarried couples’ pensions

Civil partners, like married couples, can inherit each other’s pension rights, but unmarried couples cannot. This perceived discrimination against opposite-sex cohabiting couples is being addressed in a Bill currently before Parliament which seeks to allow such couples to register as civil partnerships. The major effect would relate to rights under occupational and public sector pension […]

The work/ life balance

An American reporter, visiting the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution in 1919, wrote “I have seen the future and it works”. The Calvinist Chancellor and Prime Minister Gordon Brown adapted the quotation to his own view of life, saying “I have seen the future, and it is work”. The economic advantages of working after […]