Surprise ‘triple lock’ U-turn announced as DUP signs deal with Conservatives

The Conservative party has scrapped a manifesto commitment to drop the State Pension ‘triple lock’, along with plans that would have seen the Winter Fuel Payment means-tested in the future. Announced earlier today, the news comes at the same time as a confidence and supply deal, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The DUP has agreed to back the Conservative Government on key votes. The ‘triple lock’ means the State Pension increases by whichever is the highest out of: The rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Average ...

The Queen’s speech: How will it affect your personal finances?

The 2017 Queen’s speech was delivered after a General Election that has left the Conservative party without a majority. This has forced Theresa May to drop many of the big manifesto promises. So, what stays? What has been cut? And how will your personal finances be affected? Brexit Unsurprisingly, Brexit dominated much of the Queen’s speech, with eight of the 27 bills being brought forward covering subjects such as: Repeal Bill Introduced to convert EU law into UK law. Customs Bill Ensures that the UK has a standalone UK customs regime on exit, flexibility to accommodate future ...

Nearly one in four people have no savings – are you one of them?

According to new research by Legal and General, the average UK employee only has enough money saved to maintain their lifestyle for a month if their income suddenly stopped. The results from a survey of 2,000 people suggest that the nation is ill-prepared for a financial emergency, with many having only enough savings to last them a week, and some having none at all. How does it differ by region? As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to have enough money saved to last you three months. As with all rules ...

Inflation hits a four year high of 2.9%

Good news and inflation haven’t shared an article for quite some time. Today is unfortunately no different. A bulletin, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveals that the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen to 2.9%, the highest level in nearly four years. Relatively high inflation has been a recurring point of discussion since the start of the year, when it grew to 2.3% and showed no signs of slowing down. With a peak of 4.1% now predicted by the end of the ...

First Cash LISA revealed

Since being announced in the 2016 Budget, the Lifetime ISA (or LISA, as it has become ubiquitously known) has provoked a variety of reactions. Some are calling it the perfect savings vehicle for the Millennial generation, others are labelling it just another government gimmick, and the rest don’t care either way. Despite a fairly lukewarm launch from a limited number of providers, the LISA has attracted over 14,000 people in the first month, despite being only offered as a Stocks & Shares version. This has now changed, with the first Cash LISA ...

‘Triple lock’ – how what who why when?

‘Triple lock’. Triple-lock. Triple lock. “Triple lock?”. It’s a term that most are uncertain of the exact phrasing, so it’s not surprising that many aren’t totally sure what it is. For some, it’s got something to do with the basic State Pension, and for others it’s the best way to secure your bike to a railing. The ‘triple lock’ policy (which is how it will be written for our sanity and yours) has been a recurring point of discussion in the run up to the General Election. Opinions are split amongst the ...

One in three savers doesn’t know how to fight inflation – are you one of them?

New research commissioned by Zurich suggests that just over a third of savers are unsure of how to protect their money against rising inflation. The survey was carried out by YouGov, and asked 4,000 UK adults what they thought the best way to beat inflation was. The results showed that the most popular methods to beat inflation were:   Investing in property (27%) Cash ISAs (13%) Stocks & Shares ISAs (7%) Bank and building society accounts (6%) Investing in the stock market (4%) Pension savings (3%) Other (3%) 37% of people said that ...

Number of landlords quitting Buy-to-Let market increases by 25%

Research from ARLA (The Association of Residential Lettings Agents) Propertymark suggests that the number of landlords quitting the Buy-to-Let sector is increasing, with a 25% rise in the last month. Changes to stamp duty and tax relief are continuing to cool the market, with a survey showing that four landlords per branch sold up in March, up from three in February. The survey, conducted by Opinium Research consisted of 331 member branches, and was carried out in April. The rise to four landlords per branch selling up is the highest number since ...

Record 22% housing market share for first-time buyers

First-time buyers took a record 22% share of the housing market in the fourth quarter of 2016, the highest since records began in 2007. A press release from the Bank of England published on the 14th of March shows that the percentage of first-time buyers is rising, with figures set to go even higher later in the year. The fourth quarter of 2016 saw £62.8 billion of new residential loans taken out, which was a 2.6% decrease compared to the previous three months. Adrian Anderson, the director of property finance specialist ...

Digital tax overhaul will require five returns per year

The upcoming digitisation of the tax reporting system could mean that millions have to file five tax returns a year. The overhaul, called ‘Making Tax Digital’ starts its pilot trial in the 2017/18 tax year, with people being gradually drawn into the system over the following two years. Why is tax going digital? In the ‘Making Tax Digital’ Policy Paper, H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) states that the new system will save businesses and the self-employed time and money by keeping track of information and fixing any errors in real-time. This ...
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