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  1. Wealth
November 23, 2011

Saffery Champness: What George Osborne’s Autumn Statement Holds

By Spear's

Tax experts at top 20 accountancy firm Saffery Champness give their view on what could be changing in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement

On 29 November George Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement, setting out the government’s agenda for the economy for the months ahead. Below, tax experts at top 20 accountancy firm Saffery Champness give their view on what could be changing for taxpayers following the announcement.

Getting the housing market moving

Lucy Brennan, Partner at Saffery Champness says:

“Given the almost complete stagnation of the first time buyers’ property market, and in conjunction with other measures announced by the government this week, the Chancellor could consider the reintroduction of tax relief on mortgage interest payments for first time buyers.

“Debt does not come cheap these days, and a tax break like this would give a real incentive to those looking to get a first foot on the ladder.”

Pensions shake up

Tim Gregory, Partner at Saffery Champness says:

“If you have a private pension, you can currently elect to take up to 25% of the value of the fund as a tax-free cash lump sum, after retirement. Some see this as an unnecessary tax incentive to have a pension fund, and it has been said to be unfair in comparison to other pension schemes that do not have this attraction. This has led to some calls for the scrapping of the incentive.

“But savers have entered the risky world of private pensions with this incentive in mind, and to remove it now would unfairly remove a benefit of a scheme that was entered into in good faith. There has already been enough tinkering with pensions to put some people off them for life. In a time when trying to create a nest-egg is arguably more important than at any previous point in the working life of anyone currently working, the Chancellor should leave the current pension rules as they are.”

Capital Gains Tax

Ronnie Ludwig, Partner at Saffery Champness says:

“It has been suggested that the Capital Gains Tax exemption (currently at £10,600 per person per annum) may be in line for an increase. There are lots of people sitting on cash at the moment and the government would ideally like to see that money pumped back into the economy rather than into a bank account.”

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