Advisers give their verdicts on some unexpected proposals set out today in Alistair Darling's Pre-Budget Report (PBR).
Carl Lamb, managing director of IFA Almary Green
"The Chancellor’s decision to impose a one-off levy of 50% on any bank bonuses above £25,000 begs the question: 'Who will pay for this?" Ultimately, I fear the customer will have to pay.
"High earners may need to look at viable alternatives due to the change in pension tax relief. Should these people consider venture capital trusts, which give 30% tax relief? People need to be thinking outside of the traditional box.
"It is always the private sector that bears the brunt - there is not enough focus on the public sector. The gap between the have and have-nots will also increase."
Martin Bamford, managing director of Surrey-based IFA Informed Choice
"The majority of people have escaped more lightly than they could have. We were expecting to hear some really nasty tax rises, such as in CGT, but they have largely been left alone.
"There were some subtle freezes on allowances and thresholds. The 0.5% increase in National Insurance contributions for everyone earning £20,000 or above will have an impact though. These increases all add up. They all make a difference to peoples financial planning.
"Elsewhere, the pensions arena was left relatively unscathed, apart from the announcement pension tax relief would include employer pension contributions in the definition of income. This will see a few more people affected by the anti-forestalling measures announced in April's Budget."
Nicholas Manterfield, managing director at Brookfield Financial Planning
"The PBR was a fine balance between stimulating the economy and increasing the tax take to reduce the deficit.
"We're expecting to be fielding a few calls about National Insurance contributions but the pension changes are very interesting. They will affect a lot of people. Because employer contributions are now included in the income definition, clients who earn about £90k or so may find themselves above the threshold, as could those on final salary schemes who receive substantial pay increases.
"People that earn more than £150,000 are few and far between - Darling said about 2% of the population - but a lot of our clients earn between £80,000 and £130,000, and they may be affected. We're expecting some phone calls. It is our job now to get out there and explain to people the impact of these changes and what they can do about it."
Malcolm Small, director of portfolio & retirement planning, TISA
"The extension of the working family tax credit to the over-65s is a welcome development. There are over 1.3 million people over retirement age still working and we know continuing in work for these people will be a central plank of their thinking. So making it available for 16 hours a week will make a huge difference to pensioners' income.
"We now effectively have a threshold of £130,000, beyond which tax relief for pensions is ambivalent to say the least. This is another amendment to tax relief proposals which sends negative messages to pension savers. It represents yet more tinkering with the tax regime. It is also another negative message about forward likely treatment of tax relief and pensions."
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