More of the same

So now we know. For the next five years we will have a Conservative government, albeit, with a slim majority in the House of Commons.

From a tax point of view George Osborne is continuing as Chancellor and we can probably expect more of the same as he struggles to reduce the deficit, repay debt and maintain a steady increase in economic growth. No mean feat if he achieves this.

As we reported in out last posting to this blog, it is likely there will be a second Finance Bill this year, reinstating the items that were dropped from the first Bill in order to close down government business before the election.

David Cameron also promised to increase the inheritance tax threshold to £1m for married couples and civil partners. We should expect further announcements to remove the higher rate tax relief for pension contributions. Persons who are considering significant contributions to their pension this year should speak with their advisors sooner rather than later if they want to benefit from the present higher rate relief regime.

At the end of this year the present Annual Investment Allowance limit of £500,000 is due to reduce to just £25,000. Hopefully, Mr Osborne will announce a continuation of this valuable tax incentive for businesses in the next Finance Bill.

George Osborne does have an unenviable task. If he depresses economic activity, by severe cuts to government expenditure, tax payers will not be encouraged to spend and GDP will fall. Add to this the anticipated referendum on Europe and the effects of the Scottish vote, and more of the same may be an understatement...

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