With polling day just over seven weeks away, Mr Osborne’s sixth
Budget was always going to be heavily laced with politics. Some
of the proposals the Chancellor announced may not survive to
become legislation depending on the result of the election.
This uncertainty did not stop Mr Osborne revealing a number of
new measures. The proposal to allow existing pension annuity
owners to sell their income in return for a lump sum will create
flexibility for those excluded from April’s radical reforms.
However, those who have not yet retired were on the receiving
end of bad news in this Budget: a further reduction in the
lifetime allowance, cutting it to the £1 million that the Shadow
Chancellor had proposed only last month.
Savers were offered a new personal savings allowance
(worth up to £200 a year) and more flexibility and
investment options for their individual savings
accounts (ISAs), all due after the election.
There were also changes proposed
to venture capital trusts (VCTs) and
enterprise investment schemes
(EISs), some of which had not been
The planned abolition of the annual
tax return will be welcome news for
many, but it will take time to become a
reality and it is unclear whether the reform
will be accompanied by a change to the timing
of tax payments.
18 March 2015