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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

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