With so much buzz around today’s Autumn Statement it’s often hard to cut-through to any changes that will impact you and your finances directly. Simon Claxton, MD of Macbeth Financial Services, has pulled out three of the most significant changes relating to personal finance:
- The introduction of a new 3% surcharge on stamp duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes from April 2016. This change will raise about £1bn for HM Treasury but what does this mean for property owners? Hurry whilst stocks last! Buy-to-let mortgages are in huge demand and it could be that we’ll see a short price increase related to a spike in demand to beat the April deadline. This is ultimately a good idea to control the property market and ensure that less property falls into the hands of landlords as opposed to owner occupiers which the government wants.
- State pension to rise by £3.35 a week to £119.30 next year. This is a nice-to-have as an extra but the increase will have minimal impact on pensioners’ finances. For us, this underlines the importance of saving and financial planning the years ahead.
- As high earners get the lion’s share of the tax relief, it is thought that higher-rate and additional-rate (40pc and 45pc) taxpayers could soon lose their generous tax perks on pensions. This could hit in the April Budget so our advice is to make the most of pension allowances. We’d recommend clients ensure that they are using all available allowances to enable them to qualify for the tax relief on contributions they’ve made ahead of any further changes.
If you’d like to understand more about how today’s announcement affects you, please contact Simon Claxton.