The recent speculation of Gordon Brown calling an election brought the political parties' manifestos to the fore. However, although Mr Brown made a U-turn after losing an 11 point lead to the Conservatives, the electorate is a starting to be a bit clearer on who stands for what.
"It's the economy, stupid"
Recent events in the financial world have had more of an impact on our wallets, and that is what any future election will be fought on. So, we at Moneyfacts.co.uk thought we join the debate. If we were advising the Government and the Bank of England on personal finance matters - in an ideal world, what would we like to see?
We think that the current pension set-up is certainly in need of some changes. There's no doubt about it, the UK's population is getting older each year and many don't have a sufficient pension for old age.
Inheritance Tax (IHT) is certainly unfair. Why should we pay tax when we spend, when we save and then again when we die? Furthermore, the Inheritance Tax (IHT) threshold has failed to keep up with house prices, and thousands risk being caught out and liable to a 40% tax bill on all assets over £300,000.
Stamp Duty is a particular bugbear for many homebuyers. First time buyers find it hard enough to get onto the ladder, let alone finding thousands of pounds to line the Government's coffers. In addition, the current level at which it is started to be paid at £125,000 means that virtually no home in the UK today escapes the taxman's grasp.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are great tax-efficient ways of saving money, but we think that the current levels are far too low. Look at how successful Personal Equity Plans (PEPs) were.
Home Information Packs (HIPs)
There's no doubt about it, the Government made a bit of a pig's ear of the implementation of Home Information Packs (HIPs), and many industry bodies partly blame HIPs for slowing the property market
Give Green a chance
The Government claims that it's committed to the green cause, championing Home Information Packs (HIPs) and scrapping Stamp Duty for all carbon neutral homes above £500,000. However, people who want to open an ethical savings account or purchase green or ethical shares are still caught in the taxman's net.
Join in the debate...
We'll be keeping our Moneyfacts manifesto up to date in preparation for when Mr Brown finally decides to call the election.
We want to make sure that all political parties understand and cater for the needs of millions of savers and borrowers in their own manifestos. Please let us know what you think so we can create a manifesto that's truly representative of the needs of the UK's savers, borrowers and investors as a whole.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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