Inheritance and pension changes to be announced
17 Mar 2015
Despite his insistence that there will be no giveaways or gimmicks in the 2015 Budget, Chancellor George Osborne has announced further changes to pensions.
Mr Osborne will announce that, as of April 2016, five million pensioners with existing annuities will gain the right to cash them in. He said: ‘It’s all part of trusting people who have worked hard and saved hard all their lives. It’s all part of having a long-term economic plan where we build our country on savings and investment’.
From documents leaked ahead of the Budget, it has also been reported that the Chancellor will be setting out a new inheritance tax scheme, allowing properties of up to £1 million to be passed tax-free from parents to children.
This measure will reportedly cost the Treasury up to £1 billion, and has already been criticised for only benefitting wealthy households.
Chief UK Economist at HSBC, Simon Wells, said: ‘Mr Osborne will be looking for vote-winning headlines.
‘He stuck with a policy of fiscal austerity through the tough times of 2012 and early 2013. So he will not abandon austerity now that the economy is recovering, but with a general election on 7 May there is some scope for modest giveaways.’