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IHT threshold raised but savers are still deterred

Despite Gordon Brown increasing the Inheritance Tax zero rate threshold to £350,000 by 2010 last week, pundits say by not keeping it in line with inflation he is still deterring savers.

In the Budget, the chancellor, along with shifting the threshold up from £285,000 by 2010, also introduced measures to encourage savings such as increasing the amount of cash that can be saved tax-free in ISAs by 20% to £3,600 in April 2008.

But Angus Macnaughton, director of financial consultancy MI Business Solutions, says: “Of course, Brown’s decision to raise the IHT threshold is encouraging, but until it is raised in line with house price inflation it is penalising too many people.

“It used to only affect the super-rich but is now capturing a far greater proportion of people. It’s at odds with measures he has taken to encourage saving such as increasing the ISA allowance.”

But John Stewart, director of PMI Independent Financial Advisers, says the higher threshold is “excellent”.

He adds: “The problem is the divide between prices in the North and South, but there is no way the government could differentiate on a geographic basis.”


Tenancy scheme tariffs unveiled

Tenancy Deposit Solutions has unveiled its tariff for agents who join its tenancy deposit protection scheme. Following a one-off joining charge, fees will be payable by agents on a pay-as-you-go basis. An annual renewal fee per branch is also required – £50 for members and £75 for non-members.

L&G reports 19% drop in critical illness rejection rates

Legal & General has reported 2006 rejection rates for critical illness claims are 19% lower than the previous year. Claims declined for non-disclosure have reduced by 15% and claims declined for not meeting the policy definitions have dropped by 27%. L&G paid 92.1m in critical illness claims last year – 11% more than 2005. Russell […]

Be compliant in handling complaints

The FOS will soon be responsible for handling all consumer credit complaints and brokers must be aware of the important implications this has for them, says Bill Warren

Personal advice spurs saving

Face-to-face financial advice is the key to helping to bridge the UK’s £2.3trillion protection gap, claims Co-operative Insurance. Its research has found personal advice is a key factor in encouraging previous non-savers to get into the savings habit – a process that should be replicated in the protection market.

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Healthcare predictions for 2015 from Jelf Employee Benefits

The continuing fall-out from the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) review, the rise of the private GP and digital engagement will be the primary focuses in the private healthcare industry during 2015, according to Iain Laws, managing director, healthcare and group risk, at Jelf Employee Benefits.


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