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Out from the long grass? An IT and NI merger

Those with a long memory will recall that at the start of the last parliamentary term George Osborne announced his intention to merge income tax (IT) and national insurance (NI).  Headline grabbing as the initiative was, the reality of the complexities, challenges and costs of such a move resulted in this idea being kicked into the political long grass.

Roll forward five years, and the idea is back on the radar again, as can be seen from this report.

So is this is any more likely to happen during the current parliamentary term?

This remains a hugely challenging project, but at least one of the principal hurdles to any such merger is already in the process of being removed with the consultation on changes to the tax relief system for pensions already under way. Changing this part of the taxation code could make it much easier to make a reality of the more ambitious project of an IT and NI merger.

It’s also worth highlighting that such a union would likely remove the savings for employer and employee inherent in salary sacrifice offerings. As we already know from the summer Budget, this is an area that is being closely monitored by HM Treasury at present as well.

So the bottom line is that this time the merger could be a genuine possibility. But before employers reach for the valium to calm their increasingly strained nerves, it is worth highlighting that such a change is only likely to occur once the pensions tax relief situation is fully resolved (a process that must surely take a minimum of two to three years). Logically, therefore, change in this space might well fall into the next parliamentary term (2020–25).

We shall all watch this one with interest.



RBS loses market share as lending falls 7%

Royal Bank of Scotland has lost market share after its lending fell 7.1 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2015. Its interim results, published today, show it lent £9.1bn to mortgage borrowers in H1, down from £9.8bn in the first half of last year. This has led to it losing market share, which […]


Data breaches continue at alarming levels

The loss of a server containing details of five million consumer credit customers is among the data breaches reported to the FCA in the past year. A Freedom of Information request submitted by Mortgage Strategy’s sister title, Money Marketing, reveals five instances of lost or stolen data that have been reported to the regulator in […]

Healthcare regulation amalgamation predicted for Gulf states

While Dubai is leading the way in terms of legislating for expat healthcare in the Gulf, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and others are watching and learning – that’s according to Jelf International’s director of international services, Doug Rice. He believes the pace of change in the Gulf states will continue and that some level of unified healthcare system will be introduced across the region.

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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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Auto-enrolment — don’t leave it too late…

With auto-enrolment (AE) well under way for the UK’s largest businesses, over the next three years an additional 800,000 smaller employers (with less than 60 employees) will start their journey to comply with the legislation. AE mandates all eligible employees and their respective employers to make regular pension contributions into a qualifying pension scheme. To learn more about the legislation read our brief Jelf AEase — simple steps to AE compliance guide.


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