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The week of the Jeremy

The last week of this Parliament has been quite remarkable.

In the House of Commons a classic ambush was set that had David Cameron ruling out an increase in VAT , much to the chagrin of Ed Miliband, who had bet the house on an equivocal answer. 

The tables having been turned, Labour was forced to rule out any increases in National Insurance or income tax

One day later Jeremy Paxman was heard asking Ed Miliband if he was alright after a bruising encounter with the great inquisitor. We don’t know if he asked David Cameron the same question.

There are no reports of anyone asking the audience at the studio or at home if they were alright.

And we ought to be asked because on the one hand we are being encouraged to save and on the other the potential for more raids on pensions seems to loom larger and larger. Lamborghini Pension

If you look for one outbreak of really useful clarity it came from Steve Webb, the pensions Minister, who advised pensioners about to take that much desired test drive in a Lamborghini to hold off for a while.  

That is absolutely the case. There is too much uncertainty around, not enough information about consequences and not enough time to make sense of all the changes from the Budget, for people to make the best decisions just now.

It’s great that there will be a Help to Buy ISA. It’s good also that the first £1000 of interest will be tax-free in deposit accounts for basic rate tax payers. Flexibility in ISAS, allowing you take out and put back and not wreck the tax-free wrapper in that year, is another plus.

But we need to draw breath. The Family Building Society has a range of products that work for savers, and maybe the Family Mortgage is the right thing to help get young adults on the housing ladder quicker than the new ISA. It may be that there are other things we offer than meet your needs. The main thing is to sit down, work out your priorities and then check with experts what is the best answer for you.

With longevity as it is now you will have a lot of time to repent if you make very bad decisions.

One very good decision you could make is to get your ISA saving in place before 5 April. 

Which leads to another crucial decision taken this week – yes, farewell Jeremy Clarkson. Who can take over? My vote is for Jodie Kidd. Not only is she a great driver, she can cook to a very high standard too.

Two problems solved in one – a new presenter who can cater for the crew afterwards.

By Jonathan Haslam

Important information: Applications for 2014 / 15 tax year.
The 2014 / 15 tax year ends on Sunday 5 April 2015.

To guarantee funding for the 2014 / 15 tax year we will need to have received your application (along with any supporting documents) and your funds by Thursday 2 April 2015.


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