On Tuesday, 3rd November 2020 the United States will go to the polls to elect its next President. All the indications are that Donald Trump will stand for a second term and if the words of Bill Clinton – “It’s the economy, stupid” – are to be believed, he will win.
While not wanting to make a political comment or endorse his policies in any way that be welcome to some extent – he does provide plenty of news and entertainment for these commentaries, after all. September was no exception, as he ramped up the trade war with China, ordering tariffs on a further $200bn (£154bn) of Chinese imports, which will include electronic products and consumer goods such as handbags. Continue reading →
This time last year we produced our first End of Summer Review. We described it as a ‘reflection on some key events over the last few months’: would they, we wondered, ‘give us an idea of what might happen in the run up to Christmas?’
First of all, let’s reflect on what the world looked like 12 months ago. Continue reading →
August used to be known as the ‘silly season’. Everyone who made the news was away on holiday, nothing happened and newspapers were desperate to fill their pages. So rather more obscure stories made it into print…
That, of course, was before Donald Trump. And Brexit. And Venezuela, Argentina and Greece. And…
In short, August is now just another month and this year it saw the world’s two most powerful economies, the USA and China, continuing their trade war as the US imposed an additional round of tariffs on Chinese imports and Beijing inevitably retaliated. Domestically, there were more woes for Donald Trump as more members of his former inner-circle decided they would rather do a deal with the prosecutors than the President. Could he be impeached? At this stage it would seem unlikely but the net is tightening. Continue reading →
The new girl on the block, in terms of saving products, seems like she may not actually be around for much longer. LISA, or the lifetime ISA, is being threatened with abolition by a Treasury committee, having only been on the market for 16 months.
The LISA allows those aged between 18 and 50 to save up to £4,000 a year towards a pension or a first home tax free, with the promise of a 25% government bonus capped at £1,000 a year. Continue reading →
For British companies who rely heavily on the E.U. export market, Brexit has been a nightmare, to say the least. Until recently, though, the full effects on British exporters have been unclear.
Some versions of Brexit currently under consideration by the cabinet could potentially cut U.K. exports by as much as a third, according to a study by a team of trade experts at the University of Sussex. The study also predicted that a fall in British exports would hit ‘Leave’ voting areas such as Sunderland, Coventry and Derby the hardest. Continue reading →
Inheritance tax (IHT) has existed in the UK for over 300 years. In its current form, it was brought in to replace the old Capital Transfer Tax; a measure that was brought in itself as a form of wealth distribution in order to regulate disparity between rich and poor.
Although in concept the idea is quite simple, in reality, the caveats and bureaucracy surrounding it in its present form can make it difficult to get your head around. In fact, this January, Chancellor Philip Hammond called the current system “particularly complex” and appealed to the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) to hold a review of it. In his communication with them he stated: “I would be most interested to hear any proposals you may have for simplification, to ensure that the system is fit for purpose and makes the experience of those who interact with it as smooth as possible.” Continue reading →
The first month of 2018 was a good one for the major stock markets which we cover in this Bulletin. We report on 12 markets and 11 of them made gains in January – in some cases, spectacular gains, which many investors would regard as more than adequate for a full year. But sitting alone on the naughty step was the UK: as we shall see below there was plenty of good news for the UK in the month but, dogged by uncertainties over Brexit, continuing doubts about Theresa May and the collapse of Carillion, the FTSE fell 2% in the month. Continue reading →
One of the key points for businesses from the Autumn Budget was Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement that the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is set to receive £2.5 billion of public money through facilitation of pension fund access to long-term investment. The investment limits for the EIS will also be doubled for ‘knowledge-intensive’ companies. This means that £2 million of investment will be eligible for tax relief, up from the current limit of £1 million. Mr. Hammond also stated that the government would ensure that the scheme did not become a shelter for risk-free assets as a result of the limit increase. Continue reading →
After delivering a Budget in March which many saw as a thinly-veiled attack on small businesses and self-employed workers, Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget was his chance to make amends with those who had been on the receiving end of his less popular decisions earlier on in the year. In many ways, the Budget delivered by the Chancellor on 22nd November attempted to do just that. Continue reading →
Since before the EU referendum result was known at the end of June 2016, the ‘divorce bill’ – the money the UK will need to pay to the EU as a result of Brexit to cover its financial liabilities – has been a hot topic of debate. It continues to be so, with the latest reports of a figure somewhere around €55 billion having been agreed by the government emerging at the end of November. Downing Street have dismissed this figure, but even if we don’t know the exact amount, it seems likely that an agreement on the way the divorce bill will be calculated has been reached, in order to allow other points of negotiation to progress. Continue reading →
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