Despite a market rally since then, we are entering the closing weeks of the year with an uncertain future continuing to face investors.
The good news is that markets clearly have more faith in the new administration in Downing Street. The bad news is that successive policy changes have left a mess which Chancellor Hunt will find tricky to clear up, without adding to the pain being felt by consumers. And this is still within the context of high inflation around the world.
There is little doubt that Messrs Sunak and Hunt have their work cut out for them: will they need to move away from traditional conservative values? In the Economic Focus, the increasing role of the government in our economy of recent years, with the view that the days of low tax and small government are well and truly behind us, is explored. The author also suggests that we may need to change the way we judge the performance of our political leaders in future, to how successful they are in stimulating economic growth, as it becomes increasingly difficult to separate the two main parties.
Some of the changes in the ensuing budget, as announced by Chancellor Hunt in November, while designed to put the UK economy back on an even keel, do have significant implications for individuals. The most noticeable was the reversal of the majority of his predecessor’s policies in order to restore confidence in the market but there were also some complicated tax changes; we have tried to simplify the key developments which will likely affect our readers. The changes to the capital gains tax (CGT) exemption and the dividend annual allowances are two that I would encourage all investors to take note of and review how this might affect your personal financial circumstances. For those investors considering how they might leave their assets for the next generation, the freezing of the inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate band will no doubt have consequences and readers might want to consider taking advantage of our wealth planning services, to help ensure they have a good grasp of how best to structure their wealth.
The political conundrums continue to contribute to increasing mobilisation of the unions in the UK, as the train drivers, ambulance drivers, postal workers and now nurses stage strike action. Readers of our Guest Editorial might find this very timely, as we feature a former medical expert giving inside views as to how we can start to fix our beloved National Health Service.
On a brighter note, I am delighted to include an article on a very British success story. One of the smallest wine regions in the world is celebrating a revolution, as our cool climate sparks the interest of wine experts and enthusiasts around the globe.
Also on a positive, I would like to announce that we are relocating our Yorkshire office. After 20 years in Leeds, we took the opportunity to review our situation when our current lease expired. After much consideration, we have decided to relocate to York. Renowned for its beautiful architecture and powerful history, including twice being the capital of the Roman Empire, being in York is where we feel we belong! With the new office sitting in the shadows of the City’s ancient walls, we have signed a lease for a newly-built office which sets the bar in terms of sustainability, and which we feel perfectly reflects our own approach – a modern firm with traditional values. We look forward to welcoming our clients there from mid-January 2023.
Hugo Bedford CEO