Just as the nation was getting its head around any implications the official passing of Brexit might have on our personal finances, little did we know the Prime Minister was also planning to announce a snap UK election this week.
Taking place on June 8, the impact any further political upheaval is likely to have on the UK’s purse strings is still very much to be seen, but has so far witnessed the pound surge to trade at its highest level in months, with a 1.4% rise against the Euro and 2.2% against the US dollar reported shortly afterwards.
Meanwhile UK retail sales suffered their biggest decline in the first quarter of 2017, dropping by 1.4% according to the ONS, with some experts placing the blame on rising fuel costs putting an additional squeeze on household budgets.
In property, the UK housing market is also reportedly in ‘neutral gear’ according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which said gross mortgage lending totalled £21.4bn in March, in line with the monthly average over the past year.
In response, Yorkshire Building Society has released the UK’s cheapest ever mortgage rate, offering borrowers a 0.89% Standard Variable Rate in exchange for a £1,495 to those with a 35% deposit or higher.
A general election is unlikely to drastically change current trends however, the CML has said, after a decrease in the buy-to-let market following a rise in stamp duty this time last year was offset by a steady uptake amongst first time buyers, which has left the market level overall.
In the meantime, plans to raise legal fees payable after death have also been scrapped ahead of the general election, with the Ministry of Justice claiming insufficient time for the legislation to go through Parliament.
Probate fees had been due to rise from £155 or £215 up to £20,000 for some estates in England and Wales from May, but the Government has declined to say if the scheme will or won’t come back should the Prime Minister be re-elected.
In the interim, the future for investments, tax and property looks set to play a key role in wider political discussions throughout the run up to the general election.
Before the election announcement, the existing Government had pledged to keep a triple lock introduced in 2015 not to raise rates for income tax, national insurance and VAT until 2020, but this could now be up for debate.
Experts have also predicted plans previously set to be announced before May outlining the potential to increase the state pension age to 68 by 2030 could also be waylaid by the forthcoming election plans.
In any event, the surprise announcement that there will be a General Election this summer ensures UK politics remains a ready source of uncertainty for householders and investors moving forward.