Siobhan Mail, Director and Pensions Expert at Newport-based Seer Green Financial Planning, said: “For the Chancellor to offer some encouragement for the future I would like to see him leave tax relief on pensions alone, as an offset to the current pension benefit cuts and pay freezes in company schemes, and also to counteract the volatility in stock markets for those with private pensions.

“A further reduction in corporation tax or VAT would help businesses – as would some backing for cheaper loans for small businesses, to further push the banks to provide the finance that companies need to grow.

“The basic rate tax allowance for individuals should also be increased now to £10,000 to help lower and medium earners, which would also help the economy, as they spend a higher proportion of income on basics, than high earners.

“And if that seems an ambitious wish list, it could at least be partly-funded by the government devoting more resources and more will and effort into the collection of unpaid taxes, which – including much publicised instances like Barclays and other even worse corporate and individual examples – accounted for something like £28 billion of lost income in 2009 alone.”

Back to top