Budget 

Tricks and treats contained in Fiscal Phil's Budget

The Budget did promise the ban on pensions cold call calling will come to fruition soon with the final regulations being laid before Parliament in Autumn this year.

Claire Trott, head of pensions strategy at St James’s Place Group, said: "This has been a long time coming and although it won’t stop all pensions scams, anything that can be done to stop even one person losing their hard-earned pension is worthwhile."

Also in a move to convince the industry that the government’s commitment hasn't wavered, Mr Hammond set aside £5m to consult on the design of the pensions dashboard.

Alistair Wilson, head of retail platform strategy at Zurich, said: "With the government seemingly firmly behind the dashboard and state pension information also likely to be included on it, this should increase the pressure on providers who have so far been reluctant to sign up to it."

Blow to landlords

While it was good news on the whole for pension savers in keeping with recent Budgets, Mr Hammond delivered yet another blow to buy-to-let investors. 

From April 2020 the government will reform lettings relief so that it only applies in circumstances where the owner of the property is in shared occupancy with the tenant.

The final period exemption will also be reduced from 18 months to nine months.

The government announced it will consult on these changes but clarified there will be no changes to the 36 months final period exemption available to disabled people or those in a care home.

Tim Walford-Fitzgerald, private client partner at accountancy H W Fisher & Company, said in effect, the change stops the practice of renting the home out for 12 months and still achieving a tax free gain on the sale of the property.

However it wasn't all bad news for landlords as tucked away in the 281-page review documentation accompanying the Budget was a single sentence confirming a HM Treasury U-turn.

HM Treasury scrapped a shared occupancy test for those renting their spare rooms to continue to qualify for the annual £7,500 rent-a-room tax relief.

At the other end of the property ladder, there was also good news for first-time buyers.

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme was extended by two years, now running until 2023 rather than 2021.

Additionally, the new scheme will be for first-time buyers only and a new regional property price cap will be applied to the scheme from April 2021 onwards.

The chancellor also announced that stamp duty relief will be extended to those who purchase properties up to a value of £500,000 through the shared ownership scheme.

This policy will be backdated to the last budget so that anyone who has purchased a property through the scheme since 22 November 2017 will be entitled a refund.