Jeff Prestridge  

Playing politics with cash

Jeff Prestridge

Jeff Prestridge

Thankfully, the abuse I received after the second article – torrents of it over three days - had prepared me. “Don’t engage, Jeff.” “Don’t acknowledge, and don’t give them the oxygen of more publicity” went through my mind.

So, is it wrong to mix the subject of politics and family finance? I do not think it is.

There is no doubt a Corbyn-led government will do untold damage to the British economy, triggering inflation, higher interest rates and unemployment and causing the pound to fall.

Possibilities that shadow chancellor John McDonnell has acknowledged, especially a falling pound. It is key to point these out. 

It is also indisputable that taxes will rise if Mr Corbyn enters Number 10 and that some tax incentives will be curtailed.

Given the incumbent Conservative chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, has said higher rate relief on pension contributions are “eye-wateringly expensive”, it is inconceivable this will survive under a Corbyn administration.

This should be spelt out in black and white.

Having switched my phone back on after all the trolling, I have sat in a windowless room and reread the eight-page Corbyn special.

Apart from the odd inappropriate adjective, all the report did was provide reams of solid personal finance guidance for all those out there interested in building and preserving wealth.

Advice that good financial planners (that means you) preach every single working day.

So, fix your mortgage before interest rates start rising (you would be a fool to do anything else) and, if possible, make overpayments, thereby shrinking your overall debt.

Ensure your investment portfolio is well diversified – and that you are using as much of your pension and Isa allowances as possible.

Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, came out with a lovely line:“It makes sense to keep a diversified, balanced portfolio that includes exposure to both UK and international companies rather than having all your investments pointing in the same direction.” Absolutely.

Get your family finances set up tax efficiently so you do not pay unnecessary tax on savings and investments held outside an Isa or pension.

Finally, be aware of the various allowances available to reduce future inheritance tax bills.

All these key personal finance messages are relevant, irrespective of whether Mr Corbyn gets into power. Goebbels? No, just good, sensible financial planning.

Jeff Prestridge is personal finance editor of the Mail on Sunday