Dan Jones  

Policy changes expected

Dan Jones

In the three years since the UK voted to leave the EU, the reverberations of that decision have seen a succession of government ministers, spanning a wide range of offices, come and go.

This rate of turnover, coupled with all eyes remaining on Brexit, has meant little hope of resolution for some of the country’s more pressing domestic matters.

From advisers’ point of view, this state of affairs appeared a blessing at first. It ensured the likes of pensions tax relief reform – a sword of Damocles that forever hangs over industry heads, if you believe some of the more excitable pensions providers – had no chance of going ahead.

Lately, issues such as the tapered annual allowance, as well as the continued absence of the social care green paper, have made intermediaries more anxious for material change.

Last week brought a change of prime minister, and the biggest cabinet reshuffle of recent times. Boris Johnson has duly promised to fix both the above issues. But with the UK’s exit still unresolved, advisers might assume that revolving doors will again mask an absence of actual activity.

There are a couple of reasons to think otherwise, however. The first is that Mr Johnson’s big-ticket commitments have the tone of an election about them.

The Conservatives will be mindful of what happened at the ballot box the last time they attempted to resolve social care issues, but the prime minister appears to be conscious of the need to offer more than just a resolution to Brexit negotiations.

Those particular commitments may prove to be bluster, but there is one other factor to take into account.

The new prime minister appears much more willing to countenance both spending commitments and taxation changes. That in itself suggests more significant changes to domestic policy will be on the way in the near future.