James Coney  

Will election end assault on wealth?

James Coney

James Coney

And breathe. The pound climbed to an 18-month high, UK funds reported sharp inflows for the first time in months, and even business leaders began to sound more confident. 

The general election result that returned the Tories with a whopping majority was a triumph of working class will, and another example of how Twitter and the voices of the liberal elite in London are so unrepresentative of what is happening in the real world. 

Leave or remain, the result is particularly crucial for economic confidence: not so much ‘get Brexit done’ as ‘get business done’.

How many decisions must have been postponed because of the uncertainty of the past few years of slim majorities and coalitions?

Financial planning has been practically impossible in the environment we had.

It is unquantifiable how much money has been wasted setting up offshore structures for the those worried about a Corbyn raid on wealth.

Just imagine the floods of money leaving the country had that first exit poll not been so clear cut. 

I always say that you should plan for the economics and not the politics.

Long-term saving through thick and thin has always been the best strategy, but faced with such a hostile attitude to wealth from the left it is hardly surprising that putting money under the mattress looked like such an attractive proposition for investors. 

Jeremy Corbyn seemed to hate property wealth, savings and investing.

He demonised those who tried to do the right thing and take private steps to prepare for retirement.

A majority gives Boris Johnson the chance to move to the centre (hopefully), but also, with his chancellor, to even out the mess of our current tax and pensions system. Only someone with a confident majority could do this. 

Let us pray for the end of the pensions taper for all workers, not just those in the National Health Service; but also, we must be careful what we wish for.

The Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos both called for reform of taxation on dividends and capital gains.

We may get a national insurance cut in the first Budget, but this is a party that needs to raise money from somewhere in order to fund its spending plans.

There was clearly traction in the notion that capital gains should be taxed as income. Let us not forget that it was actually Margaret Thatcher’s chancellor Nigel Lawson who did this before. 

And the fact that £50bn or so that is given up in pensions tax relief every year must also look very tantalising. Only a majority government would dare to cash in on this.

What I hope above all is an end to uncertainty and, crucially, no more attacks on personal wealth.

Seats lost

Among the decimation of the Labour party it was sad to see Frank Field lose his seat.