Opinion  

Your Shout: Letters to the editor

Financial Adviser Letters

Financial Adviser Letters

Too little too late?

I am pleased to see that IR35 will be reviewed as part of the Conservative manifesto. 

Regrettably the large financial institutions I am currently being engaged to undertake specialist work for are already making provisions for the changes and will only now contract via an agencies umbrella effective from March 1, hence passing the PAYE responsibility. 

It is unlikely they will backtrack on that as they are applying it now. So I am not sure if this review is too late.

It will be interesting to see when this review happens, what it concludes and whether large and medium organisations revert back to employing contractors as limited company resources.

Grant McKee

GA McKee Project Consultancy

 

Relief plans

The Labour party commitment to scrap entrepreneur’s relief and the Conservative plans to “review and reform” the relief are unlikely to lead to a significant fall in the number of sellers who come to market as suggested.

Association of Accounting Technicians focus groups and HM Revenue & Customs research has clearly evidenced that most sellers are unaware that the relief even exists until the time comes to sell and they seek advice from their accountant, financial adviser or other professional.

Likewise, the suggestion that scrapping the relief will make it less appealing to start a business in the first place does not stand up to scrutiny.

 HMRC’s research published in 2017 highlighted that 92 per cent of those that claimed entrepreneur’s relief were not in any way influenced to invest because of it.

There is now an overwhelming body of evidence to suggest that the relief is not achieving its policy objectives, that it is extremely expensive, misguided and ultimately ineffective.

If the government is serious about wanting to encourage entrepreneurship, committing this £3bn of relief to helping small British businesses grow and prosper would be a far better investment for UK plc than encouraging business owners to do nothing more than sell-up.

Phil Hall 

Head of Public Affairs & Public Policy at Association of Accounting Technicians

 

Robo-advice

While it is always important to find evidence, my reading of the article “Study finds ‘substantial resistance’ to robo advice” (November 28) suggests a couple of problems with the conclusions – albeit I have not seen the full detail of the study. 

First, the Financial Conduct Authority chose “a nationally representative sample of 1,800 individuals” for their research. But if it is truly representative of the population, around 40-50 per cent will actually have no savings, or savings so low as not to be able, sensibly, to invest in risky products. So, they would have no need of investment advice, robo or otherwise. 

Secondly, they conclude that robo-advice may not be attractive to “those who may be most in need of advice – [those with] lower socio-economic status”. But, with the best will in the world, these are likely to be people who have little or no savings – unless the study’s concept of ‘advice’ is actually about helping people save, not invest.