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Summer of discontent

Samantha Downes

Samantha Downes

As this column was going to press, parliament was being dissolved in order to prepare for the general election.

The upshot of this snap election, as most of us now know, was that large parts of the Finance Bill were shelved in order to ease its passage before 8 June.

As the polls stand, it would appear that the current Conservative government may return in the next parliament with a larger majority; reinforcing Theresa May’s position as prime minister.

It might not, as those of us who covered the polls in the run up to 2015’s general election might be well to remember.

Back to the Finance Bill. The financial services industry can breathe a sigh of relief that the probate fee hike, the money purchase annual allowance, and cuts to the dividend tax allowance have been kicked into the not-so long grass.

But it also means pensions cold calling is off the agenda too. 

The state pension triple lock commitment is also looking shaky. Whether Philip Hammond, whom one of our colleagues on this newspaper dubbed ‘robotic’ will remain as chancellor after 8 June is also questionable. 

All this uncertainty is not helpful - that much is certain. 

There is a chance we will have three budgets this year, with a summer one to add to the autumn one which was already scheduled before the election was called.

Financial Adviser has a duty to remain impartial in the remaining weeks.

Let us hope that the issues that matter to clients and therefore advisers - are not swept under the carpet and that the next government has the guts and the wherewithal to make sure that key issues such as housing affordability, pension funding and the need for protection remain on the agenda among others are kept on the agenda.

Party politics or not.