James Coney  

Tax reform proposals need to be more joined up

James Coney

James Coney

At the moment we are destroying small business owners and buy-to-let landlords by creeping tax reform that disincentivises growth. It also leaves them wondering when enough will be enough.

Tax reform is fine, but without joined-up policy-making we risk killing a vibrant part of the economy.

Care crisis must be prioritised 

I would love to know how many financial advisers routinely recommend to their clients that they should give away as many assets as possible.

When it comes to giving while living, us Brits are a reluctant lot. There simply is not the cultural imperative as there is in the US, for example.

Yet, so much inheritance tax could be saved, so much joy could be brought, if people routinely handed over chunks of their estate.

There is a reason why we don’t, of course – one of the dreaded C-words: care.

It is not just the worry that people will not have enough funds left to pay for their social care bills, but also the terrifying thought that some overzealous council will come after you because there has been deliberate deprivation of funding.

Until we sort out the care crisis, we will not sort out giving. 

What a shame for future generations and the redistribution of wealth.

Filling holes in the pensions market

Well done to Aviva for what on the face of it looks a major stride forward in terms of defined benefit pension transfers. 

It has found a lower cost, abridged advice service that only charges £800 if you do not take the advice.

This fills a vital hole in the market. But the game changer will be if financial advisers themselves can follow this lead and devise their own lower cost, abridged model.

That really would change the shape of the market.

James Coney is money editor of The Times and The Sunday Times