26th May 2020
The past few months have taken their toll on just about everything. Daily life as we knew it seems a long distant memory and no doubt for some time to come, we will be more conscious about protecting our health than we’ve ever been. But what about our wealth?
Our health, and that of our loved ones and the rest of the nation must be and should be uppermost in our minds, after all, it is true that shrouds have no pockets. At the same time, we need to face reality, the financial cost of the pandemic is significant to say the least. The debt will need to be repaid.
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
The true economic cost is still unknown but what we do know is that it will be enormous. The huge debt will need to be repaid, the question is how, by whom and over what term?
We don’t know, but we can prepare.
As has been muted of late it is quite possible the cost will be treated in a similar way to war debt, but most agree there is a significant likelihood of increased taxes now and for generations to come. Income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax could all increase. Higher rate pensions tax relief has always been vulnerable, never more so than in the current climate.
“We can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails to always reach our destination”
On a more positive note, every cloud has a silver lining. One consequence of the pandemic is that Governments, businesses and individuals now appear to be more socially and environmentally aware. Staff working from home is having a positive effect on emissions, increased use of technology across the globe is reducing carbon footprints and the EU have recently confirmed their fiscal response to the pandemic will be built on “Green Deal” principles.
Only this week Andrew Bailey the Bank of England boss confirmed he’d changed his position and was now not ruling out negative interest rates, just what this means for savers is pretty evident. Markets are at relative lows, substantially lower than the beginning of the year, and this week’s newspaper headlines include “UK economy plunge in output is finally slowing” and “Eurozone’s economic slump has “likely bottomed out””. Who knows, only time will tell.
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”
In a low interest, low FTSE environment now may be the time to take action, a lot will depend on personal circumstances, but we are seeing a significant upturn in the phones ringing and toes being dipped in water with a particular interest in environmental, social and governance investing.
Your adviser is available to discuss ways of maximising current investment, pension and inheritance tax breaks and allowances and are particularly experienced in ethical investment advice. Please do feel free to discuss your concerns or requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117 4521208.