New figures this week have shown that the rate of unemployment in the UK is falling, yet pay is still stagnating and failing to keep up with inflation. At the same time, many large businesses have announced job cuts meaning wages continue to be squeezed as companies cut costs.
The amount of money being saved into Cash ISA Savings has dropped by a third, according to HMRC.
Official figures show that during the tax year of 2016 to 2017, the amount of money invested into cash ISA’s fell by just over £19.5 billion to £39.2 billion.
There was also a fall in the number of new cash ISA accounts being opened, with just over 1.6 million fewer accounts being taken out in the last financial tax year as the number fell to just over 8.5 million in total.
Working parents with children aged three & four years old can now claim 30 hours of free childcare each week.
The new scheme doubles the previous childcare entitlement of 15 hours free childcare and is funded for 38 weeks to coincide with school term time.
In total, an estimated 390,000 eligible working families can save on average of £5,000 per year on childcare costs under the plans.
A.I. has been firmly on the agenda in the world of finance. At a recent conference, the Product Editor of Wired magazine was unimpressed with today’s early options like Amazon’s Alexa. But in five years from now, it is expected that this technology will be pervasive and “conversational A.I.” will be the way we help with our finances. Until then, an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) is still your best bet, and even in the near future, we do not expect to see many people using a robot to make choices about their family’s financial future!
Workers and kids have been going Back to School in England and Wales this month. Facebook has been filled to the brim with photos of little people in front of doors and fireplaces, dressed up in their new uniforms (which will be crumpled and covered in mud or paint by the end of the week!)
Changes To Inheritance Tax – Inheritance tax basics
When a person dies, inheritance tax is payable if that person’s estate, consisting of money, property and possessions, is deemed to be valued at more than the nil-rate band.
Since 2009 the nil-rate band has been set at £325 000, with anything above this being taxed at a rate of 40%.
If, when you died, your estate was worth £500,000, the first £325,000 would be free from inheritance tax, but the remaining £175 000 would be liable for IHT tax at 40%.
IHT can be reduced slightly to 36% on some of the assets, if the owner has left 10% or more to charity.
Any unused allowance could be transferred to a spouse or civil partner thus increasing the nil-rate band to £650,000 if the deceased did not use any of their own allowances (although this is very rare).
Read more in this article about ways to reduce your IHT liability.