The Chancellor thought he’d pulled a rabbit out of the hat yesterday with a budget aimed at pensioners and savers. Today commentators are expressing concern at the ability, if the proposals about pensions are followed through, to draw the whole of one’s pension as a lump sum. Indeed I’ve even read that this could be an ideal opportunity for people to thwart a spouse’s claim on pensions by drawing them in full and spending the proceeds. Rest assured English law already has procedures available to freeze assets.
Media space has also been directed at lampooning the Tory party and its ill-advised Chairman for promulgating an advert in which they seek to publicise the decision to reduce the tax levy on bingo and beer. “Cutting the bingo tax & beer duty to help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy,” it said.
I have helped many clients who have attributed the breakdown of their marriage to a spouse who has been working so hard (be that in a business or at home looking after children) that they have felt neglected. Whilst they may have alleged that their spouse has been tied up in such work from morn to night, strangely I cannot recall it also being suggested that they went on to play bingo afterwards.
Beer, of course, is a different matter. Indeed there have been many clients too who have maintained that their spouse has worked hard and played hard calling in for a bevvy or two far too often on their way home from their arduous day. If, however, the Government really wanted to reward these people then perhaps it should have done the maths first and realised that the reduction in duty means that they will need to drink 100 pints before they save a pound!
It seems to me that not only was the advert patronising, but it was also untrue.