14 May 2010, 8:34pm
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  • UK Con-Dem coalition, who’d have thought it

    Well, we finally found out what we had voted for, though not many had expected a Con-Dem pact. Uneasy bedfellows I would have thought, though so far they seem to have been busy clipping off the extremes of each other’s wilder policies.

    The Tories have had to give up their cherished inheritance tax threshold raising, while the Lib Dems have had their IMO nuttier policies on defence and energy moderated. They’ve got a massive increase in capital gains tax past the Tories.  Buy-to-letters are spitting bricks. I’m not sure whether this was specifically targeted to take out BTL landlords, since business owners can usually find ways of getting rewarded that aren’t capital gains. It is a hit on people who have bought shares outside of ISAs and the like, and indeed may trash one of my employee sharesave schemes. I’ll live, though – this isn’t too much of a hit on me.

    For me personally the one Lib Dem policy that scares the hell out of me is their wish to abolish 40% tax relief on pension contributions, which could seriously bugger up my plans, as I am going for a contributions sprint at the end of my working life. If they get that through I will seriously look at switching to part-time working, as I can use my time more effectively building up my business and writing, rather than using nearly half of it to bail out financial institutions.

    However, on the upside, their proposal to increase the tax threshold to £10,000 will make my pension more valuable as I won’t be losing much of it to tax. A VAT increase may well take a lot of that back again though 🙁

    So like the Economist, and Monevator I find myself pleasantly surprised. I am still not sure whether the Tories and the Dems can stay in bed together, though they do all right on many local councils.

    There are some other nice wrinkles. FFS, why should I pay for middle class people’s sprogs via the Child Trust Funds and Child Tax Credits?

    I just love the moniker this unlikely marriage has acquired – Con-Dem, let’s hope it isn’t what it sounds like!

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