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The Chancellor seems set to give personal finances a big boost in this week’s Budget.
In his Sunday Sun column this weekend and on the Marr Show he focused on ‘aspiration’. “Whether you want to buy a new home, start up a business, get an apprenticeship or save for retirement, this Government is on your side,” he said.
Later on Marr, the Chancellor made key announcements including the introduction of the single tier state pension earlier than planned from 2016 as well as introducing a lower savings cap of £72,000 for the much debated long term care reforms.
So far in this Government there have been limited reforms to the personal finance policy agenda.
Scrapping compulsory annuitisation for pensions was a great start and to be welcomed while limiting overall pensions tax relief has proved a lot more controversial.
But some of the zeal of radical personal savings reform which took place in opposition – like the introduction of Lifetime Savings Accounts to allow savings flexiblility from cradle to grave - have not made it to the agenda while in Government.
Of course the economic situation and Coalition have tempered what is possible.
But if there ever was a time to encourage personal responsibility towards personal saving – then now is surely the time.
So I welcome the Chancellor’s focus on personal finances as the curtain raiser to this week’s Budget.
I urge him to maintain that commitment for the rest of his tenure and to continue to make it easier for everyone to save for their future.
Thats got to be the right way forward for a Government that says it wants to help ‘aspiration’.