23 November 2017 - In This Issue:
BlackStar Wealth News
Welcome to the November issue of BlackStar Wealth News. 


The highlight of the Chancellor's mildly expansionary package was a new stamp duty land tax relief for first time home buyers (outside Scotland). As long as the consideration for the property is no more than £500,000, first time buyers will pay no SDLT on the first £300,000 and above that they pay the normal rates.


It is worth noting that the Scottish Budget will be published on 14 December when their income tax plans for 2018/19 will be announced.


We lead this month with an overview and summary of the Chancellor's Autumn budget; if you have questions about the summary's contents or how any aspects of your tax and financial planning may be affected by the Budget please do not hesitate to contact us about this or any other subjects raised in this this month's issue of Wealth News.



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A 'steady as she goes' Autumn Budget
The Chancellor's second Budget of 2017.
Mr Hammond will probably be pleased if commentators decide that his Autumn Budget was a steady-as-she-goes, broadly modest Budget.
After the national insurance u-turn he was forced to make after his March Budget this year, that was probably his aim. 
Key tax changes at a glance
A snapshot of key changes.
family_home_savings.jpg Following the Chancellor's Autumn Budget 2017, please click on the link below for a snapshot of the key changes for the forthcoming 2018/19 tax year.

Almost but not quite - near miss on inflation helps boost interest rate
September inflation was just low enough to spare Mark Carney writing to the Chancellor and helped spur the first interest rate rise in a decade.
stacks_of_coins.jpg Each year the Chancellor of the day gives the Bank of England an inflation target to meet.
Ever since Gordon Brown changed the inflation index used to the consumer Prices Index (CPI), that target has been 2%.
Read more
A pensioner's bonanza?
State pensions will rise by 3% next April, but it's not all strictly good news.
elderly-laptop-couple.jpg On the day that a CPI inflation rate of 3% was announced, the BBC website covering the rise had a picture of pensions 'dancing for joy'.

The supposed reason for their jollity was that the 3% September inflation figure was the one that would be used to fix state pension increases from April 2018.

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Rise in popularity for venture capital trusts
New figures from HMRC show a large jump in VCT investments in 2016/17.
investment_compass.jpg In September HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued updated statistics on the funds raised by venture capital trusts (VCTs).
These showed that investment during the last tax year reached £570m, an increase of over 28% on 2015/16.

Has your income risen by 14.3% over the past year?
Statistics show that dividends from UK shares are still rising rapidly.
The latest quarterly 'UK Dividend Monitor' from Capita Asset Services paints a rosy picture for income seeking investors in UK shares.

As Capita noted, "Companies are very cash generative, which is strongly supporting dividend payments ..."
Read more
A different ending for Japan's election gamble
Not all snap elections turn out the same way ...
martial_arts_fighting.jpg A right of centre Prime Minister calls an election before the end of the government's term to take advantage of rising poll numbers and seeming disarray amongst the opposition parties.

What could possibly go wrong?

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