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Rishi Sunak plots new inheritance tax raid next month! ‘Nothing is ruled out’

Rishi Sunak plots new inheritance tax raid next month! ‘Nothing is ruled out’

INHERITANCE TAX bills could hit fresh highs if Chancellor Rishi Sunak increases the hated levy in his Autumn Budget. The Chancellor could launch a fresh tax raid on Middle England by hiking the punitive 40 percent tax rate or cutting IHT thresholds, a top tax expert has warned.Rishi Sunak plots new inheritance tax raid next month! ‘Nothing is ruled out’

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State pension warning: Rishi Sunak ‘considering changes’ to triple lock – tax raid fears

State pension warning: Rishi Sunak 'considering changes' to triple lock - tax raid fears

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is looking to raise funds to help the UK economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Reports in recent months have been rife with speculation over which taxes could be hiked or reformed to help raise cash for the Treasury. One change that has been hinted at by Mr Sunak himself is making changes to, or even abolishing, the pension triple lock. The triple lock works as follows.

At present, the state pension increases each year in line with the rising cost of living seen in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation, increasing average wages, or 2.5 percent, whichever is highest.

Average earnings have been the key part of the debate in recent months – official forecasts suggest that average earnings will be the highest of these three, by a considerable margin.

Predictions by the Bank of England suggest that average earnings could go up by 8 percent.

This has sparked concerns that young people who have suffered from unemployment or wage reductions during the Covid crisis may end up paying more for state pensions of older citizens.

Pension expert Steve Cameron has told Express.co.uk that Mr Sunak will probably have to at least partially break his 2019 manifesto pledge to maintain the triple lock.

He said: “The Conservatives vowed to keep the triple lock in 2019, but quite clearly at that point we were about to have a pandemic. The world has changed.

“When something significant changes, I’m not suggesting you should give up manifesto pledges without serious thought, but sometimes for fairness you might need to make changes.

“I would be surprised if Rishi isn’t at least considering changes.”

Mr Cameron explained that the Chancellor won’t want to make drastic changes, but will nevertheless want to ensure the system is made fairer.

READ MORE: Sunak condemned for planned assault on pensioners’ savings

He highlighted certain impacts of the pandemic have affected pensions, and how Mr Sunak could seek to correct this.

Mr Cameron continued: “I think he will want to stick to the spirit of the triple lock, so I don’t think for a minute he will scrap it entirely.

“I think he will try and adapt the triple lock given the way earnings have moved. He could possibly smooth the earnings figures over two years or maybe even three years.

“An alternative is to strip out the effects of the pandemic on national average earnings growth, and that’s the one that has been talked up in recent months.

“The Office of National Statistics (ONS) last month produced its earning figures, and showed what earning growth would have been if you stripped out furlough and it also considered that most jobs lost during the pandemic were lower paid jobs.

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“This month, they also gave an indication of how earnings have moved over two years – they have gone up by 7.1 percent, but over the last year, it has been 8.6 percent.

“There will be an adjustment, it will be to use the average figures or take out the distortions caused by furlough and the pandemic.”

The Telegraph revealed last month that Treasury officials were looking at three major reforms to how pension contributions are taxed to cover heightened pandemic spending.

But there was push-back from some senior Tories to the ideas being pursued, in a reflection of how politically challenging major pensions reforms would prove.

One minister with an economic brief stressed that Conservatives should be encouraging people to put into their pension pots rather than making changes that could discourage it.

The source told The Telegraph: “Anything to do with pensions, because it’s such a long-term gain, we have to proceed with caution. If we do anything radical you need to build consensus across Parliament.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

State pension age ‘unlikely’ to be reduced as Rishi Sunak contemplates tax raid

State pension age 'unlikely' to be reduced as Rishi Sunak contemplates tax raid

Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak was urged to lower the pension age in order to boost the UK’s economic recovery. State pension age is currently set at 66, however, a new petition on the official Parliament website has called for a reconsideration of this matter. The petition is entitled: “Move the state pension age back to 60 for both men and women”.

It urges action on the age at which people become eligible to receive payments, particularly due to the pandemic.

The petition said: “Young people are struggling to find work and losing their jobs, due to the pandemic.

“Why not allow older people to retire earlier, thereby freeing up jobs for young people?

“There would be a cost, however surely a far more positive cost than paying Universal Credit?

“Not to mention the option of restoring the balance back into young people’s favour and helping restore their future.”

However, a pensions expert at Aegon, Steve Cameron, has told Express.co.uk that this is unlikely to happen.

He said: “I think that it would be highly unlikely the government would reduce the pension age. Despite the pandemic, life expectancy will not have suffered due to the pandemic.

“Going forward, life expectancy should continue to go up and therefore it is reasonable the state pension age goes up. It has just gone up to 66 and it is due to go up to 67 in 2028 and then to 68 in 2034.

“And I suppose the only thing that might happen is the government may defer those future increases, but I certainly don’t think they will bring the age back down again.

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“The younger the state pension is, the longer people need a state pension for and the more costly it is for people of working age.”

Another major talking point in recent weeks has been the pension triple lock potentially being scrapped.

Reports have suggested Mr Sunak could temporarily break the pension triple lock this year in order to prevent the Treasury from being landed with a £3billion uprating bill.

Mr Sunak hinted at a change last week as the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that a post-lockdown surge in pay growth will result in the state pension going up by eight percent next April.

The pension triple lock being preserved was a 2019 Conservative Party manifesto pledge, so a suspension could provoke anger from some.

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Mr Cameron added: “I would be surprised if Rishi Sunak isn’t at least considering making changes to the triple lock.

“I think he will want to stick to the spirit of the triple lock, so I don’t think for a minute he will scrap it entirely.”

The Telegraph revealed last month that Treasury officials were looking at three major reforms to how pension contributions are taxed to cover heightened pandemic spending.

But there was push-back from some senior Tories to the ideas being pursued, in a reflection of how politically challenging major pensions reforms would prove.

One minister with an economic brief stressed that Conservatives should be encouraging people to put into their pension pots rather than making changes that could discourage it.

The source told The Telegraph: “Anything to do with pensions, because it’s such a long-term gain, we have to proceed with caution. If we do anything radical you need to build consensus across Parliament.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Pension tax raid: Rishi Sunak's actions may leave retirees with just five years to act

Pension tax raid: Rishi Sunak's actions may leave retirees with just five years to act

He said: “The rumours swirling about the LTA over the last few days will represent a worry for pension savers across the country.

“Pensions by their very nature are a long-term product and it’s unfair of the government to constantly move the goalposts.

“While even pension pots of £800,000 or £900,000 sound like a very large pot of money to many, investment growth and compound interest can mean that the new LTA thresholds can be easier to hit than people may think particularly for those in public sector schemes.

“Our calculations show that someone with a £625,000 or a £700,000 pension pot and are five years away from retirement could be forced to hand over some of their hard-earned cash to the taxman if the thresholds are reduced to £800,000 or £900,000 respectively.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Pension: How Lifetime Allowance could impact you as Rishi Sunak plans raid on YOUR pension

Pension: How Lifetime Allowance could impact you as Rishi Sunak plans raid on YOUR pension

Pension reforms are always anticipated by experts, particularly near to major fiscal events such as the Budget. Before the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget this year, many Britons were looking at their pension pots, taking action to ensure they were not affected by rumoured changes. Ultimately, Mr Sunak announced a freeze to the Pension Lifetime Allowance at its current level of £1,073,100, until April 2026.

However, with the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ now pushed back, and variants of COVID-19 spreading, there are concerns about the financial future for the UK.

After a challenging year and a half, reports from The Telegraph have suggested Treasury officials are looking at a “pension tax raid”. 

According to sources from Whitehall, the measure is being considered due to pressure on the public purse after the pandemic.

A number of different methods have bene discussed with regards to potential pension changes in the future.

READ MORE: Savings: Britons urged to give cash a ‘boost’ as many ‘lose money’

As pensions increase in value over time due to compounding, people may find themselves drawing particularly close to the threshold, and even tipping over it.

This could have a particular impact on a person’s retirement cash, and thus their plans for later life. 

Speaking previously to Express.co.uk, Christine Ross, Head of Private Office (North) at Handlesbanken Wealth Management, commented on what a Pension Lifetime Allowance changes could mean.

She said: “More and more people are going to get near to the Lifetime Allowance in the next few years, perhaps even without realising it. 

“It’s important to note we aren’t just talking about extraordinarily high earners, here, we’re talking about people who have spent time in upper-middle management.”

Ms Ross highlighted career pathways such as headteachers, deputy headteachers, heads of department, and other white collar professionals who may be impacted.

Indeed, those who have defined benefit pension arrangements, which are usually based on years of service and salary may also be impacted. 

She added: “The Lifetime Allowance is frozen at £1,073,100, which may seem like an odd number, and that is going to be frozen for the next five years.

“If that had been increased with inflation, that allowance would’ve risen by £88,900 if we took a view for inflation over the next five years.

“Now, let’s say somebody is right on the Lifetime Allowance and their investments continued to grow at the same level – effectively they will pay 55 percent tax on £88,900. That is the impact on somebody of the Lifetime Allowance being frozen.”

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, added: “Today’s speculation highlighted the possibility of a further cut to the pensions lifetime allowance.

“Given this was frozen at the recent Budget any further change would be particularly punitive. The current allowance only buys an annual guaranteed income of around £1,700 a month, which is hardly going to buy a life of luxury.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the Treasury for comment on the matter. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Woman sentenced for making false 911 report that led to deadly HPD raid

Woman sentenced for making false 911 report that led to deadly HPD raid
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The woman who admitted to making a false 911 report that led to the botched Harding Street raid in January 2019 learned her sentencing for the crime on Tuesday.

Patricia Ann Garcia, 53, pleaded guilty back in March of this year to a charge of conveying false information.

A judge sentenced Garcia to 40 months in federal detention and three years probation.

According to an indictment, Garcia claimed her 25-year-old daughter was inside Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle’s home doing drugs, but federal prosecutors said none of it was true.

Three weeks after the report to police, narcotics officers executed a “no-knock” warrant on the home.

Harding Street: Timeline of what happened in botched HPD raid

Nicholas and Tuttle were killed and four officers were wounded.

The judge also said Tuesday that Garcia may have planned for something bad to happen, calling 911 multiple times.

To date, 12 total officers, both former and current members of the Houston Police Department, have been indicted in the raid. Most have been accused of falsifying time cards and other alleged crimes related to their pay.

Just last week, one of the officers, Steven Bryant, pleaded guilty to federal charges of tampering with a government record. He was accused of lying to police to try to cover up a bad search warrant. He retired while under investigation after 23 years on the force.

The video above is from a report prior to Garcia’s sentencing.

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