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Rumours around Philip Hammond’s upcoming budget speech



Philip Hammond budget speech

Philip Hammond’s third budget speech will be delivered coming Monday. Investors are advised not to keep high hopes, since Hammond has never really released a budget in favour of self-employed or aspirational investors.

In 2017, Philip Hammond had announced to slash the tax-free allowance on dividend payments from £5,000 to £2,000. His attempt to increase National Insurance for the self-employed failed miserably. Since then he has been trying to scrap Class 2 National Insurance payments for the self-employed.

The buzz around the third budget is that higher-rate tax relief would be cut on pension contributions. The cost of pension tax relief has seen a tremendous increase over the past few years, with the current cost being £40billion a year. This has raised a strong argument that the current system is unfair, as it is more generous towards high earners.

Going down the line, Nigel Lawson in 1986 introduced the personal equity plan or Pep that encouraged tax-free investment to shares. In 1988, Lawson also reduced the top rate of high-rate taxpayers from 60 percent to 40 percent.

In 1990, Tessa was introduced by John major that gave tax-free interest to those willing to commit to five years of saving. Over the years, various Chancellors have reduced the basic rate, which was 30 percent in 1982, but is 20 percent now.

In 1999, Gordon Brown announced a lower 10p starting rate of income tax. However, he failed to apply it to savings interest and had to be persuaded by a Money Mail campaign.

Brown also came up with the Child Trust Fund that gave some money to youngsters when they turned 18. The problem with the CTF was that the Government was borrowing to fund this so those same youngsters will grow up to be burdened with the debt.

Introduction of the people’s Budget with support from Winston Churchill by David Lloyd George in 1909 was the best that has happened in the history. It established many of the principles of the welfare state we rely on today and recognised that, in a civilised society, there must be a safety net for the poor and the elderly.

In the present case scenario, if the existing tax relief is redistributed, Philip Hammond’s fellow MPs might not stand for it. The basic salary of an MP is £77,379, meaning they benefit from higher-rate tax relief on contributions to their very generous final salary pension scheme. There’s nothing like self-interest for provoking a sense of outrage.

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KPMG Warns No-deal Brexit will Cause Biggest Crash in Housing Prices



no-deal Brexit

According to the leading accountancy firm KPMG, if Britain undergoes a no-deal Brexit on October 31, the housing markets of London and Northern Ireland might come crashing down. KPMG asserted that following the no-deal, the house price crash might vary from 5.4 percent to 7.5 percent.

The analysis made by the firm also reflected the probable chances of depreciation of 10 percent to 20 percent in housing prices, if the reaction towards a no-deal is more than expected.

Following the G7 Summit in August, Johnson shifted the responsibility of no-deal Brexit over his European Council counterparts.

KPMG, after assessing the highly exposed condition of the market, released the statement in lieu of the series of warnings regarding the no-deal Brexit. The firm also said that if Britain is unable to strike a new withdrawal agreement with Brussels by October 31, the house prices would slash down across various regions of Britain over next year.

Chief economist of the firm at UK, Yael Selfin, in lieu of the firm’s statement said, “A no-deal Brexit will see households’ finances more under strain, with any rises in earnings likely to be more subdued and higher inflation depressing their purchasing power even further.”

“Add to that a rising unemployment rate and an overall decline in confidence as a result of the initial disruption, [and] you can see why people would hold off making any major financial commitments, which would trigger a larger correction in house prices.”

One of the Big Four, KPMG, also claimed that if Boris Johnson successfully strikes a withdrawal deal with the EU and avoids a no-deal Brexit by the set deadline, the slash in house prices can be avoided. Instead, there would be a steady growth in housing prices ranging from 1.3 percent to 2.4 percent across London in 2020.

Last year, the Bank of England formulated a hard-Brexit scenario and claimed that it can lead to the depreciation of a maximum of 35 percent in the housing market, although the interest rates will continuously change.

Chairing the Housing division of the UK at KPMG, Jan Crosby claimed that no-deal Brexit might lead to a steep crash in the housing prices and further affect the sales. He explained the reason as alerted owners who are waiting for the risk surrounding the market to end.

He further said that this move will “make government housing delivery targets impossible to achieve and slow new building across the sector.”

Even though the chances for a no-deal Brexit are relatively higher than Britain leaving the EU with a deal, the MPs at House of Commons still have a week to pass the legislature to block a no-deal, after returning from the summer break. With every section of the market claiming that a no-deal Brexit would be bad for the growth of the UK, will Johnson be able to strike a withdrawal deal, preventing Britain from the downfall?

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Brexit Deal: Causes and Effects on British Economy and Currency



Brexit Deal

The controversial Brexit Deal has become more of a challenge for the British economy. Boris Johnson, who was recently appointed as the prime minister, is more determined to take the UK out of the EU by October 31 with or without a Brexit deal. But the real deal here is that the entire country would indulge in a huge economic shock with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Unlike the prime minister’s previous statements that the Brexit deal would result in “massive economic opportunity”, many independent economists claimed that the entire scenario would negatively impact the British economy. Economist and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, also agreed to the fact that a no-deal Brexit would lead to an “instantaneous shock”.

Carney further added, “You actually have businesses that are no longer economic.”

For the first time in the last seven years, the UK economy, while revolving around the Brexit deal, shrunk in the second quarter.

Moreover, the gross domestic product also fell 0.2 percent in the three months to June. When looked on the first quarter, the output was boosted by British manufacturing companies, who ramped up the production to supply to the overseas customers.

One of the main reasons behind these were the fears of border disruption after a no-deal Brexit on March 29, which was the original date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. During the second quarter output, the carmakers’ shutting down their plants in April because of the Brexit turbulence led to the downfall.

It appears that the business services and finance throughout the country would stagnate in the near future.

Observing the existing downfall of Pound Sterling since the Brexit referendum, many political leaders have been making every possible effort, stopping Boris Johnson from pursuing a no-deal Brexit.

Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, the British currency has fallen 10 percent. Though it was relatively stable against the currencies of the UK’s trading partners for some time, it started sliding again in May post Theresa May’s plans of quitting from the prime minister’s office.

With Pound’s slowing down to seven percent in May, the analysts believe that it might lead to situations of inflation as many companies have become reluctant to commit to capital spending amid Brexit uncertainty. As a result, business investment fell throughout in 2018. Sudden surge in the first quarter resulted in huge decline in the second quarter.

The main area of concern is that the investments’ decision is poorly affecting the global trade that has lowered the growth rates. The persistent weakness in the UK productivity along with unemployment closing to a 45-year low at 3.9 percent has further contributed to the crisis amid delays of making Brexit deal a complete success.

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Britain’s Road to Brexit Jeopardizes Pound Sterling Value




As Britain treads on the path towards no-deal Brexit after the indications from Boris Johnson’s government, the Pound Sterling has reached an all time low of two years.

The Pound Sterling has reached a 28 months’ low and experienced a drop of more than 1 percent, reaching to the current value of $1.2230, the lowest ever since mid-March 2017. It also experienced a drop against the euro, reaching a value of €1.1004. As per analysts, the currency could further experience a downfall.

As only three months are left for the impending deadline of Brexit, pressure for delivering it seems to be mounting up on Boris Johnson’s cabinet. Earlier, Michael Gove the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and no-deal Brexit planning, said that the government “must operate on the assumption” that no-deal is a possibility. However, the Prime Minister seemed to separate himself from such comments.

As the currency reached an all-time low of two years, Boris Johnson pressed upon the claims that there are still chances, the EU might agree for a new withdrawal deal.

As the Pound Sterling experienced a drop, the analysts at ING Group began to express their stance and make speculations on future turn of events. Petr Krpata, a currency strategist of the organisation said that the Pound experienced a downfall when “the events over the weekend, where the current stance of the new government became clear.”

He said, “The market [is] awaking to the reality of a new UK government, its rather combative stance on the current EU-UK Brexit deal, and its open remarks on the rising probability of a no-deal Brexit.”

According to the Chairperson of Hedge Fund Currency Sale at Mizuho Bank, the market has also experienced a shift in the price as the chances for a no-deal Brexit happening has increased to 50 percent as compared to the previous 20 percent chances.

It is not for the first time, the Pound has seen a drop in the Premiership of Boris Johnson. The Pound has experienced a downfall of 1.8 percent from the time Boris Johnson unveiled his cabinet comprising of hard Brexiteers and claiming that Brexit will happen by October 31, with “no ifs or buts”.

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Uncertainty Over Brexit hits UK with Investment and Hiring Prospects



Uncertainty Over Brexit hits UK with Investment and Hiring Prospects

The financial uncertainties around Brexit are subject to deal or no deal of the agreement. Ever since the referendum in 2016, the UK firms have seen multiple falls. Therefore, as per the latest plan, they have planned to reduce investment and hiring, a survey of chief financial officers showed, Monday.

The survey conducted by Deloitte, a financial advisory firm, stated that as many as 83% of the CFOs believed that parting ways with the EU would hurt Britain’s going concern. Besides, only 4% believed that such a move was good, and taking risk could actually yield them rewards.

Britain’s economy opened on a high this year when companies were preparing to leave for the original deadline in March. However, the economy slumped after the deadline was delayed until October 31.

As per the surveys published last week, the British economy followed a downward trajectory in the second quarter. Further, England Governor Mark Carney also warned of the increasing risks from a no-deal Brexit and from the growing trade rifts worldwide.

As per the records, two thirds of the of the CFOs surveyed by Deloitte are likely to cut hiring in the next three years; as a result of Brexit, while some 47% firms are expected to reduce the capital spending.

Impact of Brexit on UK firms was also visible all throughout 2018, when House of Commons failed to register any progress on the deal. In fact, when British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered her greatest defeat in Commons, the investor’s confidence became really wobbly.

“Brexit uncertainty is crippling business investment. “We’re at risk of falling further behind our G7 competitors,” Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s chief economist, said.

Financial fallout looks on cards for Britain. While, May’s vow to deliver Brexit ended in disarray, not agreeing with her terms might now lead to an even worse situation. As it stands, Britain will soon know who their new leader will be, but what UK firms really need to know is, if Britain is falling out, or leaving the European Union with a deal at hand.

The survey conducted by Deloitte was formed on responses from 79 CFOs, including 489 from FTSE 3350 companies. It was conducted between June 12 to 28.

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Foreign Markets Experience Rise as Bank of England Holds off Interest Rate



Bank of England

On Thursday, the Bank of England (BoE) cautioned and alerted on the economic stance and growth for the UK. The officials said that while the economic stance is negating continuously, the financial advancement might reduce to zero in the second quarter of this year.

These speculations come amidst the ever-increasing risks to the economy of the country as it nears the fate of a no-deal Brexit and global trade tensions. The nine-member committee of BoE decided to confine the interest rates at 0.75 percent. They also voted unanimously to retain the stock of the UK government bond purchases at £435 billion.

Following such an announcement from the Central Bank, European Banks witnessed a rise as investors reacted to the decision of curbing interest rates by the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve.

The bank continued to press hard on the fact that if in case, Britain is able to evade a damaging no-deal Brexit, then the interests rates will increase “at a gradual pace and to a limited extent”. The central bank also brought attention towards the discontent felt inside the organisation on the fact that Britain would have a “smooth” Brexit with minimum disarray.

As per the BoE, Britain’s economy will experience no growth in the second quarter, even though they predicted that the economy would see a growth of 0.2 percent every quarter as foretold last month.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England has regularly said that the growth or depreciation in the interest rates depends upon the no-deal Brexit, and the movement relies on the demand, supply and exchange rate.

Earlier, it came into notice that the British currency saw a depreciation of three percent in May and the delay on Brexit was considered to be the prime factor for this fall in the value.

In its policy statement, the Central Bank said, “Globally, trade tensions have intensified. Domestically, the perceived likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has risen. Trade concerns have contributed to volatility in global equity prices and corporate bond spreads, as well as falls in industrial metals prices.”

Many economists also commented on the stance of the Bank of England and the all-day development in the stock market.

ING economist James Smith said, “All things considered, it’s slightly more dovish than one might have expected. The fact they are saying the perceived risk of a no-deal Brexit is rising suggests that they ultimately might take a more cautious approach than the rhetoric implied.”

Similarly, the Capital Economics economist Thomas Pugh stated, “If there is a no deal then the MPC will probably quickly change its tune and support the economy by cutting interest rates.”

Whilst the MPC committee looks forward to a steady growth of two percent if there is a “smooth Brexit”, the future stance and policies of the Bank of England, in wake of increasing global tensions, might soon witness a change.

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