Archive for June, 2010

Emergency Budget Update

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer gave the coalition government’s first Budget today, within 50 days of the election as promised. There were a great many changes, most of which will take place from April 2011, so I have added a new row to The Salary Calculator to give an indication of what the impact might be.

Unfortunately, a lot of the figures won’t be confirmed until towards the end of this year, so I have had to make some estimates based on what was described in the Emergency Budget report. For those who want to know, details of the figures I’ve used are below. For those who don’t – you can go straight to the “April 2011” row of the Salary Calculator for April 2011 values.

Another change announced in the Budget was an increase in standard VAT rate from 17.5% to 20% effective from 4th January 2011. The VAT Calculator has also been updated so you can see what a difference this will make to purchases.

The calculations for the April 2011 values in The Salary Calculator are based on the following assumptions. Under 65 personal allowance increased to £7,475, over 65 allowance increased to £9,940, over 75 allowance increased to £10,090. Threshold of 40% tax lowered to £35,000 from £37,400. National Insurance rates increase from 11% to 12% for basic and 1% to 2% for additional, as set out by the previous government’s budget. National Insurance basic rate threshold increased to £7,475, additional rate lowered to £42,875. All other values unchanged.

Edit (5th January 2011): The values above have been updated with the latest information from the Treasury and the April 2011 calculations have been updated in line with these. The Salary Calculator will be updated again with final values in early Spring 2011, following the budget update.

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None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

Pound’s Euro rate improves

With the economy having improved over the last couple of months, and many people last year choosing to have a cheaper holiday and stay in the UK, perhaps this year there’ll be more of us thinking of treating ourselves to a trip to Europe this summer. And if you’re one of them, good news – over the last few weeks the Euro exchange rate has improved significantly!

Although €1.20 to the pound is not what you might consider a great rate, it’s not been at that level since the pound plummetted at the end of 2008. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news – this improvement is not due to the pound getting stronger but the Euro getting weaker – the pound continues to fall against the Yen and the Dollar (although it has seen a recent rally on this last count). The BBC’s Gavin Hewitt has written a great blog post explaining why the Euro is in such trouble.

When will the pound return to its previous strong position? Well, the rates we remember of a few years ago such as 2 dollars to the pound are not going to return anytime soon, but if confidence in the UK economy increases then investors will value the pound more. An increase in UK interest rates would also give a boost (since saving pounds then becomes more worthwhile) – but this would impact on mortgage interest rates for a lot of homeowners. Would you rather find it easier to pay your mortgage every month, or have a bit extra holiday money in the summer?

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Friday, June 11th, 2010 Foreign Currency 3 Comments

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