Much Ado About Nothing

Last week, Philip Hammond gave his Budget announcement. A summary is given below and surprisingly, there was no shock pension content on this occasion.


  • £3bn set aside for Brexit preparations


  • Revised down to 1.5% in 2017 from 2%.
  • Forecasts are 1.4% in 2018, 1.3% 2019, 1.3% 2020, 1.5% 2021 and 1.6% 2022.
  • In March, the forecasts were 1.6% in 2018, 1.7% 2019, 1.9% 2020 and 2% 2021


  • £49.9bn this year, down from previous estimate of £58bn.
  • Down from £39.5bn next year to £25.6bn in 2022-23

Research and development

  • £2.3bn of investment.
  • Tax credit 12%.
  • Investigate charges on one use plastic waste.


  • £20bn of new investment in UK knowledge-intensive industries.
  • £2.5bn from the business bank.
  • Encourage pension fund investment.
  • Boost to EIS.
  • Replace funding from Europe

Electric cars

  • £400m charging infrastructure.
  • Those charging electric vehicles at work will not face taxes

Diesel cars

  • 1 percentage point increase in company car tax.
  • From 2018, an increase in tax on cars that don’t meet standards – to go up by one band


  • Maths: £40m for maths teachers; £600 premium for maths students in A levels.
  • Computing: triple number of science teachers to 12,000; new national centre for computing.
  • National retraining scheme for digital expertise.

Northern powerhouse

  • £1.7bn transforming cities fund

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

  • £650m extra for NI.
  • £2bn extra for Scotland.
  • £1.2bn extra for Wales


  • Tax changes to encourage investment (North Sea Oil)

Universal credit

  • £1.5bn to remove seven-day waiting period; new claimant in receipt of housing benefit will get it for two weeks.
  • Ongoing ability to apply for advance


  • £125m of funding to help 140,000 people

Savings Band

  • Frozen at £5,000
  • General ISA limit remains frozen at £20,000
  • Junior ISAs and Trust Funds will be increased in line with CPI to £4,260

Living wage

  • Up to £7.83 from £7.50

Income tax

  • Basic rate rises to £11,850 from April; 40% threshold increases to £46,350.
  • Chancellor has previously pledged to increase basic rate to £12,500 by 2020.
  • Personal Allowance to increase to £11,850 (April 2018)


  • Lifetime allowance for pensions – The lifetime allowance for pension savings will increase in line with CPI, rising to £1,030,000 for 2018-19.
  • Basic State Pension will be increased by 3% (£3.65 per week)
  • New State Pension also be increased by triple lock (£4.80 per week)

Marriage Allowance

  • The ability to transfer up to 10% of unused personal allowance to partners will now be allowed where the partner had died before making the claim. Claims can be backdated by 4 years

Capital Gains

  • Freeze allowance

Duties on spirits, wine and beer

  • Frozen with the exception on high strength alcohol (White Cider being used as an example)

Duties on Tobacco

  • Inflation plus 2%

New railcard

  • 4.5 million people aged 26-30 to get a third off rail fares


  • Increase on air passenger duty on premium class tickets

Fuel duty rise

  • Cancelled


  • £10bn capital investment in frontline services over the course of this parliament.
  • £2.8bn of extra funding for England.
  • Pay review will be undertaken in 2018/2019
  • Tax avoidance
  • Measures to save £4.8bn by 2022-23

Business rates

  • £2.3bn cost to bring forward the change to CPI from RPI brought forward to 2018.
  • After next revaluation, future revaluations to take place every three years.
  • Staircase tax: businesses hit will have original bill reinstated.
  • Discount for pubs (rateable value less than £100,000) extended by one year to March 2019


  • Consultation on threshold of £85,000 at which small businesses pay VAT

Digital tax

  • £200m a year extra from income tax on UK sales

Grenfell Tower

  • £28m for mental health services; local regeneration for Kensington and Chelsea council


  • 100% council tax premium on empty properties.
  • £28m in three new housing pilots – in the West Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool – to halve rough-sleeping by 2022.
  • £44bn for capital funding to help build 300,000 homes annually by 2020.
  • £8bn of financial guarantees to support private building.
  • £2.7bn housing infrastructure fund.
  • £34m for construction skills.
  • A review to be chaired by Oliver Letwin to look at ways to speed up planning permission.
  • Five new garden towns.
  • One million new homes on the Cambridge Milton Keynes Oxford corridor by 2050

Stamp duty – from immediate effect

  • Abolished for first-time buyers on homes up to £300,000, and on the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000.


Karen and Jessica join our team!

In the last month, we have welcomed two new members of staff who have joined the administration team at Trafford & Houghton.

Karen has joined as a Senior IFA Administrator/Paraplanner. She has over 25 years experience of working in financial services having worked for a provider, a well known bank and at a financial planning company.

Jessica has joined as a Trainee IFA Administrator and as part of an apprenticeship she will also be studying for the level 3 Business Admin NVQ qualification.

Karen and Jessica have already settled in to the admin team working alongside Hayley and Nicola.

Hayley has also recently celebrated 6 years of service at Trafford & Houghton.

Thought for Today

I think this is my favourite quote, it’s something I try to use when talking to people starting in their work life or buying their first home. It’s a simple rule, which if followed can save you from so much financial stress. Like most quotes I manage to misquote this on many occasion, but this is it in all it’s glory.

Mr Micawber’s famous recipe for happiness, taken from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

It’s so simple but so right. If you start out spending a little bit less than what you have you’re on the right path.

Exam Success

Congratulations to our Office Manager Hayley Carson who found out this morning that she has passed the J11 Wrap and Platform written exam.

Well done Hayley!

Vacancies available

Vacancies Available

Due to expansion, we have the following vacancies available at our office based in Preston. If you feel you are suitable for any of the roles listed below then please email your CV to or telephone us for further information on 01772 825755.

Vacancy One:

Senior Administrator/Paraplanner

An excellent opportunity for an experienced Administrator has arisen to join our firm. Trafford & Houghton are a small reputable firm made up of 3 IFAs (including 2 directors) and 3 administrators.

Key Skills: You will need to have worked within the Financial Services industry and have a working and competent knowledge of financial services products which include Pensions, Investments, ISA’s and Protection policies. You will have good communication skills, be organised, happy to take responsibility for your own work and be able to work to deadlines. You will need to be a team player and be happy to help other team members when required.

You must have had experience of writing suitability reports.

Award in Financial Administration qualification would be preferred.

If not already qualified to diploma level, should be part qualified or keen to progress further.

Experience using Intelligent Office and O&M would put candidates at an advantage.

Key responsibilities and accountabilities:

  1. Produce professional suitability reports
  2. Tailoring suitability letters to individual clients
  3. Responsible for file preparation for meetings and existing business administration
  4. Provide specific product, provider and fund research
  5. Assisting administrators during busy periods and working in a team environment.
  6. Other administrative duties include:
  • Submit new business applications
  • Produce quotations
  • Deal with providers
  • Deal with clients
  • Chase outstanding pipeline cases
  • Chase outstanding fees

Salary: Up to £25,000 per annum dependant on experience

Contract: Full Time

Hours: Monday – Friday (37.5 hours per week)


Vacancy Two:

Apprenticeship – Trainee Financial Services Administrator

A position has arisen for an enthusiastic individual who would like a career in financial services.  We are looking for a bright, hardworking candidate who is able to adapt to change and is willing to learn and develop in the advertised role.

You will enrol on the Business Administration Level 2 Apprenticeship scheme provided by North Lancashire Training Group.

Initially to provide immediate support to our existing team, providing suitable progress is made their responsibilities will include producing quotations, submitting applications, dealing with providers, dealing with clients and general administration duties.

Key Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • PC literate with experience of using Word, Excel etc.
  • Good time management skills
  • An interest in the financial planning process
  • Willing to learn and develop in the advertised role
  • GCSE or equivalent in English and Maths (A-C)

Salary: £122.50 per week (£3.50 per hour)

Contract: Full Time

Hours: Monday – Friday (35 hours per week)

Guide to Financial Planning: Part Five

The Final Frontier

So, having taken advice, given the investment time , diversified the investment, avoided greed- make sure you avoid fear.

Some of the worst financial decisions I’ve known have been based on unexplained fear. Whether it’s leaving money on deposits for years and years and allowing that money to erode through the effects of inflation or not investing because you’re fearful of a market fall.

Nobody flashes a light to say investment markets are about to fall. The markets are priced by taking in an unbelievable amount of information, so anyone who thinks they know better perhaps should be working with Clinton Baptiste.

Invest for the long term and don’t make long term decisions based on short term movements. There are always going to be ups and downs, that is the nature of investing.

Like in the poem IF

“If you can meet Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters the same”

(You’ll be an Investor).