daffodildaffodilsThis week Spring has been in the air. Each morning I open the kitchen window and smell fresh air and the bouquet from the huge bunch of daffodils on the window sill. The smell of daffodils is Spring! I feel a sense of hope, renewal, of having come through.. there are lighter, softer days stretching ahead. Joy is bubbling in my heart...
 
Then I read the key points of George Osborne's Budget and my mood crashed. I shouldn't let it bother me, it's only a Budget, moving money around, taxing this and giving away that. It doesn't really matter to us real people... But it does, it really does. It affects every aspect of our lives, how we spend our money, who gets help and who pays for it. It is an expression of our values and beliefs. It defines who we are as a nation and how we behave towards each other.
 
Underneath the headline grabbing  'Sugar Tax' – excellent, by the way, a firm step in the right direction, thanks to consistent pressure from Jamie Oliver and others – we don't look that good. This Budget rewards those that have money. It does nothing to help those who need it. This is not a budget analysis (there's plenty of those on offer) but here are some key points:
 
  • An increase the 40p tax threshold – another tax cut for high earnersaaaafalling_coins
  • 'Reforming' the disability payments system to save £1.2bn – cutting benefits for the most vulnerable
  • Corporation Tax cut to 17% by 2020 – getting companies to pay tax is hard enough, why cut it further?
  • Capital Gains Tax cut from 28% to 20% - wealthy people sell assets, make a profit and pay less tax.
I am in favour of enterprise. I admire entrepreneurs. Britain is a nation of small businesses, men and women taking risks, working hard, providing for their families and creating jobs in their communities. It's about 'filling the fridge' as my friend Peter Roper describes it (www.thefamilybusinessman.com). I count myself in that group and I know we need all the help we can get it. It's not, and never has been, easy out there.
 
Those of us that have created a successful small business know we have been lucky. Our hard work and persistence has been rewarded. Finding your way through the assault course of creating a small business requires some luck and usually some help. I know I can identify people who have helped me on my way. Now that I have achieved some measure of financial security, isn't it my turn to help? Remember the three jars....
 
I believe real financial planning can improve things for everyone – especially small and medium sized businesses which is the area I specialise in. Contact me if you want to take steps towards a real budget and financial freedom for yourselves and those you care about.
 
If you would like to spend an hour with Nicholas at his expense to discover how financial planning may be able to help you, drop him a line to nlee@demontfort.biz or call 07725 784348.

More information at www.financiallifeplans.co.uk