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Personal Touch News

Summary of Budget 2017: Key points at-a-glance

Today Philip Hammond has delivered his second Budget as chancellor.

Here are the key points of his speech:


Stamp duty and housing

  • Stamp duty to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000.
  • To help those in London and other expensive areas, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 purchase by all first-time buyers will be exempt from stamp duty, with the remaining £200,000 incurring 5%.
  • 95% of all first-time buyers will benefit, with 80% not paying stamp duty.
  • Reduction will apply immediately in England, Wales and Northern Ireland although the Welsh government will have to decide whether to continue it when stamp duty is devolved in April 2018.
  • It will not apply in Scotland unless Scottish government decides to follow suit.
  • £44bn in overall government support for housing to meet target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the next decade.
  • Councils given powers to charge 100% council tax premium on empty properties.
  • Compulsory purchase of land banked by developers for financial reasons.
  • £400m to regenerate housing estates and £1.1bn to unlock strategic sites for development.
  • Review into delays in developments given planning permission being taken forward.
  • £28m for Kensington and Chelsea council to provide counselling services and mental health support for victims of the Grenfell fire and for regeneration of surrounding area.
  • New homelessness task force.


Alcohol, tobacco and fuel

  • Tobacco will continue to rise by 2% above Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation, equivalent to 28p on a pack of 20, while the minimum excise duty on cigarettes introduced in March will also rise.
  • Duty on hand-rolling tobacco will increase by additional 1%.
  • Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen, equating to 12p off a pint of beer and £1.15 off a bottle of whisky by next April.
  • But duty on high-strength “white ciders” to be increased in 2019 via new legislation.
  • Fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars scheduled for April 2018 scrapped.
  • Vehicle excise duty for new diesel cars not meeting latest standards to rise by one band in April 2018.
  • Tax hike will not apply to van owners.
  • Existing diesel supplement in company car tax to rise by 1%.
  • Proceeds to fund a new £220m clean air fund.


Personal taxation and wages

  • Tax-free personal allowance on income tax to rise to £11,850 in April 2018.
  • Higher-rate tax threshold to increase to £46,350.
  • Short-haul air passenger duty rates and long-haul economy rates to be frozen, paid for by an increase on premium-class tickets and on private jets.
  • National Living Wage to rise in April 2018 by 4.4%, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.


The state of the economy

  • Growth forecast for 2017 downgraded from 2% to 1.5%.
  • GDP downgraded to 1.4%, 1.3% and 1.5% in subsequent years before rising to 1.6% in 2021-22.
  • Productivity growth and business investment also revised down.
  • Annual rate of CPI inflation forecast to fall from peak of 3% towards 2% target later this year.
  • Another 600,000 people forecast to be in work by 2022.
  • £3bn to be set aside over next two years to prepare UK for every possible outcome as UK leaves EU.


The state of the public finances

  • Annual borrowing £49.9bn this year, £8.4bn lower than forecast in March.
  • Borrowing forecast to fall in every subsequent year from £39.5bn in 2018-19 to £25.6bn in 2022-23.
  • Public sector net borrowing forecast to fall from 3.8% of GDP last year to 2.4% this year, then 1.9%, 1.6%, 1.5% and 1.3% in subsequent years, reaching 1.1% in 2022-23.
  • Debt will peak at 86.5% of GDP this year, then fall to 86.4% next year; then 86.1%, 83.1% and 79.3% in subsequent years, reaching 79.1% in 2022-23.


Welfare and pensions

  • £1.5bn package to “address concerns” about the delivery of universal credit.
  • Seven-day initial waiting period for processing of claims to be scrapped.
  • Claimants to get 100% advance payments within five days of applying from January.
  • Typical first payment will take five weeks rather than current six.
  • Repayment period for advances to increase from six to 12 months.
  • New universal credit claimants in receipt of housing benefit to continue to receive it for two weeks.


Business and digital

  • VAT threshold for small business to remain at £85,000 for two years.
  • £500m support for 5G mobile networks, full fibre broadband and artificial intelligence.
  • £540m to support the growth of electric cars, including more charging points.
  • A further £2.3bn allocated for investment in research and development.
  • Rises in business rates to be pegged to CPI measure of inflation, not higher RPI, a cut of £2.3bn.
  • Digital economy royalties relating to UK sales which are paid to a low-tax jurisdiction to be subject to income tax as part of tax avoidance clampdown. Expected to raise about £200m a year.
  • Charges on single-use plastic items to be looked at.
  • £30m to develop digital skills distance learning courses.


Education and health (England only)

  • £40m teacher training fund for underperforming schools in England. Worth £1,000 per teacher.
  • 8,000 new computer science teachers to be recruited at cost of £84m and new National Centre for Computing to be set up.
  • Secondary schools and sixth-form colleges to get £600 for each new pupil taking maths or further maths at A-level and core maths at an expected cost of £177m.
  • £2.8bn in extra funding for the NHS in England.
  • £350m immediately to address pressures this winter, £1.6bn for 2018-19 and the remainder in 2019-20.
  • £10bn capital investment fund for hospitals up to 2022.
  • No extra funding for nurses pay but a guarantee that if future pay rises are recommended by independent body, there will be new money.


Nations / infrastructure / transport / regions / science

  • £320m to be invested in former Redcar steelworks site.
  • Further devolution of powers to Greater Manchester
  • £1.7bn city region transport fund, to be shared between six regions with elected mayors and other areas.
  • £30m to improve mobile and digital connectivity on TransPennine rail route.
  • £2bn for Scottish government, £1.2bn for Welsh government and £650m for Northern Ireland executive.
  • Scottish police and fire services to get refunds on VAT from April 2018.
  • Young person’s railcard extended to 26-30-year-olds, giving a third off rail fares.

Source: BBC News (published 22/11/2017)

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Autumn Budget 2017

Webinar: new PRA buy to let portfolio regulations by Santander

Don’t forget to register!

You are invited to Santander’s webinar on the 30 November at 11:00
Find out more about the new PRA buy-to-let portfolio regulations and Santander’s requirements for portfolio landlords.
Email to book your place.


Source: Personal Touch Update

Protection News 

The way we live has changed. Let’s change the way we approach protection. *

With more people renting and fewer getting married our lives have changed a lot in recent decades. Our research shows that because many young families are missing these key milestones, they’re not being prompted to consider essential cover – meaning you may miss the perfect opportunity to identify and support your clients who need it most.

We’re here to help you start the conversation

Whether it’s talking to your existing clients or approaching new ones, our brand new suite of tools available on Aviva for advisers can help you kick-start the protection conversation:

  • Tips for writing effective letters and emails
  • A short video to share with your clients, highlighting the importance of protection
  • Handy infographics showing how affordable protection can be

A large percentage of parents could benefit from your expertise

We’ve found a significant number of parents that don’t think they’ll ever need or want cover:

Income Protection: 40%

Critical Illness 36%

Life Insurance 30%

Find out more here


House of Commons report on Home Ownership and Renting, 2017

ONS report on Marriages in England and Wales, 2014, 2017

Aviva Protecting Our Families report, based on families with dependent children, March 2017

*For adviser use only. Not approved for use with customers

Source: Aviva Newsletter November 2017

Holloway Friendly broadens online underwriting process


Holloway Friendly has widened its new online underwriting process allowing protection advisers to write both full and short term income protection business in minutes.

The service was initially available on their short term income protection product, as COVER reported recently.

Holloway Friendly has also removed all standard permanent exclusions on its full benefit income protection product. 

The friendly society has also made improvements to its website. 

Mike Taylor, member services director at Holloway Friendly said: “This is another major step for Holloway friendly in the world of online underwriting.

“Protection advisers can now apply for both full term and short term income protection on behalf of their customers in a fraction of the time versus paper applications and ‘big T’ tele-interviews.

“The removal of standard exclusions is just as important. Many existing conditions that customers suffer from can be temporary, yet our industry still treats some of these ailments as if they were permanent conditions through its underwriting decisions. That could be an unfair outcome for customers and/or claimants.”

Chris Shepherd, head of protection sales at adviser firm Albany Park said: “Having the ability to use an interactive underwriting application for both short term and long term Income Protection policies is going to improve customer journey and enhance Holloway Friendly’s excellent customer service.”

SourceCover Magazine (20th November 2017)

Our Over Firties Toolkit

We want you to be confident in recommending AIG new Over Fifties Life Plan, so they have made the following tools available at the click of a button.

Sales aid

Price Calculator

Spencer story

Introduction Video

Click here to visit our dedicated webpage and find out about the benefits and reasons to recommend this product to your customers.

If you have any questions at all, just give AIG a call on 0345 600 6829.

Keep up to date with the latest at AIG Life

To find out more, visit

Source: AIG Newsletter 17th November 2017

General Insurance News 

The Perils of Escape of Water – An introduction to our November campaign

Winter is coming… as the cold weather rolls in, it wreaks havoc with people’s pipes. So much so that escape of water (EOW) is the most common claim in winter.

But why is this a big deal?

Well, without the right cover in place, consumers can end up spending thousands of pounds of their own money to fix their home. At this time of year, inadequate cover can ruin lives.

This is why Uinsure are making it our mission this month to highlight just how important it is to have 5 star rated cover that won’t leave consumers out of pocket.

Here’s a teaser of what to expect this month…

The perils of EOW – the key stats

We’ll take a look at some of the key EOW statistics that show why 5 star cover is so crucial.

Top tips for avoiding EOW

We’ll share a number of top tips with you around how EOW can be avoided.         

Video testimonials with brokers

We’ll be speaking to brokers, like yourself, who’ll discuss why a 5 star policy is so important when it comes to EOW.               

You’ll be able to share all of the above materials and information with your clients when They send it across this month – it’ll really bring to life the risk that EOW poses and emphasise just how comprehensive our 5 star cover is.

For more info visit

Source: Uinsure News November 2017


Personal Touch LIVE 2018: Have you registered yet?


Our flagship event is returning for 2018…

Set at the state-of-the-art Vox Conference Centre, we’ll be at the UK’s most connected venue location. With a major railway station and international airport on its doorstep, plus ample free car parking, you have even more travel choices.

To help you plan your trip, we’ve done the research for you: View the closest hotels and our exclusive travel deal here! 

Date: Thursday 18 January 2018

Venue: VOX Centre, Birmingham

Countdown to the Event


Get a sneak preview and register here!



What’s more if you’re the 200th registrant you could win yourself a bottle of champagne*.

*Terms and Conditions:

  • You must be number 200 to register on our survey.
  • You must register for and come to the event.
  • Prize will be presented on the day of the event.

Our Sponsors:

And Finally… 

Four ways to shop safe online this weekend

With many people keeping an eye on the Black Friday sales, hoping to get a bargain, it means lots more money will be spent online – something the fraudsters know only too well.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The Money Advice Service 21st November 2017

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Four ways to shop safe online this weekend