Merryn’s blog

Merryns blog

Election 2015: The real risk to Britain? A 'rainbow coalition'

Labour demonstrators © Getty images

Usually you vote for change or you vote for the status quo, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But this time it’s different – that could be dangerous for Britain.

Inflation won't spur people to take out big mortgages like it used to

Estate agents' window © Getty images

For years home buyers took out big mortgages knowing inflation will ease the burden of repayment. That no longer makes quite the same sense, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Think you can spend your pension and fall back on benefits? Think again

David Cameron visiting pensioners © Getty images

Fritter away your pension and the government is determined the welfare state won’t bail you out, says Merryn Somerset Webb. There are, however, a few loopholes.

The myth of uniquely ’Scottish values’

Scottish and British flags © Getty Images

The latest Social Attitudes Survey shows that Scots think the same as the rest of the UK about pretty much everything, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Missing the whole point of pensions


Over half of 15-35 year olds say they would start a pension if they could buy a house with it. Which is entirely missing the point of pensions, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Think your pension is safe from bankruptcy? Think again


Traditionally, pension pots have been protected should you go bankrupt. But that could all change when new rules come in to force in April.

Getting lucky in the property market is not 'providing for a long retirement'

Those lucky enough to be “asset-rich and cash-poor” might be better off selling up and using the money to fund their retirement, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The lifetime allowance is hugely unfair on people in private pension schemes

Pensioners on holiday © Getty Images

The lifetime allowance on pension pots isn’t fair. It massively favours people on defined benefits pensions, and penalises those in defined contributions schemes.

Cutting inheritance tax on homes is nuts – it’s just going to make the housing crisis worse

Family houses in London © Getty Images

We need to persuade old people to downsize, and free up family homes for younger people. But the Tories’ latest inheritance tax plan will do exactly the opposite, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Want to buy the euro while it's cheap? Here's how


A new online bank account lets you hold 24 different currencies. Ideal if you think you should be holding some euros, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

How to cut your income tax bill to zero

Pensioners on the beach © Getty Images

A loophole in the new pensions legislations might just mean you could put your feet up in the sun while enjoying all the money in your pension free of tax.

How pensions freedom will solve the UK's housing 'shortage'

Pension walking down a residential road © Getty images

‘Empty-nest’ retirees have been blamed for contributing to Britain’s housing shortage, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But the new pensions rules may fix that.

Get ready – the Chinese middle class is coming to Britain

Chinese tourists in front of Tower Bridge © Getty images

The hotel industry is catching on to the growing financial might of China’s middle class, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

First-time buyers, relax – you have nothing to fear from pensioners

First-time buyers talking to Cameron © Getty images

First-time buyers have nothing to fear from pensioners, says Merryn Somerset Webb – despite what some vested-interests say.

The UK doesn’t have a housing shortage

Houses © Getty Images

We don’t have a housing shortage in the UK, we just don’t have enough of the right houses in the right places, says Merryn somerset Webb.

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