Merryn’s blog

Merryns blog

Everyone wants to raise taxes on someone – it won't work

UK tax take chart © Baker Tilly

We can’t hope to reduce the national debt through fiddling with taxes, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Only cuts to state spending can do that.

Earn over £150,000? Pour money into your pension now

George Osborne © Getty Images

If there’s one thing that all the political parties agree on, it’s that the well-off get too much in the way of pension relief. So take full advantage before the election, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Alliance: come to the AGM and see shareholder capitalism in action

Katherine Garrett-Cox © Getty images

Shareholders should seize the chance to vote for a better Alliance Trust at the AGM at the end of the month, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Right to Buy: one of the worst policies of the election so far

David Cameron © Getty Images

The Tories’ plan to extend Right to Buy to housing associations is one of the worst policies of the election campaign so far, says Merryn Somerset Webb. And that’s really saying something.

We need to build a lot more retirement housing – but how?

House construction © Getty Images

Purpose-built retirement properties make a lot of sense for everyone – not just the elderly. We need a lot more of them. But, asks Merryn Somerset Webb, what’s the best way to create them?

Election 2015: Why Ed Miliband’s non-dom policy makes sense

Ed Miliband © Getty Images

Non-dom status doesn’t make sense any more, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Not for the tax system in general, and not for a large number of non-doms.

Nicola Sturgeon’s silly ideas on the state pension age

Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP © Getty Images

The SNP should concentrate on raising Scottish life expectancy rather than looking to lower the retirement age, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Get ready for a wave of ‘downsizing’ pensioners

Pensions: David Cameron © getty Images

If you want to leave as much money as possible to your children, sell your house, live off the capital and leave them your pension, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

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.

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