Advisers give their thoughts to George Osborne

Advisers give their thoughts to George Osborne

With just under half (49%) of the advisers interviewed approving of the way George Osborne is handling his job as Chancellor, he and David Cameron are still the most trusted pair to handle the UK economy by significantly more than their political counterparts – 53% trust Cameron and Osborne most with the economy compared to 8% for Nick Clegg & Vince Cable and 6% Ed Miliband and Ed Balls However, over a quarter (26%) say that they would trust none of them with the responsibility.

Nevertheless, based on the Chancellor’s announcements during his Autumn Statement, support for his policies seems to be growing, with:

  • 81 per cent of advisers backing his decision to uprate the ISA contribution limit
  • 72 per cent in favour of increasing the higher rate threshold by 1% in the tax years 2014-15 and 2015-16
  • In terms of his decision to reduce the lifetime allowance for pension contributions from £1.5m to £1.25m from 2014-2015 however, support was not as strong, with more than half of advisers (59%) opposed to the policy

Outlook for UK economy

On the whole, advisers remain split on the outcome for the UK economy in 2013, with almost half (47%) believing that it’s unlikely that the UK economy will show net growth in the first three months of 2013, compared to the quarter (26%) who predict it will show growth. Similarly, when asked whether they felt it was likely that the UK economy will show net growth of 1.2% or above in 2013, half (49%) said it was unlikely, whilst only 21% think it’s likely. Where advisers seemed to be most evenly split was when thinking about whether Greece will exit the Euro during 2013, with 38% believing it will go and 38% saying it will remain. Over three quarters (78%) of the advisers interviewed believe a complete break up of the Euro during 2013 is unlikely.

Alexa Nightingale, head of financial services research at Opinium Research said: “Advisers are clearly cautious about what 2013 will hold in terms of markets and the economy. Advising clients on where to get the best returns and protection remains complex. Overall advisers seem to support the policies set out by George Osborne during the Autumn Statement and feel that he’s best man for the job – for the time being anyway.”

Q. For each of the following events listed, please indicate how likely, or unlikely, you think each event is to happen during 2013?

Chart Image

Opinium Research carried out 278 online interviews of UK Independent Financial Advisers between 6th to 17th December 2012.