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ABI calls for flood defences spending to help boost economy
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ABI calls for flood defences spending to help boost economy - November 2008


Pre Budget Report: Lack of action for savers disappointing and a missed opportunity

Monday, 24 November 2008

Overall response: Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s Director General, said: “After a decade of promoting consumption the Government is unable to break the habit. The crisis is built on debt and credit but the Government has still failed to recognise the importance of savings to our economic health. This is a badly missed opportunity to promote savings and tackle the country’s savings crisis - with 50% of the working population not saving enough for retirement, and saving overall at the lowest level for 50 years, action is needed now.

“Indeed, those in the UK population who are saving the most will have to pay higher taxes as a result of today’s announcement, while pension allowances have been frozen.”

Taxation and financial services: Peter Vipond, the ABI’s Director of Taxation, said: “The news on foreign profits shows that the Government has listened to the ABI’s arguments on this issue. It sends a positive message to those UK businesses that have been considering relocating abroad. The Government has accepted that fairer treatment of foreign dividends will encourage companies to bring profits back to the UK to invest and spend here. We will examine in detail the implications of the interest debt cap also announced.”

“This has been a vital issue to address. As outlined in the ABI’s submission to the Chancellor, the last decade has seen more multinational companies leave the UK than in any other EU country.”

"However, while the Government points out the challenges facing the financial services sector, resulting in a 35% reduction in tax receipts for 2008, increasing national insurance and income tax rates on those earning over £100,000 is the wrong way to tackle this problem. These tax increases can only make the UK a less attractive place for financial services companies to operate in and in particular, reduces the attractiveness of London as a world financial centre. This is disappointing given the progress on taxation of foreign profits."

Floods: Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance, said “The Chancellor failed to understand the importance of flood defences last year and has failed once again this year. To bring forward just £20 million of expenditure, from the £850million allocated, is a token gesture and a missed opportunity. “Building this nation’s flood defences is a much more quicker and straightforward way to spend money and improve the nation’s infrastructure than some of the areas the Chancellor has focused on.”

Reduction in VAT rate: Peter Vipond, the ABI’s Director of Taxation, said: “This helps insurers as they cannot recover any VAT they pay (for example on property, office expenses etc). Last year the insurance industry lost £495 million in irrecoverable VAT , which means a cut in VAT to 15% could save the industry £71million a year. “Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is charged at the same level of the top rate of VAT on the sale of warranties (for vehicles and electrical equipment) and travel insurance. It therefore makes sense that this reduction in VAT should be reflected in a cut in IPT in these areas.”

Rights issue review: Responding to the announcement by the Chancellor to reduce the time taken to raise capital. Peter Montagnon, Director of Investment Affairs at the ABI said: “It is very important to keep the principle of pre-emption. This Review sets out some useful ideas for speeding up the process, without sacrificing this principle. The ABI Investment Committee will follow through very soon on the proposals for raising headroom limits.”

Pre-Budget Report: Flood defences best candidate to boost capital expenditure

Friday, 21 November 2008

The ABI is calling on the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, to use Monday's Pre-Budget Report (PBR) to bring forward its spending plans on vital flood defences. Speeding up this spending would stimulate the economy and protect more homes.

Following the devastating floods of 2007, the Government agreed to spend £1.5bn on flood defences between 2009 and 2011. By bringing that spending forward to next year, the Government could help boost expenditure projects to the benefit of the wider economy.

Investing in flood defences is much less complicated and cumbersome than other capital expenditure projects, and it would allow the Government to quickly and efficiently inject a fiscal stimulus to the economy.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI's Director General, said: "Turning promises for tomorrow into action today on flood defences makes sense. It will enhance protection for households and businesses from the threat of flooding; is much less complex and contentious than other possible capital projects; and can be rolled out faster.

"Investment in flood and costal management is very cost efficient - it typically gives a benefit-cost ratio of 7:1, much higher than for other public sector capital investments[1]."

The ABI is also working closely with the Government to develop a long-term flood management strategy, which looks at funding needs 25-30 years ahead, and regional planning taking into account the likely impact of climate change in 50 and 100 years time. The insurance industry dealt with over 180,000 claims as a result of the flooding in 2007, with the total bill standing at around £3bn.

1] Flood and Costal Erosion Risk Management ZBR - 41st Defra Flood and Costal Management Conference July 2006

Don't forget savings, Mr Darling - ABI's message for the Pre-Budget Report

Friday, 21 November 2008

"Don't forget savings in the Pre-Budget Report' is the ABI's message to the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, ahead of Monday's Pre-Budget Report. The ABI is calling on the Chancellor to recognise the value of savings to individuals and to the economy as a whole with two specific measures to boost saving. While Mr Darling is widely expected to announce measures designed to increase spending and consumption, he must also recognise the value of saving as an economic stimulus. Long-term saving enables financial institutions to extend more credit, which itself helps to boost the economy.

The ABI is calling for two specific measures to be announced in the Pre-Budget Report:

The overall Individual Savings Account (ISA) limit should be raised from £7,200 to at least £10,800 a year. This will give individuals an extra incentive to benefit from tax-efficient savings, and will help to boost the stock market and encourage a better overall investment climate. Automatic enrolment into workplace pensions, which is due to begin in 2012, should be brought forward and introduced as soon as possible. If it were to start in 2010, it could lead to additional long-term savings in excess of £500 million by 2012.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI's Director General, said: "Savings are vitally important to the UK economy, and while we support the need to stimulate spending and growth, saving must not be ignored as a means of lifting and keeping the economy out of recession. Saving is the lifeblood of financial services - it widens the availability of credit and stimulates investment in other sectors of the economy. The Government has a golden opportunity to boost workplace pension saving by enabling automatic enrolment now. The pensions industry, employers and the rest of the private sector is ready to deliver auto-enrolment as soon as the green light is given.

"Increasing ISA limits would give the millions of existing ISA savers, plus many more potential new ones, an added incentive to increase their tax-efficient savings, while giving a positive boost to the stock market."

Source ABI Association of British Insurers

More Information at ABI Website

See also: Insurance advice from the ABI about The Postal Strike on blog October 2009



Flood Insurance Products March 2011 - a selection of flood defence products - Click on logo below for more information


See also:

Floods and more flooding in Britain - June 2012

Are you looking for insurance in a flood area? - May 2012

Will all this rain cause flooding? - April 2012

Flood Risk Warning from HomeLet Landlord and Tenant Insurance - March 2012

Insurance companies offering flood insurance cover - February 2012

Insurance bill for October 2011 floods in Ireland reaches €127 million - February 2012

Flood Insurance - Questions and Answers - November 2011

More flooding in the South of France kills 3 - November 2011

Flooding causes chaos in Dublin - Ireland - October 2011

Flood Risk Home Insurance - October 2011

Chippen Campden flood letter - October 2011

Flooding in Goole east Yorkshire - August 2011

Flood damaged Property Insurance might soon be needed again - July 2011

Problem property building and contents insurance solved in high risk flood area post code Zone - July 2011

Flooding Memphis as Mississipi River crested 48ft in USA - May 2011

A testimonial for flood cover insurance - April 2011

Flood victims in Cumbria may not be able to get insurance cover - March 2011

Insurance premium increases after claim for flooding - January 2011

Flood Victims - January 2011

Mary Dhonau resigns from the National Flood Forum - December 2010

Councillor wants to build houses in flood risk area in Clare County Ireland - December 2010

Drying Flooded Buildings -DCLG December 2010

UK flood damage costs up 200% - November 2010

Double Whammy for Flood Victims - November 2010

Flood Line Action Groups – Help is here - October 2010

Insurance expert helps a lady in Ulverston, Cumbria - October 2010

Policy holders face the backlash of the floods - June 2010

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