The Election: Key Areas to Watch

2 July 2024 | 3 min read

With the UK General Election just around the corner, businesses and individuals across the country know that some pretty big changes are in the pipeline. While we can’t predict the exact outcomes, we can offer some insights into key areas to watch. Here, three BAND experts – financial advisor Michael Kennedy, HR expert Kate Davis and BAND associate director Banin Oozeerally – assess some areas business owners may need to consider as the election looms…


Five Key Areas

From tax policies to employment laws, the new government’s decisions will have far-reaching implications. Here are five critical areas that may be affected and a few ideas on how businesses can prepare.


1. Pensions and Tax Reforms

 Pensions remain a tax-efficient savings method, but potential reforms under a new government could alter this landscape. Current benefits include employer contributions receiving Corporation Tax relief, tax-free growth within pensions, and exclusion from Inheritance Tax.


However, Labour has proposed several changes:

  • Annual Allowance Reduction: Reducing the yearly pension savings limit from £60,000 could reclaim significant government spending on tax relief. Whether Labour would reduce the limit should they be voted into power remains unclear, but it is an area to watch.
  • Lifetime Allowance: Labour previously aimed to reinstate the Lifetime Allowance. The party has since rowed back on this idea, but the Lifetime Allowance remains — like AAR — in the ‘one-to-watch’ category.
  • Inheritance Tax on Pensions: There might be new taxes on inherited pensions, reducing current tax advantages.


The Conservatives, have committed to a ‘Pensions Tax Guarantee’ in their manifesto, promising:      

  • Not to introduce any new taxes on pensions.      
  • Keep the 25% tax-free lump sum.
  • Continue tax relief on pension contributions at the marginal rate.   
  • Not apply NICs to employer pension contributions.


Businesses should review pension strategies and consider the implications of these potential changes.


2. Employment Laws

Labour’s proposed employment policies are as follows:

  • Ban on Zero-Hours Contracts: This may provide more job stability but could reduce flexibility.
  • Parental Leave: Easier access to leave will benefit employees but could increase employer costs.
  • Living Wage: A higher wage floor will raise operational expenses for small businesses.

These changes could make small businesses more attractive to employees but also bring increased costs. Companies should seek advice on adapting their people strategies to remain competitive.


3. Business Rates and Apprenticeships

The Conservatives have proposed:

  • Business Rates Review: Potentially beneficial for creative agencies and music venues.
  • Apprenticeship Funding: An additional 100,000 apprenticeships could help close skills gaps and reduce recruitment costs.

Both measures offer support to businesses looking to grow and remain competitive. Companies should explore how these initiatives can benefit their operations.


4. Property Ownership and Development

 Property policies from various parties could influence the market:

The Conservatives have proposed:

  • Stamp Duty Abolition: Conservatives propose permanent abolition for first-time buyers up to £425,000, which could spur market activity.
  • Help to Buy Scheme: A new scheme covering 20% of loan value aims to increase homeownership.
  • Capital Gains Tax Relief: Temporary relief for landlords selling to tenants could affect the rental market.

Liberal Democrats propose changes, such as:

  • Increased Council Tax on Second Homes: Up to 500% increase.
  • Stamp Duty Surcharge: For overseas buyers.
  • Capital Gains Tax Increase: More than doubling for top earners.

And Labour have announced an:

  • Increase from 2% to 3% in the stamp duty surcharge for non-residents.


Property owners and developers should assess these potential changes and plan accordingly.


5. Employee and Self-Employed Taxes

 Tax changes could impact both employees and the self-employed:


  • National Insurance: Conservatives propose cuts and eventual abolishment, increasing take-home pay.
  • IR35 Review: Liberal Democrats’ review could benefit self-employed individuals, especially in the TV industry.
  • Loopholes: Labour, however, rules out changes to National Insurance, focusing instead on closing loopholes like non-dom status.


Businesses should monitor these developments to understand how they will affect payroll and tax planning.


Get ready!

As we approach the General Election, it’s crucial for businesses to stay informed and prepared for potential changes. While predicting the future is impossible, understanding and monitoring potentially critical impact areas can help mitigate risks and seize opportunities.


At BAND, we’re here to provide comprehensive support and guidance to navigate this evolving landscape.

Let’s Talk


Tel: 020 8138 5560


111 Charterhouse Street,
London, EC1M 6AW


Julian Davies

Julian Davies

Managing Partner at Redfin

Managing partner and Chartered Accountant with 30+ years of experience in marketing, media, and creative industries. He leads the Redfin team, offering expert advice on growth and profitability. Former owner manager of an agency acquired by a listed group; his industry insights are second to none. Off duty, you might find him on the golf or tennis court, determined to master new tricks.
Shelley Watkin

Shelley Watkin

Client Finance Director at Redfin

A qualified Chartered Accountant with 20+ years of experience in the marketing services sector. During her 5+ years at Redfin, she served as Client Finance Director offering invaluable insights into strategic and commercial matters. Shelley has also assumed the role of Finance Director for various creative agencies, guiding them through successful sales processes. If she gets free time after managing her children’s busy schedules, she likes to chill out doing yoga and gardening.