Nationwide calls for equal ISA limits

Building Society “disappointed” that changes to ISA rules overlooked in the Budget

20 March 2013

Nationwide Building Society has pledged to continue its campaign for ISA parity following the Chancellor’s decision not to equalise cash and equity ISA limits in today’s Budget. Graham Beale, Nationwide’s CEO, said: “We’re disappointed ISAs parity was overlooked in today’s Budget, but we will carry-on calling for cash ISA limits to be increased in line with equity ISAs because it is the right thing to do.

“Parity would make ISAs fairer and simpler to understand, whilst raising the cash ISA limit would benefit pensioners, first time homebuyers and ordinary savers.”

Nationwide says the different ISA levels are confusing and unfair to cash ISA savers. In the Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that ISA allowances would increase on 6 April for the new tax year, but whilst that means people will be able to save up to £5,760 tax-free in a cash ISA, those choosing a stocks and shares ISA will be able to invest double that amount at £11,520.

However, Nationwide supported the Government’s decision to consult on allowing parents to switch their CTF savings into Junior ISAs (JISA). As one of the biggest providers of both CTFs and JISAs, Nationwide has consistently echoed our members’ demand for more freedom in the way they save for their children.

Nationwide said it would also be ramping up its call for the Government to re-introduce a Stamp Duty holiday for first time buyers, along with a complete overhaul of the Stamp Duty system. Mr Beale said: “Nationwide estimates that bringing back the Stamp Duty holiday would save first time buyers on average £1,800, providing them with an incentive to buy now rather than delaying their move, helping to further boost the housing market.”

Nationwide is also keen for the existing Stamp Duty structure to be overhauled altogether. Currently buyers purchasing a home costing more than £250,000 must pay 3 per cent Stamp Duty on the entire price rather than just the amount above that threshold. Nationwide feels this is disproportionate and unfair and could result in a bottleneck of people further up the property ladder.

Notes to editors:

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as the second largest savings provider and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 16,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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