Wealth expert warns ‘critical’ policy missing from both Conservative and Labour manifestos | Personal Finance | Finance

A wealth expert has warned that a “critical” policy is missing from the Conservative Party and Labour Party manifestos for the General Election.

Neil Rayner, head of advice at True Potential, told Express.co.uk: “While it is promising to see the Conservatives prioritise developing skills and opportunities for young people, both manifestos were lacking in one critical area: financial education.

“Financial literacy isn’t just a skill; it’s a survival tool in today’s economy.

“These tools go largely untaught, and without interventions from programmes like our ‘On the Money campaign’, debt and financial insecurity loom large for many young people.

“We urge the next Government to clearly commit to policy that makes budgeting, saving, and investing regular topics throughout schooling and equips our children to face their futures with confidence.”

One policy Mr Rayner would like to see expanded is the auto-enrolment system, as he says the current minimum eight percent contribution falls short of the 12 percent needed for a secure retirement.

He said: “With inflation down, the next Government should consider gradually raising the auto-enrolment rate to at least 12 percent to help bridge the pension gap.

“Those falling short of meeting their pension goals now should consider even higher contributions to ensure a financially secure retirement.”

He said if Labour enact their plans to reform workplace pensions to improve returns, as outlined in their manifesto, they may also increase the auto-enrolment miimum.

But he warned this may be less desirable for the next Government given the increased costs of the extra tax relief.

Both parties have pledged not to increase certain taxes, with Labour vowing not to increase National Insurance and income tax, while the Conservatives are planning another 2p cut in National Insurace.

Mr Rayner said they may have to revise these commitments if elected to power. He explained: “Concerns about public finances from key groups like the Institute for Fiscal Studies could mean that either party might need to scrap some of their key pledges or increase taxes to close the public finances gap.

“For the Conservatives, there could be a delay on the roll out of their National Insurance tax cuts. For Labour, an increase in capital gains or scrapping the tax free cash allowance on pensions haven’t been summarily ruled out.”

He said the Conservatives could also be more ambitious with their tax cut plans. He commented: “Another National Insurance cut would have offered an immediate and welcome £450 boost to the average worker’s payslip – given the tougher economic climate consumers have faced over the last few years.

“However, if the Conservatives wish to cut people’s tax bills, they should consider reviewing the frozen tax thresholds which will see seven and a half million people going into higher tax bands by 2029.”

Mr Rayner also said there may need to be more targeted support for low income households struggling to make ends meet.

He said: The financial strain of the past few years means that recovery will be slower for lower-income households.

“To support these families through the transition, the next Government should consider implementing targeted cost of living assistance over the next year, until the economic pressures truly subside.”

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