ISA reforms unveiled

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The UK Treasury has issued a series of new regulations that are designed to make Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) more attractive to British consumers.

The reform package, which was announced by Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Kitty Ussher, will increase the maximum amount people are allowed to save in their ISA, as well as simplifying the terms of the accounts and making them more flexible.

Upon implementation of the package, which comes into effect from April 6th of next year, each adult will have an annual ISA investment allowance of £7,200, £3,600 of which can be saved as cash. All Personal Equity Plans (PEPs) will automatically become stocks and shares ISAs.

Savers will also be able to transfer money from cash ISAs into stocks and shares accounts, and a new structure and will remove the need for the Mini/Maxi distinction currently in usage.

Commenting on the reforms, Ms Ussher said: "The ISA has been successful in helping more people to save in a tax efficient way. These reforms … will build on the success of ISAs, making them even more attractive by allowing people to save more and by being more flexible and simpler to use."

More than 17 million adults now regularly invest in an ISA account. During 2006, more than £2.5 billion was saved, up from £1.8 billion the year before.

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