We outline the differences between the two popular affordable housing schemes.
Make of note of these useful dates in your 2019 financial calendar to ensure you are getting the best deals on suppliers and utilities and making the most of your money and your savings.
Financial dates for the 2019 diary
- 1 January: The energy price cap came into effect at the beginning of this month. This means the bill for a typical dual-fuel customer paying by direct debit cannot exceed £1,137. It's worth noting that as many as 60% of the fixed-rate deals on the market come in cheaper than the cap, according to Compare the Market. So it's still worth taking the time to check you’re getting the best deal.
- 31 January: Deadline for filing your tax return and paying what you owe. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must receive your tax return and any money you owe by the deadline. The last tax year started on 6 April 2017 and ended on 5 April 2018. There's an additional payment deadline of 31 July if you make advance payments towards your bill (known as 'payments on account'). Full details on the HMRC website.
- 1 March: – Broadband providers will have to start providing a minimum guaranteed speed when you sign up. If they fail to provide that speed for a month, you can switch without penalty.
- 5 April: This is the last day of the 2018-2019 tax year. Use up your ISA and pension allowances before midnight.
- 6 April: The Personal Allowance (how much you can earn tax-free) rises from £11,850 to £12,500. The 40% income tax threshold rises from £46,350 to £50,000, except in Scotland.
- 6 April: The total minimum amount paid into workplace pensions will rise from 5% to 8%. State-pension payments will rise to £168.60 a week for those who retired after April 2016, and to £129.20 for those on the old basic state pension. The pension lifetime allowance rises from £1,030,000 to £1,055,000. The annual allowance stays at £40,000.
- 1 May: NS&I will move the inflation measure for its index-linked savings accounts from RPI to CPI. The latter is generally lower, so returns will dip.
- 1 July: Mobile phone providers must make switching easier. There will be a ban on charges for notice periods and you will be able to start the switch process with a text.
- 29 August: Deadline day for PPI claims.
- 30 November: Help to Buy Isas stop being available to new savers. If you already have one, you’ll be able to keep paying into it for another decade, and you’ll need to claim the bonus by 2030.