According to my understanding of gilts (which is in accordance with the answers here), private investors in UK gilts paying a premium on the redemption price (for example 2% T20s currently report a buy price of £107.65) who can't shelter them in SIPP or ISA wrapper are basically choosing to take an income which is taxed for the cost of a capital loss, which they can't claim due to the CGT-exempt status of gilts.
Basically my question is: is there any way it makes sense to buy and hold these things outside of a SIPP/ISA wrapper? Is there some trick I'm missing which actually makes them more attractive than I think they are?
For example for the 2% T20 mentioned above, someone investing £107,650 should see (I think) 8 more biannual payments of £1000 for a total of £8000 interest, but if those are taxed in a 20% band they only see £6400 of that, and after redemption they've only seen £106,400 back for a total loss of £1250, and with a capital loss which isn't useful for other CGT purposes). This seems a poor deal. (An investor who can take the income in an ISA or similar at least makes a meagre return of £350).