Inheritance Tax: Tory plans don’t add up… but so what?


‘The money foregone here, from less than 10,000 estates, could have been used to cut income tax by 1-2p in the pound for millions of hard working families.’
blogger Mathew Taylor

In an apparent victory for Daily Express readers, the next Tory government will raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1m. But so what?

Death and taxes may be the only certainties of this world, but having suffered the first, you won’t be paying the second. Not to any earthly exchequer anyway… so how is it that this is a victory for Daily Express readers… could it be they’re already dead… a kind of zombie tribe?

Far from being a tax on death, which is going to happen whether you pay up or not, Inheritance Tax is the fairest tax of all because it is a tax on unearned income. To spend your life hoarding wealth to pass on to your children – who are expected to hoard it in their turn – is both silly and sad.

The tragedy of the hoarder is that they are very likely to be forgotten within a couple of generations anyway, as while most people will have fond memories of their aged grandparents, great-grandparents tend to be a bit of a mystery. And so wealth is inherited without gratitude.

The real complainers are those who’ve been looking forward to a big fat slice of unearned wealth. While it’s fair enough to be dependent on your parents as a child, you really should be standing on your own two feet once you’re all grown-up. And it’s a second tragedy that these people remain dependent on their parents well into middle age… how pathetic these apparently victorious Daily Express readers are.

Along with these twin tragedies the Tory proposal will primarily benefit people far wealthier than the average Daily Express reader. As one of our most overlooked bloggers, Mathew Taylor, points out the money the Tories intend to raise from non-domiciled tax payers would have been far more equitably invested reducing income tax. It would make more sense to use a levy on high earners to reduce the tax burden on more modest earners.

Yet commentators seem to concentrate not on points of principle, but on whether the Tories’ can add up. As Chris Paul points out, with the help of Channel 4’s FactCheck, they cannot. But so what?

2 thoughts on “Inheritance Tax: Tory plans don’t add up… but so what?

  1. Pingback: Brown deserves his kicking

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