Treasury man says IHT is ‘morally right’

Responding to the Tories, who called on the government to abolish the tax,
Timms said: ‘I expect inheritance tax to raise £3.6bn this year. The
Conservative party needs to identify the spending that would be cut or the taxes
that would be raised to fill the gap.’

The tax was raised from only 6% of estates last year, he said, and described
it as ‘a morally right tax’ which is only being paid on estates worth more than
£285,000 this year, rising to £325,000 in 2009/10 and excluding wealth passed to

There have been increasing calls for reform of the levy recently, which has
been abolished in some countries. Labour MP Helen Goodman said: ‘Any party that
claims to be concerned about equal opportunities must have a fair inheritance
tax regime.’

The exchanges followed debate on the finance bill by a Commons committee
concentrating on abuse of trust mechanisms to avoid tax.

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