Tories go to the extreme

Nicholas Neveling

The proposal is about as surprising as news of Cheryl Tweedy getting some new
hair extensions.

Tories calling for tax cuts is nothing new, but scrapping IHT altogether
strikes me as simply bizarre.

In the submission to the shadow cabinet, elaborately named ‘Freeing Britain
to compete: equipping the UK for globalisation’, Redwood’s Economic
Competitiveness Policy Group did make the reasonable point that many people were
finding themselves caught beyond the £300,000 IHT threshold because of rising
property prices.

But then making the leap to scrapping IHT altogether is all a bit sudden and

Raising the threshold would be a far simpler and less dramatic measure to
solve the escalating house price issue.

The idea of massive amounts of wealth been handed down, tax free, to people
who have done nothing in particular to earn it is something that strikes me as
unfair, especially when one considers that people in work who earn a living
enjoy no such benefit.

Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to propose rewarding industry,
entrepreneurialism and old fashioned hard work with dramatic, headline-grabbing
tax cuts instead, rather than offering a fillip to people simply living off the
fat of a big inheritance?

I think that would have been a much better idea, but the sceptical side of me
suspects that scrapping IHT, which is only worth a miniscule percentage of total
tax takings, is a much easier area to make sweeping changes than in other areas.

Nicholas Neveling is a senior reporter on Accountancy

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