The Today Programme talked extensively about abolishing death duties and it made headline discussion this week on BBC 2 Working Lunch...
Peter Clarke of the Scotsman writes a feature on the latest book to be published by the IEA, 'Euthanasia for Death Duties', by Barry Bracewell-Milnes.
Inheritance taxes are the final insult
MY mother-in law lives with impressive frugality on a modest pension. On her expiry, Gordon Brown will take 40 per cent of her estate. She is not a wealthy person. In terms of income, she is demonstrably a low earner.
Her problem is that her house, bought in the 1950s, represents a capital sum rather more than she can comprehend.
She knows she is far from rich and cannot believe much of her assets will fall to the Treasury.
I offer this mini-example as evidence of a wider truth I provisionally call Clarke's Law: "That all politicians achieve the opposite of their declared intention."
Those MPs who promoted inheritance tax, or death duty as it is often called, plainly wanted to harvest the resources of the truly wealthy. It is difficult to complain too loudly about those with several millions forfeiting sums to the Crown after they have made provisions for their family and favourite charities.
Yet what does inheritance tax actually do? It penalises those of humble means whose assets are mostly dormant and uncomprehended. The wealthy evade or avoid it. It is the frugal who get savaged. If you are truly affluent, you are counselled by lawyers and accountants and bankers and,