Why inheritance tax cuts are good politics as well as good policy

October 08, 2007 10:32 AM

Two polls over the weekend showed that the Conservative plans to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million are popular with voters:


  • YouGov for The Sunday Times found that 66% of voters thought the £1m threshold for IHT was a good policy.  Only 18% thought it a bad policy.

  • BPIX for the Mail on Sunday found that 71% supported "the Tory plan to cut inheritance tax".  Only 17% opposed it.

And here's one reason why. An analysis by the Financial Times today shows that at least a quarter, and possibly as many as two in five, of families in marginal seats are theoretically liable to pay inheritance tax. So much for Ed Balls' argument that only 7 per cent of estates pay the levy.


It's also reassuring to hear that Gordon Brown is also planning to look again at inheritance tax, and could raise the threshold and/or reduce the rate. A tax-cutting competition between politicians is exactly what taxpayers need. We hope it will lead to a cut in the overall burden of tax, bringing genuine relief to hard-pressed families and businesses. 

Two polls over the weekend showed that the Conservative plans to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million are popular with voters:


  • YouGov for The Sunday Times found that 66% of voters thought the £1m threshold for IHT was a good policy.  Only 18% thought it a bad policy.

  • BPIX for the Mail on Sunday found that 71% supported "the Tory plan to cut inheritance tax".  Only 17% opposed it.

And here's one reason why. An analysis by the Financial Times today shows that at least a quarter, and possibly as many as two in five, of families in marginal seats are theoretically liable to pay inheritance tax. So much for Ed Balls' argument that only 7 per cent of estates pay the levy.


It's also reassuring to hear that Gordon Brown is also planning to look again at inheritance tax, and could raise the threshold and/or reduce the rate. A tax-cutting competition between politicians is exactly what taxpayers need. We hope it will lead to a cut in the overall burden of tax, bringing genuine relief to hard-pressed families and businesses. 

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