2 Responses

  1. I wonder if the 128,000 were spread evenly across the ages or skewed towards those nearer to the jackpot.

  2. Whilst I heartily agree with the principle of paying tax after death and not whilst alive for many of the same, very valid and very good reasons above, I find the paragraph dealing with the inheritance of a house to be a little flawed.

    For many people their parents’ house is much more than an asset. It is a home, a place full of memories for them, where they grew up. In this case it is beyond being a simple asset, it has a high emotional value attached to it too, and this is the (to my mind, only) reason that forcing the sale of it could be regarded as in any way unfair.

    Furthermore, for those homes that have been in families for generations, perhaps hundreds of years, for each successive death to place a large financial burden on that family may even be seen as unfair – the family is paying the tax over and over again. Perhaps economics does dictate that these then have be sold, but I am not sure this will be a good thing in all situations. But then perhaps your argument just accurately reflects how little the family and tradition are now valued in the UK accurately (and probably how few of these situations there may be).

    Finally, one other reason that people may choose not to give their wealth away whilst they are alive and thus seem to be hoarding it is the extremely high cost of care for the elderly in the UK. If it is possible that one might live for 30-40 years beyond retirement, potentially needing any sort of medical care which may be expensive and then die suddenly, it is perfectly feasible that you will retain cash rather than gift it to relatives. Particularly when the trend in the UK is no longer for your own family to take care of you in your dotage. It need not be hoarded purely for selfish reasons. Of course, if we raised inheritance taxes perhaps we would be able to afford a decent standard of state care for the elderly!!

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