'My home, my death, not my inheritance tax' - Lord Kulveer Ranger

A little known inheritance tax loophole saved British families millions last year
A little known inheritance tax loophole saved British families millions last year
PA
Lord Kulveer  Ranger

By Lord Kulveer Ranger


Published: 14/06/2024

- 16:00

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

So proclaimed Benjamin Franklin, one of the most influential founding fathers of America and is credited with establishing much of the foundations that make not just America but western modern democratic society what it is today.


Certainly, modern democracy is by no means perfect but to coin another phrase from Churchill, it is the worse form of government except for all the others.

Amid the initial stages of the general election campaign where both major parties seem to be splitting hairs as to what they will spend, spend, spend on and very little time telling us just how this money will appear.

Labour has thus far broadly accepted Conservative spending plans and if they do spend more, they will break their own fiscal rules.

So, the answer is either spending cuts or tax rises unless the mythical economic growth that has eluded us over the last fifteen years finally materialises under the next government.

But let us go back to us, the hard workers, the taxpayers. Who work all our lives. Aspire to progress, achieve, and yes earn for ourselves, our families, and our homes.

I could drown you with numbers that show over the last few decades how house prices, and frozen tax thresholds have led to increasing number of us owning homes that mean we are perceived as ‘rich’ and, therefore, the state coverts our wealth and seeks to further reclaim it once we are gone. In fact, once over the £345,000 threshold Inheritance tax (IHT) is applied at 40 per cent.

By the way, as of February this year the average house price in England was £298,000*.

This means millions of us – or I should say our families - are at risk of being clobbered for further tax on our estate once we pass.

For it is our homes, our castles. The very fabric of our being and families. What we spend our lifetimes earning to afford.

Overcoming the humungous effort it takes to get on the homeowner’s ladder but as we know that is just the being. The decades of making monthly mortgage payments.

The uncertainty of interest rates which means we in the UK are stuck in a mortgage market that forces us to play a game of chance every few years as millions of us must keep changing our mortgage product to get the latest ‘best deal’ dare we get stuck on an expensive and dreaded standard variable rate.

On top of that, a home is a money pit. It needs constant maintenance and investment for we take pride and love in it as is part of the fabric of neighbourhoods, communities and broader society.

A type of British society that I for one have aspired and to and millions are proud to be part of. Whether you have a small flat or a large family home. We try our best to look after the flowerpots, mow our lawns, keep our bins tidy, fix our fences. We work, we save, we spend, and we live, and then we die. Your home is part of your legacy. Your money is the result of your work. You pay tax as you earn. Inheritance tax out lives you.

Taxing you once you’ve left this mortal coil on money you have already been taxed on and should be rightfully yours alone. It should not be thus, and the morality of this type of taxation needs to be questioned.

As we go further in this general election campaign and all sectors, campaigners, lobbyists and pressure groups seek ever more taxpayer money from the next government. Who in turn is making the moral case to tax less, but more so to overturn this morally repugnant tax.

Yes, there will be those who squeal about the super-rich, the huge inequality between the haves and the have-nots but they will always find clever accountants to help them manage their taxes.

It is the average middle Englander that concerns me. If we believe in anything we should believe that hard working people who spend their lives building something for themselves and their families, should have the right to keep more of what their blood, sweat and tears results in, and we should be ashamed if our version of democracy means that governments continue to snatch more of it away from our cold dead hands.

*Office of National Statistics April 2024

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