The Labour Party is forever banging on about the evils of tax avoidance. Sheer humbug. What have we learned today with revelations about the last will and testament of Anthony Wedgwood Benn MP, prominent socialist intellectual?
When his wife died in 2000 the great socialist transferred part ownership of his house to his four children. He also owned an ancestral home in Essex which he had been placed in a trust. Both classic tax avoidance schemes.So the nominal figure left to his children in his will was around £5 million. Without the avoidance planning it would have been much more, as would the death duties.
And why not! It’s only right that his children benefit from their parents. But why try to stop other people doing what is right for their kids?
“Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the guy behind the tree.”
Inheritance tax is not for party members, but only for Tories.
It just had to come. HMRC, the tax authorities in the UK, now can’t wait for you to die. They want to take their 40% cut before you pop your clogs. Maybe they are frightened that you’ve found a way of taking it with you?
Anyway, they now propose to charge you death duties in advance of you dying – just in case you find a clever way of hiding the money from them. I suppose it’s preferable to killing you for your money. No doubt that `solution` will be on the agenda soon.
I’m sure they have a committee who sole job is to dream up new ways of stealing from taxpayers. I can see the proposal now: Enforced Euthanasia. Not only do they benefit from an early collection of death duties (euphemistically called Inheritance Tax), it means no future expenditure by the NHS or state pensions. I’m surprised they don’t make smoking compulsory, so they both tax the means of self-destruction, and also lung cancer delivers death duties early.
I read somewhere that Price Waterhouse, or one of the large auditors, have calculated that adding in all the taxes, including death duties, over a lifetime each Brit pays more than 70% of their earnings to the state. I’ve lost the reference, so if anyone knows where to find it please drop me a line.
So it’s no wonder that the rich elderly Golden Geese look longingly towards Canada and Australia, countries with no Death Duties.