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.
Today the bill for UK state pensions comes in at £98billion, but according the Department of Work and Pensions this will almost double in twenty years to £179billion. I wasn’t using rocket science when I predicted the coming tsunami for taxpayers in The New Barbarian Manifesto fifteen years ago. The increasing ageing of the population made this a simple exercise in arithmetic. The DWP have simply put numbers on it. Indeed they say the bill will be £420billion by 2064. This, in a word, is unsustainable. The young employed will refuse to be taxed into penury to support the elderly who refuse to die.
I also predicted that euthanasia will be legalised to reduce both the pensions bill, and the exploding cost of health care. Add on the cost of increased ‘death duties’, which will minimize any moneys passed on to beneficiaries after they finally die, then mansion taxes, and most people will die broke.
Families will start to see euthanasia as the only way they will see any inheritance after taxes. Just like the Inuit of old, when times get tough they will convince granny to leave the igloo and walk out into the snow.
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.