Conservatives accuse labour of planning £1bn IHT on family farms

The Conservative Party has accused Labour of planning a £1 billion inheritance tax raid on UK family farms, warning it could jeopardise the nation’s food security, as reported by Farmers Weekly.

Steve Barclay, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), claims Labour intends to eliminate inheritance tax relief on farmland to address a £38.5 billion deficit from its unfunded spending promises.

The Conservatives argue that removing agricultural property  relief would impose an average inheritance tax bill of £600,000 on farms valued at £2 million, potentially “forcing many family farms to shut down and threatening the UK’s food supply”.

The Conservative election manifesto promises to maintain inheritance tax reliefs for family farms, ensuring they can be transferred to the next generation without tax burdens.

Labour’s manifesto neither confirms nor denies plans to scrap inheritance tax relief for farmland. However, Labour has dismissed the Conservative allegations as baseless and part of a misinformation campaign. Shadow Defra Secretary Steve Reed assured National Farmers’ Union (NFU) leaders last December that Labour has no intention of changing the inheritance tax rules for farmland if they win the general election.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s party insists that their fiscal plans do not require additional taxes beyond those proposed for private schools, foreign property owners, and non-domiciled residents. Labour has also pledged not to increase income tax, national insurance, or VAT.

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