National newspaper The Daily Telegraph has this week launched a campaign calling on the government to scrap inheritance tax (IHT).
The newspaper said more than 50 Conservative MPs are also demanding that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak scraps the “morally wrong” tax on people’s estates after they die.
The front-page story pointed out that the number of estates being caught by the tax has soared since the Conservatives came into government amidst continually frozen nil-rate bands.
This, they say, comes despite George Osbourne’s pledge pre-2010 election that the tax would be scrapped for all but the most wealthy of estates.
“The levy is regarded as profoundly unfair as it penalises people who have saved money throughout their lives after paying tax on their income and is punishing middle-class families who want to help children or grandchildren to own homes,” the article states.
This is why the newspaper has launched its campaign to scrap the tax, arguing that this move “should be put at the heart of the [Conservative] party’s next election manifesto”, citing growing fears that Labour will target savings and assets to fund higher state spending should the party occupy Number 10 from next year onwards.
It’s also said that an increasing number of The Telegraph’s readers are writing letters regarding “intrusive probate investigations into their estates”.
Also condemning the tax was former Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, who said:
“Inheritance tax is that other spectre that haunts us alongside death. As well as being morally wrong to take someone’s assets on their death, it also creates all sorts of inefficient and damaging distortions in our personal finances and the wider economy.”
Former business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg also called for its abolition, stating it only raised a “modest amount” – £7.1 billion – for the Treasury last year.
The Telegraph also revealed their new analysis which found the number of people paying IHT will increase by 45% over the next 10 years, with the average bill sitting at over £300,000.
They quoted a Treasury spokesperson as saying:
“More than 93% of estates aren’t expected to pay any IHT in the coming years – however, the tax still raises more than £7 billion a year to help fund public services like the NHS and schools.