Government Trying to Sneak Death Tax Through by Stealth

MPs may have so little to do that the Commons was adjourned before 3.30pm yesterday, but that hasn’t stopped the Government from trying to sneak a new death tax through on the sly. They are laying a statutory instrument today which will increase the ‘probate’ fees – which families have to pay when administering someone’s estate after they die – from £215 up to a potential £6,000. This is a death tax in all but name, hitting grieving families with a massive bill as they go through the difficult process of dealing with a relative’s death…

The minimum “fee” is now £250, which shoots up to £2,500 for estates over £500,000, £4,000 over £1 million and £6,000 over £2 million. Anyone owning property will be caught by the tax – poorer families will be forced to scrabble around for cash to pay the fees just because granny bought her own council home…

The Taxpayers’ Alliance have condemned the tax hikes and branded them “totally unreasonable”. Interestingly, some Lib Dems have picked up on the fact that it may even be unconstitutional – the Government is meant to pass a full Bill through Parliament when it wants to raise any tax, but by branding it a “fee” they are trying to wriggle through a loophole to avoid proper Parliamentary scrutiny. If it was genuinely just an administrative fee it wouldn’t be structured like a progressive tax. MPs still have the chance to stop them…

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Quote of the Day

Ken Livingstone deployed a corker on TalkRadio this afternoon…
“I joined the Labour Party 50 years ago this month and in all that time I have never heard a single anti-semitic comment.”


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