"This proposal makes sweeping assumptions about how personal wealth has been made."
Anne Elliott, CEO at Latimer Hinks Solicitors
Anne Elliott, CEO of established Darlington firm Latimer Hinks, has commented on a proposal to make changes to the current inheritance tax by replacing it with a ‘gift levy,’ to be applied to any property or cash given to an individual throughout their lifetime.
The proposal, outlined in the document Land for the Many, suggests a lifetime limit of £125,000 on gifts made to children. After this threshold was reached, the individual would incur normal income tax rates on any inheritance or gifts received.
The levy has been suggested in order ‘to better share out unearned windfalls’ caused by the housing boom and provide an additional £9 billion per year to the Treasury.
However, the move has received some criticism, as it will not only impact those with considerable wealth, but also families who have, for example, re-mortgaged their homes to help their children onto the property ladder.
Anne Elliott said: “This proposal makes sweeping assumptions about how personal wealth has been made, and that it is ‘unearned’ and down to sheer luck, which in the majority of cases it isn’t. I might add, that this money for the most part, has already been taxed. If someone has worked their whole life to provide for their families, they should be safe in the knowledge that after they’re gone, this will happen.
“Should this levy be introduced, millions of hard-working people, who have found themselves in the fortunate position of being able to leave something to their children and grandchildren, now may find that a significant proportion for this will be snatched out from under them, and this is grossly unfair.
“The average house price in the UK is £226,798, meaning that many people will be stung by this levy, just by inheriting a property or being helped with a deposit. It is not just ‘robbing the rich to pay the poor,’ but disadvantaging everyone.
“I would implore our current Government, and any other Government in the future, to absolutely dismiss this proposal for what it is; an attempt to further raid the pockets of hard-working, successful people and their families