Monday, August 21, 2006

So tell me Mr Byers...

why is inheritance tax:

"a penalty on hard work, thrift and enterprise"...

When the people who would benefit from the removal of inheritance tax are the children of the deceased who have to do precisely NO hard work, show NO thrift and display exactly ZERO enterprise in order to acquire their welcome windfall (well, ok, the person dealing with the estate has to fill in some forms).

If you really wanted to encourage hard work, thrift and enterprise AND social mobility then you'd put UP inheritance tax and use the extra to reduce income tax. But then, Mr Byers, it's really all about middle-class voters and not about hard work, thrift and enterprise at all...

There's more about this at Fisking Central [It's worth mentioning that using a hike in inheritance tax to fund a reduction in income tax would counter Mr Byer's argument that inheritance tax double-taxes wealth that has previously been subject to income tax].

5 Comments:

  • At 5:32 pm , Blogger Colin D. said...

    tell us Mr. Byers what did your beloved Jo moore with her £50,000 for a three [free] day week? answer not a lot!

     
  • At 6:47 pm , Blogger Tristan said...

    Would you tax someone because their parents gave them genes to be intelligent? They didn't have to do any work for that. Or perhaps being attractive?

    Of course it discourages investment. You are less likely to invest knowing that the state is going to take half your wealth when you die.

    We could reduce income tax easily whilst also scrapping inheritence tax.

    The fact that you say its about middle class voters is telling. Like income tax, inheritance tax was once reserved for the very rich, but as wealth has increased in this country, more and more people have fallen into the tax.

    And unless you scrap income tax, inheritance tax is a double tax (probably triple taxed or more as every exchange of money seems to entail government taking a slice).

    Inequality of wealth is not unjust per-se.
    I would say that having people unable to feed themselves due to lack of wealth is unjust. In a rich society like ours, having people unable to afford a decent education is unjust, or having people unable to afford decent health-care is unjust, but having more money is not.

    Social mobility is not best increased by taxation but by education.

    We could easily lower taxes by scrapping stupid schemes like ID cards, by cutting away the layers of beaurocracy (instead we feed it with higher spending). We could scrap the DTI, stop taxing the poor and then spending money to give them some of it back.

    We can do all this without envy taxes.

    I find it hard to accept one rule for some and another rule for others. This is why I support a flat income tax. It is unfair that the rich should be treated differently from the not so rich (the poorest should be raised out of taxation because it is immoral to make them suffer through taxation).

     
  • At 8:31 pm , Blogger Bernie Hughes said...

    Encouraging a shift from taxing earned wealth to taxing unearned wealth is an essential component of any liberal fiscal policy. Evidently, it would be economic nonsense to abolish income tax at any point in the forseable future, but it makes sense to take principled steps towards it wherever possible. Inheritance Tax is a tax on unearned wealth, and thus a perfectly legitimate source of government income. IT is not a double tax, because the tax is levied at the point of reception of the unearned income. The fact that somebody else (daddy) previously paid income tax is completely irrelevant.

     
  • At 8:53 pm , Blogger Richard Gadsden said...

    tristan, you can be as rich as you like, but you're still middle class, you know.

     
  • At 6:53 pm , Blogger GoodLiberal said...

    It never stopped Warren Buffett being thrifty, industrious and hard-working. Indeed, he has spoken up in favour of the inheritance tax.

     

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