Slash inheritance tax to give workers a hand up, says TIM NEWARK

It cannot be right that working people, having diligently paid their taxes over a lifetime, then have that income taxed again when they die. It is one of the most natural impulses in the world to pass something on to your children to give them a little help. It is not up to the state to pick our pockets again on that hard-earned money.

Boris Johnson

Boris should slash inheritance tax (Image: Getty)

The Conservatives know this is a strongly held sense of injustice and it was good to hear Chancellor Sajid Javid hint that a Boris Johnson-led government may well slash inheritance tax. "I shouldn’t say too much now,” he told an audience at their party conference, “but I understand the arguments against that tax. I do think that when people have paid taxes already, through work or through investments and capital gains and other taxes, there is a real issue with then asking them, on that income, to pay taxes all over again.” Shortly afterwards, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick backed this up by saying “It is a tax which is particularly unpopular because people can see the fundamental unfairness of paying tax twice.” Especially when they want to leave property to their children or grandchildren.

The cost of housing is so high that many more people fall foul of inheritance tax than when it was first introduced as a levy on the super-rich. 

Now many people leave behind properties worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Not only would righting this wrong show the Tories are on the side of working people. 

But also that their path towards a fairer Britain, that rewards hard work, is radically different to that of a hard-left Labour Party that just wants to tax us all more.

The last time the Tories promised to shake up inheritance tax, they shot up in the polls and were set on the path for electoral victory. 

Houses

Most of the money taken by inheritance tax will come from houses (Image: Getty)

Just when voters thought that David Cameron’s Conservative Party had abandoned Margaret Thatcher’s popular capitalism, shadow chancellor George Osborne made a rousing speech that rocked New Labour.

At the 2007 Tory Party conference, Osborne told his audience something they finally wanted to hear. 

“When inheritance tax was first introduced it was designed to hit the very rich,” he said. “But the very rich hire expensive advisers to make sure they don’t pay it. Instead, thanks to Gordon Brown this unfair tax falls increasingly on the aspirations of ordinary people.”

Osborne boldly pledged to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million. 

It electrified the Tory grassroots and made Prime Minister Gordon Brown bin his idea of a snap election when he saw the polls turn blue.

Sadly, Osborne, below, then reneged on this vote-winning policy in 2009 and it did not make the manifesto for their 2010 election bid. 

In fact, he was so embarrassed by the speech that it was erased from the party’s website. 

The Tories scraped into a coalition as many of their disgruntled supporters switched to Ukip.

It is now time that Boris Johnson demonstrates a new direction for the Conservative Party. 

He must show how in touch he is with the British voter by backing a major cut in inheritance tax, dramatically raising the threshold from its current £325,000. 

George Osborne

Shadow chancellor George Osborne made a rousing speech that rocked New Labour (Image: BBC)

There are planned changes to increase this threshold from next year in certain circumstances but it still needs to go a long way.

Ten years of disgracefully low-interest rates, overseen by Tory governments and the Bank of England, has meant that property has risen to the point that many young people cannot afford to buy a first-time home. 

Hard-pressed savers have been forced to shift their money away from bank accounts paying next to nothing into investing in rental properties, which has only helped fuel rocketing house prices.

It is only right that this economic mess should now be balanced by the government allowing property owners to pass on their homes to their children without being heavily taxed. 

For the next generation, it will be the only way they can finally afford a family home of their own.

The next election will be about delivering fairness for this nation. 

Jeremy Corbyn’s Marxist Labour Party will seek to do this by taking money away from hard workers and redistributing it to people they think will vote for them.

The Tories should take the other path of leaving more money in the pockets of those that have earned it so they are better able to look after their families without needing the state to intervene.

A lower tax Britain will make us all wealthier and better able to compete in a post-Brexit world. 

If Boris truly wants to be the People’s PM then he should take up the hints of those ministers around him and start this process by slashing inheritance tax. 

It’s only fair and will show he really is on the side of working people.