What a brilliant idea the Coalition government has come up with! Now they are mooting the idea of charging people inheritance tax BEFORE they die.
What next - will we have to pay Air Passenger Duty before we book any flight? Will they charge us Stamp Duty before we have even bought a house? VAT on takeaway food before we order any? Business tax before we have set up or run any businesses? VAT on hearses and coffins?
I wouldn't put it past them.What I notice is that the Coalition government is persistently mean and stingy towards older people. In England each year, 40,000 old people have to sell their homes to pay for care - care they were promised would be free under the welfare state. In Scotland, they do get it free, because of our unfair system.
Pensions have in effect fallen as they have not kept up with inflation and the age when you can claim them is being pushed up all time. Our parents and grandparents paid colossal taxes, the highest in the history of the world, in return for a pledge that they and we would get free health-care, free prescriptions, free dental and optical services, decent pensions and free social care from the local council if we needed it in old age. Instead the Labour government has spent the money on other things - notably its long and pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Inheritance tax used to be the problem of the filthy rich, the landed gentry and the tiny minority of millionaires (when you were rich for having one million). Not any more. Now that the market price of an average three-bedroom semi exceeds the threshold of £325,000, it is the problem of every ordinary middle-class family who would like to help their children get onto the property ladder. Of course if the home has to be sold to pay for elderly parents to go into care homes, then there may be nothing to inherit - but what if you have already been forced to pay the inheritance tax in advance?
We are giving away billions to prop up the Euro and subsidize foreign countries, while blatantly robbing our own children. Result: everybody in England in the long term gets poorer.
Lenten Meditations: Saturday 25 March
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