Monday, 11 February 2013

The plan to freeze inheritance tax thresholds means there isn’t a single reason left to vote Tory

The cistern on our upstairs lavatory has sprung a leak and there’s a chap coming to fix it in the morning. As the government will end up confiscating 40% of the value our house when we die, which government department should I be sending 40% of the repair bill to? While we’re at it we might as well send the state the £2,500 bill for its share of the various improvements we made to the house last year. That strikes me as fair – after all, we’re maintaining the value of the property and the state will benefit hugely from our outlay on an asset the government evidently thinks it part-owns.

Our “estate” is one of the 4% in this country that currently qualify for Inheritance Tax. It seems astonishing that our meagre resources should land us in this elite bracket – but there’s a simple reason for it: we live in  a nice part of London, so our modest house is worth an immodest amount. As we’re both normal human beings with a normal set of parental instincts, we’d like all of our assets to end up going to our son – after all, that’s basically why we’ve husbanded our resources and eschewed luxuries all these years. But the state thinks it deserves two-fifths of what we’ve worked for, despite already having removed eye-watering sums from us in the form of income tax over the years.

I’m not quite sure what this second raid on what we own will pay for, as we’ve already paid for the police and defence and the health service and social security and roads and education and our pensions through a host of other taxes. Probably civil servants, other public sector workers, foreigners, Eurocrats, bone-idle scroungers, economically unviable regions, vanity high-speed train projects, French farmers – and a whole bunch of other stuff we don't approve of.

In 2007, when the Tories were in opposition, George Osborne announced – to huge popular acclaim – that a Tory government would raise the Inheritance Tax threshold to £1,000,000. Fast-forward five and a half years  and the Tories are in power (albeit saddled with the LibDems – the political equivalent of herpes) and Cameron and his shifty little sidekick Osborne have not only abandoned that pledge once and for all – they’ve actually frozen the inheritance tax threshold at £325,000 for the next six years.

Obviously, it won’t affect either of them or their families, because, being rich, they’ll simply have paid a team of expensive accountants to make sure that not a penny from their estates will ever find their way into government coffers. You see, the rich don’t pay inheritance tax – it’s essentially a tax on amusingly desperate little middle-class strivers such as ourselves who aren’t clever or rich enough to get involved in tax-avoiding trust funds.

It was in April 2011 that I realised there were few reasons left for me to go on supporting the Tory Party. My Damascene moment was occasioned by Cameron’s attack on Oxford University for not having enough black undergraduates (read about it here). For a Conservative leader to try to bully an elite academic institution into discriminating against white private school candidates struck me as a betrayal of everything the Tories had once stood for (at least, under Mrs. Thatcher). I’ve always been a practical sort of cove when it comes to politics, happy voting for one set of lying incompetents in order to keep an even worse set of lying incompetents out of office – but I’d finally reached the point where I really couldn’t care less whether this country was led by David Cameron or Ed Miliband. Even the presence of evidently decent Tory ministers such as Eric Pickles, Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith wasn't enough to keep me onside. I switched my allegiance to UKIP – an unelectable party with more than its fair share of fruit-loops, but with its heart and its principles in the right place.

Not a thing that Cameron or Osborne have said or done in the past 22 months has made me think twice about my decision to abandon the Conservative Party until such time as these two miserable specimens are replaced by polticians committed to getting the fangs of the vampire state out of our necks.

I don’t matter in the least – I’m just another angry old right-winger with a blog. But I reckon there are several million natural Tory voters like me who’ve simply had enough. See you in 2015, Dave!

1 comment:

  1. "Not a thing that Cameron or Osborne have said or done in the past 22 months has made me think twice about my decision to abandon the Conservative Party ..."

    I thought this was a bit extreme when I read it ten days ago, but I have been studying the images of Cameron visiting the Golden Temple at Amritsar wearing some form of head-dress and a very large orange scarf and I think I may follow you out of the door. What was he thinking?

    When I saw him in a procession of identically clad men moving slowly along I was vaguely reminded of the "Yeah Verily Yeah" sequence in the "Court Jester" or Silvio Berlusconi receiving the Blairs after his hair-transplant or Denis Thatcher's unravelling turban.

    Why don't we insist on some reciprocity and make visiting dignitaries dress up as Morriss Dancers or Chavs?