Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sick of hysterical, fearful, puffed-up, posturing politicians bribing other people with your money? Remember...

I was particularly reminded of these words when the BBC's Chief Spinmeister for the Labour Party, Robert Peston (unconvincingly masquerading as the corporation's Economics Editor) described Tory plans to increase the amount of money people can pass on untaxed after their death as a "give-away". A give-awhat? Hell's bells! Promising to steal a little less money from corpses represents a give-way? Gee, thanks! 

Inheritance tax (the name has changed many times since it was introduced as estate duty back in 1796, but the principle of picking dead people's pockets remains the same) has always struck me as rather disgusting. What - we have to pay to die? How very dare the state interfere with our right to pass on what little we've managed to accrue in its entirety to whoever we wish to bequeath it to. We've already paid tax on what we're leaving (in the case of property, we paid the mortage out of taxed money, and we paid stamp duty - another disgraceful example of unjustified larceny by the state - when we bought the place). So, remind me - why do the people or organisations to whom we've chosen to bequeath our property have to pay tax on it all over again? So it can be sent overseas as foreign aid? Or spent on vanity projects like HR2? Or pissed away by smug, self-regarding, morally superior left-wing quangocrats on their various pet victim groups?

I inherited very little. I certainly won't be passing on a fortune - but whatever I do pass on, I (we) worked for it, and I (we) paid all the requisite tax on it. I just don't see why any part of what we own should ever be taxed again - I don't understand what right the state has to pick our pockets twice over. (Make that three times. Until inflation dropped to zero last month, those of us foolish enough to have savings had seen their value in real terms fall for six years in a row, thanks to interest rates being kept artificially low - it's just another form of taxation.)

If I had the power to pass two laws, the first would require that every time a politician appears on TV, there would be a requirement for the words "Remember - this is your money they're talking about!" to flash on the screen throughout - and the second would be to require Robert Peston to pay regular visits to a common-or-garden High Street barber to get his stupid fucking hair cut. At his own expense. He looks like a complete arse.


  1. I struggle to come up with a more repugnant act carried out by the state, short of violence, than the inheritance tax.

  2. We have to pay stamp duty when we buy a house above a certain price. For even modest London houses like ours, this runs into tens of thousands of pounds. Given that buyers pay extra for all the required legal paperwork, I've never been able to figure out what this tax is for. It runs inheritance tax a close second, but it's not as anti-family, anti-personal freedom, anti-property rights or as downright ghoulish as inheritance tax - so I think you're right.

  3. Inheritance Tax doesn't stop there. In order to prevent people finding ways round it, a number of other iniquitous measures are brought in, including- and if anything this is even more pernicious - limits on the amount of money a parent may give to children each year without having to pay tax on it. All this penalises behaviour that society benefits from - providing for your family, saving, generosity; and encourages the opposite - spend to the max, selfishness, deny your children an inheritance enough one day to allow them to think about buying a house. And don't forget that we are talking about savings from income that has already been taxed once.

    Of course, the really well off are able to find ways to avoid it - turning yourself into a limited liability company helps apparently, as does being a non-dom. This achieves the double whammy policy goal of rewarding the fantastically rich at the same time as the profligate, while penalising people who simply want their children to get some benefit from their years of hard work.

    Thanks also for the album covers post. However, I am afraid that as a true celebration of the awkwardly posed and un-photogenic, the UKIP election manifesto wins hands down.