Saturday, July 04, 2015

Dislike Death Taxes? So Do the Brits

"Inheritance tax is one of Britain's least popular taxes," according to The Economist's Economics blog. "A survey in March by YouGov, a pollster, found that 59% of voters thought the tax unfair, the highest figure for any individual levy."

David Cameron's Conservative government proposes to reduce death-tax pain by exempting the transfer of middle-class homes, effectively raising the total exemption for married couples to about $1.5 million. Compared to an exemption of well over $10 million enjoyed by married couples here in Britain's former colony, that's less than generous. The Economist's blogger, however, seems unsympathetic.

1 comment:

Jim Gust said...

Liberals can never understand the opposition to death taxes. They focus on the decedent, and argue that only 1% of estates will ever pay death taxes. Anyone who doesn't have to pay a tax ought to support it, in their worldview. The polling is done of the beneficiaries (and potential beneficiaries), however, and they number far more than 1%.

An exemption for a personal residence is bound to have populist appeal. Why should the family home have to be sold for taxes? Wouldn't it be better to bolster overall family capital by exempting this critical asset?

I note with interest that the top death tax rate in Britain is only 40%.

I am among the You.Gov survey participants. I can tell you their surveys have a strong liberal bias, they never accurately describe the conservative position on any issue. The answer choices for a typical question are a. very liberal, b. liberal, c. somewhat liberal, or d. don't know.

So the opposition to the death tax in Britain is likely much higher than 59%.