Requiescat in pace, not in tax

“This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed." Well, if Patrick Henry had lived in 21st century Britain, HMRC would probably demand 40% of it, perhaps settling for the Father and a dabble of the Holy Spirit. We currently live in a state bigger than Thatcher's 1983 majority. We must shrink it, beginning with the tax on dying. 

My grandfather had a saying: "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves". He began life with nothing, left school at fourteen with no qualifications, and became a paperboy. Eighty years later, when he left the world, he owned his own home and was a successful landlord. When he died, his funeral had not even occurred before his grieving family was hit by a letter from the taxman, demanding 40% of his estate. Not only is this about as sensitive as a Godfrey Bloom speech, but it is wholly un-British and unfair. 

If you believe that such a scheme works as a method of social justice, then I am afraid you are sorely mistaken. The actual impact is that the mega-rich (that is, the people the left target with inheritance tax) escape. The current Duke of Westminster inherited £10 billion and paid under the modern price of a Freddo in tax. The middle-class Londoner who bought her council house in 1985 and died last week will, however, pay hundreds of thousands, simply because of house price inflation. It is a tax on preparedness. No lower-income family with a house worth half a million, will pay for a financial advisor, and will hence end up selling their home. 

It is repugnant. This is altogether worse than "selling the family silver”; it is having the family home in which that silver is stored forcibly taken away. When you die, you leave a will. I would love to meet the few deluded people who think that the Treasury is the best place for 40% of their money to go - the number would certainly not include any of the virtue-signalling Labour MPs who push for inheritance tax. It seems that only the maddest of hatters would leave all of their money to the wasteful glutton that is the state. 

This is then the hill to die, and not pay tax, on. Use every method you can to avoid this terrible tax on death and hard work. Plant trees on your land, keep sheep, hire financial advisors, set up a trust, use an ISA and leave gifts (tax-exempt). We must kill the inheritance tax!

Alex Honey (non-university member) is an undergraduate in his second year at Exeter University, and Chairman of the Exeter University Conservative Association.

The original piece of this article was written more in the style of a continuous oration. Alex kindly submitted this, the second version, to more accurately render the grammatical structure of the written form.