Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where did that death tax go again?

Labour has dropped the so-called "£20,000 death tax to pay for elderly care" on property owners right? Wrong. It may not be there as a specific flat fee anymore, but like a Gordon Brown budget you need to read between the lines. Chapter 6, Page 6 of the Labour manifesto states,
We also want to remove the fear that families will lose the family home in order to pay for care bills. So, from 2014, the National Care Service will cap the costs of residential care so that everyone’s homes and savings are protected from care charges after two years. We will pay for this through our decision to freeze Inheritance Tax Thresholds until 2014-15.
Please let me offer a translation for you.

We don't think it's right that the bastard capitalist marketeers that provide residential care should cost you your property because that means there is no slice for us left at the end. So we're going to "protect" your home for you which you're going to think is really nice, but what you don't realise is that we're going to sting you for Inheritance Tax instead. What? Your house is not worth enough to be liable for IHT? No little one, you may not think your house is covered by it now, but property prices are bound to go up over four years and we're freezing the thresholds.... remember? We'll get that £20,000 from you eventually, and we'll make you think we're doing you a favour in the meantime.
Here endeth the lesson for today.

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