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Seems reasonable ...

David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, questioned why it was fair that children of rich pensioners “win the lottery” by inheriting the family home when they die. He said houses in London and the South East had boomed in price and suggested the profits from such rises should be taxed to help pay for social care in the North.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11391227/David-Blunkett-Labour-should-bring-back-the-death-tax.html

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My commoner soul finds this appealing but my grown up brain rejects it simply because it's demotivating to prevent a man from passing on his wealth to his children, for all the inequality, we shouldn't punish wealth

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Inheritance tax should be 100%.

In a meritocracy, you should stand on your own efforts, not those of your parents.

And in an environment where the the population is force to attempt to outbid each other for necessities of life (land and housing), inheritance ensures that property wealth is concentrated in ever fewer hands, generation by generation.

We're now in the situation where if you can't rely on a property inheritance (including early inheritance through Bank of Mum and Dad), you can look forward to a fulfilling life of serfdom.

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My commoner soul finds this appealing but my grown up brain rejects it simply because it's demotivating to prevent a man from passing on his wealth to his children, for all the inequality, we shouldn't punish wealth

Why punish wealth when it's so much more acceptable to punish work?

Working people in the UK have been brainwashed into accepting far higher taxes on incomes (i.e. actual work) and VAT so that the privileged few can make even more money sitting on their backsides watching their (or their parent's) assets go up in value.

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Inheritance tax should be 100%.

In a meritocracy, you should stand on your own efforts, not those of your parents.

And in an environment where the the population is force to attempt to outbid each other for necessities of life (land and housing), inheritance ensures that property wealth is concentrated in ever fewer hands, generation by generation.

We're now in the situation where if you can't rely on a property inheritance (including early inheritance through Bank of Mum and Dad), you can look forward to a fulfilling life of serfdom.

I presume this is a theoretical position, how do you intend to achieve it? if parents are killed in a car crash are their young children to be completely disinherited by the state and placed in care? or their surviving spouse? but then if the have married someone much younger than them is wealth not carrying down the generations?

This debate always comes down to the same positions. my argument is simple, there is massive avoidance of IHT and that is a far greater problem to social mobility than the fact that inheritance occurs.

for most families i have ever encountered the old yorkshire saying works - "clogs to clogs in 3 generations" or grandfather earns it, father spends it, son is back in poverty"

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Inheritance tax should be 100%.

They could try but it would be trivial to avoid - just by (i) taking money out in cash, regularly and passing it around (or 'losing' it), (ii) investing in gold/silver and then 'losing it', etc etc etc.

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We should have policies that prevent houses getting so expensive. If someone inherits a Terraced house in London, it is still a terraced house.

I see nothing wrong with inheritance and it should be tax free. Most of the money will already have been taxed.

If the government prevents me leaving anything to my Children, I will emigrate and get out of what will be an overtaxed ****hole.

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My commoner soul finds this appealing but my grown up brain rejects it simply because it's demotivating to prevent a man from passing on his wealth to his children, for all the inequality, we shouldn't punish wealth

Why? A man can use his wealth to give his the children the best start in life. A good education for example. Big inheritances cause all sorts of stresses to the beneficiaries if split between siblings. Why not tax 100% and use that to provide basic education, health and policing?*

* Of course the government would waste it, but the intention is good.

Edited by Eddie_George

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They could try but it would be trivial to avoid - just by (i) taking money out in cash, regularly and passing it around (or 'losing' it), (ii) investing in gold/silver and then 'losing it', etc etc etc.

That is evasion not avoidance.

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Have you not heard of the Laffer curve? 100% inheritance tax wouldn't rasie a penny because everyone will just spunk their money on frivalous entertainment. If we didn't have a rent seeking based economy, then the majority of these inheritance windfulls will eventually end up being invested into the economy via the banking system.

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Have you not heard of the Laffer curve? 100% inheritance tax wouldn't rasie a penny because everyone will just spunk their money on frivalous entertainment. If we didn't have a rent seeking based economy, then the majority of these inheritance windfulls will eventually end up being invested into the economy via the banking system.

Is that not a good thing, liquidity....you can't take it with you, spend the house.

Someone locking it up long-term as a deposit to borrow some dirty bricks to sit on does nothing of any value....dead money unless living in it. ;)

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Seems reasonable ...

David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, questioned why it was fair that children of rich pensioners “win the lottery” by inheriting the family home when they die. He said houses in London and the South East had boomed in price and suggested the profits from such rises should be taxed to help pay for social care in the North.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11391227/David-Blunkett-Labour-should-bring-back-the-death-tax.html

He's right that something needs to happen, otherwise the lottery win of 1980's/90's property purchases will just cascade through the generation. I didn't do anything to deserve the tax free gains I made on property, my children will have done even less to deserve the inheritance that those gains will eventually represent.

However, what that "something" might practically be is a damn tough thing to determine.

To take a game theory approach, I recognise my kids don't deserve the house price inflation bonus, but I'm not prepared to see them disadvantaged versus their silver spoon in mouth peers. So unless I see an inheritance tax that's guaranteed to be uniformly implemented then I'll do everything I can to circumvent it. And here's the rub, the very best way I can test that it's uniformly implemented is to do everything I can to circumvent it.

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If you don't blow it......I am sure many kids will blow it enjoying it for you.......easy come easy go.......money that is not hard earned has a lesser value. ;)

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Consider the relative value of wealth that can be earned by working, and wealth that is produced by holding assets.

When you inherit assets you not only inherit wealth, but you inherit the future income stream that those assets provide. Even inheriting a family home means you never have to pay out another rent payment yourself. So far from 'spunking it all', wealthy families can simply accumulate assets over generations, until the Duke of Westminster owns half of London and immigrants live in garden sheds.

It appears to no longer be possible for an ordinary working person to accumulate enough wealth through working to buy themselves a flat, never mind the investment properties or share portfolios that the rich invest their cash in. Indeed, those born poor are mere tenants and serfs to the property-owning class. I end up paying my landlord's mortgage, rather than being able to build up any assets of my own.

My friends who have richer or more generous parents get gifted large deposits. Everyone I know in London who has bought has done it with parental help.

So social mobility dies, and my generation ends up living the life our parents can buy for us, rather than one we've built ourselves.

If we lived in an age where people were routinely able to earn more than their parents can leave them, an inheritance would be a nice bonus. Something to be grateful to your parents for. Instead, it has become near impossible for a child with no inheritance to close the gap with their luckier peers. An inheritance has become a prerequisite for a decent standard of living.

People who want to leave money to their kids should give more thought to other people's children. Why should your kids inherit your house and your money - a quarter-million or so head-start - when it looks like my (theoretical) children will be getting a pile of cash that won't buy a single brick? Your kids can sit in their inherited living room and decide what they'd like to do. Mine will be working all out just to put a roof over their head.

I don't trust the government to spend taxes either. But to allow massive inheritances - and in the 21st century any inheritance with a property involved is a fortune - is to abandon the idea of meritocracy and revert to a feudal system.

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If you are rich...born into wealth, left or given wealth you are no better than another person that was born with nothing and made their own honest way in life working for every penny a real wealth creator ...... many since the last war had the opportunity to do that, people that have never been given a penny piece from anyone and went to a bog standard comprehensive school.........far far harder to do that now....the rich assets holders get richer and those without poorer, because it is becoming harder and harder to make it in this world without family financial help......not looking good. ;)

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Regarding housing windfalls, making everybody equally poor and homeless is hardly an improvement.

No that would be a better level playing field....the rich already have a goal advantage.....that would sort out the wheat from the chaff....maybe our politicians would be of better calibre for a start. ;)

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Just another 'Event' tax which rather misses the point

The charge should be made throughout the lifetime of the asset not just when it changes hands on death

Well, yes LVT would be better.

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No that would be a better level playing field....the rich already have a goal advantage.....that would sort out the wheat from the chaff....maybe our politicians would be of better calibre for a start. ;)

It just seems to be an incredibly petty motivation to me.

If you want to improve peoples lot in life, I'd be focused on measures that help those with nothing get ahead in life, not cutting down those who are lucky. It's just punitive. If society really wants to punish the fortunate then it's a pretty sick society IMO.

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I'm sympathetic to irrationalactor. No expectation of (early or actual) inheritance myself so I reckon it took me the best part of an extra decade to get to the place many of peers started out at. I don't resent them their luck in the birth lottery (mind was still a lot better than most of the world's population) - but yes, it makes a mockery of meritocracy. But that's this country for you, look at the royal family for the ultimate example of the luck of birth.

No kids, but I can also understand why parents want to help out their kids or grandkids. But it compounds the problem of wealth concentration. Interestingly, it's the reverse of the problem I see in the developing country my missus is from. There ancestral land rights being divided and chopped up between increasing numbers of kids, grandkids and great grandkids - everyone wants their increasingly smaller share. A few more generations from here, coupled with government stealing of "unused" land, and none of them will own anything.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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