Abolishing inheritance tax will only benefit the very rich

Gloria De Piero MP
Gloria De Piero MP

Inheritance tax is an issue that constituents have rarely contacted me about in my time as an MP, writes Gloria De Piero MP.

That is why I am surprised that it has suddenly become an issue for the forthcoming election.

Last week, the Brexit Party said it was a priority for them to abolish inheritance tax altogether.

No-one wants ordinary families in Ashfield to lose their homes and life savings when they die, but the truth is that only the richest pay a penny.

According to figures from the House of Commons library, only 70 estates of deceased residents in the whole of north Nottinghamshire had to pay inheritance tax in 2015-16.

North Nottinghamshire includes not just Ashfield, but Mansfield, Bassetlaw and Newark & Sherwood.

In the UK, most estates of the deceased are not liable for inheritance tax.

READ MORE: Only Labour will give the country a fair tax system.

Around four per cent of deaths in the whole of the UK in 2015-16 resulted in inheritance tax being paid, and this dropped to just two per cent for the East Midlands region.

No-one pays inheritance tax on anything below £325,000 and no tax is paid on estates passed to spouses or civil partners.

If you give away your home to your children or grandchildren your threshold can increase to £475,000.

It will be of no surprise that it is the wealthier south east and London areas that see the most estates paying inheritance tax, counting for around 40 per cent of all inheritance tax payments in 2015-16.

READ THIS: Coalfield communities being ignored again by the Government.

Inherit-ance tax is a fair tax as only the very richest in society pay it.

The Office for National Statistics has suggested that it is people in the wealthiest fifth of households who are most likely to receive an inheritance which is even liable for the tax.

Abolishing such a tax would basically be a tax break for the richest in society and would diminish the coffers from which schools, the NHS and other public services are funded.

If anything, the wealthiest individuals in the country should be paying more tax, to even out the huge wealth inequalities in society.