28th September 2015
Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that inheritance tax (IHT) should be “graded” because the present system favours richer people.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Programme, that a planned rise in the threshold amounted to a “tax break” for the wealthiest 60,000 families.
The Chancellor George Osborne has ended the 40% inheritance tax on family homes worth up to £1m from April 2017.
Under the current rules for those who are married, in a civil partnership or widowed, the threshold for IHT is £650,000 between them. For single people, the limit is currently £325,000.
Commenting on Osborne’s move, Corbyn said: “The richest 60,000 families have suddenly had a tax break.”
“It should be graded actually. Somebody leaving a normal house to their children or family – fine. But when you cut the overall rate of inheritance tax that means that the very richest become richer because of it.”
The opposition leader also accused the government of doing “very little” about firms moving their offices overseas for tax reasons.
He highlighted Boots, which is headquartered in Switzerland.
Corbin said that if a company is making a lot of money in the UK it “should pay tax on what they earn in Britain not by some piece of sophistry move it to Switzerland, Luxembourg or Lichtenstein”.
In response a Boots spokesman told the BBC: “Boots pays all the tax that is due in the UK. It is a major contributor to the UK economy.”