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Better bequests

Governments should encourage us to leave wealth not to our children, but to our grandchildren

By David Halpern   November 2007

A few days before George Osborne’s inheritance tax announcement at the Tory party conference, there was a gathering in Oxford of leading experts on the tax. They agreed on two key points. First, that inheritance tax could be robustly defended on moral and fiscal grounds, and second, that there was no chance any major party would seek to radically reduce it. So much for the experts.

In the wake of the government’s copycat announcement that it was to double the inheritance tax threshold for couples, Polly Toynbee, who was at the Oxford seminar, wrote that it was “the week that…

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