The people of Hertfordshire pay more inheritance tax than the whole of Wales and Northern Ireland combined, analysis of state figures has shown.
Residents of the home county forked out £175m to the 40pc death duty in the 2018-19 tax year, compared to £102m paid in Wales and £40m in Northern Ireland, according to latest figures by region.
The South East of England contributed more than £1bn of the overall £4.6bn haul of that year – nearly five times the £233m paid in the entirety of Scotland.
A significant chunk of UK inequality is regional inequality. Incomes are higher in some areas than others. This is different from US inequality where each individual state has inequality about the same as the national average – not exactly, but about.
But regional costs in the UK also differ wildly – as we can see from the manner that house prices are driving those inheritance tax differences. If we control UK inequality for those local price differences – so that we’re measuring consumption inequality, not income – then it drops markedly.
Actually, perhaps we should measure it properly before trying to do something about it?