‘Money is like muck,” wrote Francis Bacon in 1625. “Not good except it be spread.” No one accuses the father of the scientific method and British empiricism of being a socialist, although doubtless the many Tory critics of inheritance tax will now want to group him with Karl Marx and the liberal elite as dark enemies of aspiration.
They should also add the Greek philosopher Aristotle to their list of leftwing enemies. “Man is by nature a social animal,” he wrote. “Society precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”
Inheritance tax is a good thing because it breaks up concentrations of wealth.
Hmm, well, OK. I argue the other way myself – it’s glorious that bit by bit the population builds up wealth to make them free of government.
But Willy. He’s been on £ quarter million a year for some decades now. At one point his (late) wife’s buy to let empire included 10 properties if I’ve remembered that right. There’s significant wealth built up there. Obviously, his wife’s estate didn’t pay tax on what passed on to him. But his estate will be – I would assume at lesat – something substantial.
So, what lifetime gifts is he making to reduce that impact? What efforts to reduce the value of the pot subject to such tax? Any ag land? AIM shares? DC pension pot?
Enquiring minds would just love to know whether he’s making plans to maximise wealth passed on. You know, in those interests of transparency. For a reasonable bet would be that his likely estate will be large enough to make considerable contortions worthwhile.