What is to be done about the corrosively increasing and much talked about inequality of wealth in our country? Conservatives will and UKIP would make it even worse by increasing the exemptions from Inheritance Tax or by abolishing the tax altogether, while other parties, given half a chance, switch the conversation from inequality of capital ownership to inequality of income or otherwise call for the abolition of capitalism altogether.
Capitalism needs reform, not abolition. The far sighted traditional constitution of the Liberal Party, unlike the cobbled together Liberal Democratic Party, calls for ‘Liberty, property and security’ for all. It is the only UK political party to adopt a proposal for the reform of capitalism to bring about genuinely greater equality of capital ownership and opportunity for all in each new generation in the UK.
Some inherit billions of capital free of tax, due to exemptions from an Inheritance Tax which is charged on what is left or given, while others never inherit any capital at all. One third of all land is still owned by the aristocratic families who grabbed it at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Liberal Party proposes that the taxation of inheritance should be reformed by reducing Inheritance Tax rates and exemptions while introducing a progressive tax charged on cumulative lifetime totals of what is inherited or received, which would include, and would help finance, a gradually increasing capital endowment for all UK-born UK citizens at the financially responsible age of 25. Opportunity for all!
Dane Clouston is part of the Oxfordshire Liberal Party