UK

Majority ‘against lowering inheritance tax threshold’ – poll

The Government is reportedly considering raising the inheritance tax threshold (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The Government is reportedly considering raising the inheritance tax threshold (Dominic Lipinski/PA) The Government is reportedly considering raising the inheritance tax threshold (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The majority of people oppose any reduction in the £1 million inheritance tax threshold, new polling commissioned by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) suggests.

Only 20% advocate for a reduced tax, while the remainder, 60%, wants the tax to either remain as it is or be increased, according to the polling conducted by Opinium on behalf of the TUC.

The survey of 2,084 UK adults also found this opposition extends to those who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 general election, with 62% expressing a desire against cutting it.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak warned against the consequences of such a tax reduction, saying it was “reckless in the extreme” amid the ongoing strain on public services.

He said: “Nothing works in this country any more. But instead of getting on with fixing our public services, the Conservatives are considering a tax giveaway to millionaires.

“Abolishing inheritance tax would be a huge tax cut for a very small, very wealthy minority and drain £7 billion from the public purse each year.

The Government is reportedly considering raising the inheritance tax threshold, potentially leading to its complete elimination.

The move would come amid growing demands from prominent Tories, including former prime minister Liz Truss and former cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi.

But according to the TUC, the polling highlights a disparity between the Government’s considerations and the public’s desires.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak warned against the consequences of such a tax reduction, saying it was “reckless in the extreme” amid the ongoing strain on public services.

He said: “Nothing works in this country any more. But instead of getting on with fixing our public services, the Conservatives are considering a tax giveaway to millionaires.

“Abolishing inheritance tax would be a huge tax cut for a very small, very wealthy minority and drain £7 billion from the public purse each year.

“Slashing it would be reckless in the extreme and an act of levelling down.

“It’s no surprise that a clear majority of the public oppose lower inheritance tax thresholds and instead want the wealthiest to pay their fair share.

“At a time when our NHS is on its knees, school buildings are crumbling and runaway inequality is blighting every corner of the country, the last thing we need is an unfunded tax cut for the wealthiest.

“The Conservatives have broken Britain, and they seem hell-bent on making things even worse. It’s time for a reset. We need an economy that rewards work, not wealth.”

The polling was conducted by Opinium between August 23-25.

On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was silent on speculation that he was considering changes to inheritance tax, saying only that “the most important tax cut I can deliver for the British people is to halve inflation”.

But Defence Secretary Grant Shapps described the duty as “punitive” and “deeply unfair”.

Inheritance tax is levied at 40%, but the vast majority of estates fall below the threshold, which can be up to £1 million for a couple, to incur the charge.