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Inheritance Tax

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 15 June 2006

10. What the total cost was of administering inheritance tax in each of the last five years; and what the estimated cost is for 2006-07. (77551)

The cost of collecting each pound of inheritance tax was 1.23p in 2000-01, 1.21p in 2001-02, 1.38p in 2002-03, 1.21p in 2003-04 and 1.14p in 2004-05, the most recent year for which figures are available. I do not expect a big change in the current year.

Because it is morally the right tax. Only 6 per cent. of estates paid inheritance tax last year. The zero threshold is £285,000 this year, rising to £325,000 in 2009-10. All wealth passed to spouses or civil partners is tax free. It is right to apply tax in that way and we will continue to do so. If the hon. Gentleman is suggesting that it should be abolished, he needs to explain where the money would come from.

Does my hon. Friend agree that any party that claims to be concerned about equal opportunities must have a fair inheritance tax regime?

I do agree; my hon. Friend is right. I expect inheritance tax to raise £3.6 billion this year. The Conservative party needs to identify the spending that would be cut or the taxes that would be raised to fill the gap.