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.