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Parties fight over inheritance tax as election nears

The three main parties have clashed over inheritance tax plans as the 2015 general election approaches.

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to eliminate the tax for family homes worth up to £1 million. In a speech earlier this week, he said that inheritance tax “was never meant for people in modest homes, on middle incomes”, such as teachers, nurses and small business owners.

If the Conservative Party remains in government after the election, this tax cut will be implemented in April 2017.

The proposal has come under fire from prominent members of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Labour’s Treasury Spokesman Chris Leslie called Mr Cameron’s announcement the Conservatives’ “latest panicky promise” and that they had “made a promise on inheritance tax before the last election and they broke it”.

The Liberal Democrats were also vocal in their opposition to the idea. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the proposal was “very cynical” and that “if taxes can be cut … we’ve got to start at the bottom with people on low pay, not at the top”.

Criticism of the plan has not been limited to Mr Cameron’s political opponents. Independent think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies claimed that the benefits of the policy would “go disproportionately to those towards the top of the income distribution”.

Earlier this year, television mainstay Bruce Forsyth criticised the inheritance tax, claiming it was “a bit over the top”.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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