By Dominic Cole
Vince Cable has suggested the creation of a ‘citizen fund’ to help the wider population benefit from investment returns. Of particular interest is the suggestion to abolish inheritance tax and instead tax gifts during people’s lifetimes. Lifetime giving can still be a very efficient form of estate planning in the right circumstances but replacing tax on death is unlikely to encourage people to give assets away during their lifetime. Further, the current exemptions are not all the generous and many people already fall foul of the current limits.
The other suggestions such as putting ‘capital gains tax at the same level of income tax’ would more likely have a larger impact on the government purse, but will likely prove unpopular, particularly with small business owners who may be already feeling the squeeze due to increased costs.