Do you remember the Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly? Probably not. Most politicians have tried hard to forget it. It reported in 1999 (on Tony and Gordon’s watch), and called for ‘free nursing and personal care to be available for all’ and, guess what, nothing happened. Since then there have been a dozen or more reports/enquiries/committees, all of which have come to the same uncomfortable conclusion that we have a lot more old people needing care, that care is very expensive and will have to be paid for by higher taxes…but not until after the next election.
Yes, Inheritance Tax is in need of reform, but then so is most of our ridiculously complex tax system. We tend to assume that ‘Death Duties’ are a relatively new, socialist tax intended to stop the landed gentry passing on their stately homes and estates and perpetuating their advantages.