Sunday, April 12, 2009

‘I’m gonna live forever’

Rowenna Davis says:

Unlike many other taxes, raising inheritance tax is not likely to distort incentives.

Ah, but no. Inheritance tax, aka ‘death duties’, can be a powerful disincentive to dying. If you know that once you kick the bucket, Gordon Brown is going to grab a chunk of your estate and give it to chavs to buy fags, knives and scratchcards, then you’ll be powerfully motivated to avoid popping your diamond-encrusted clogs.

Indeed, I think it’s now beyond serious dispute that inheritance tax is the main reason for differences in life expectancy between different socioeconomic groups. Thus, on grounds of social justice, we should abolish it.

This relates to a proposal I’ve made before: rather than punish the wealthy for being wealthy and reward the poor for being poor, we should try create some sort of economic disincentive to poverty. Hard to imagine such a thing, but I’m sure the policy wonks could come up with something...


Chris Murphy said...

Perhaps we could make it a bit fairer with a progressive tax on the money they don't have?

Richard T said...

Follow your man in Puckoon and leave it all to yourself. The can't charge inheritance tax on the dead - can they?