Taxing the dead= evil?

<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?menuId=1588&menuItemId=-1&view=SUMMARY&grid=P8&targetRule=0"Re: Robbing the dead
Date: 7 July 2003
Sir – While it may be entertaining to propose that long-term flatmates and co-habiting sisters should be exempted from inheritance tax (letter, July 4), the truth is that this tax is wrong and should be abolished.
Inheritance tax had its origins in the revenue needs of Lord Goschen in 1889 and Lord Harcourt in 1892, and in the social levelling of Lloyd George in 1909. It has been a boon to the insatiable rapacity of successive chancellors, with the result that this fiscal Sword of Damocles now hangs over far too many people.
It is an assault against enterprise, continuity and family life and an affront to the sanctity of property, the right of inheritance and the principles of equity and fiscal efficiency. Modest in yield, complex in collection yet often devastating in impact, this ghoulish impost is a shameful example of robbery of the dead.
The only casualties of its abolition would be the armies of lawyers paid to devise schemes of avoidance, and the class warriors of the Labour Party who would lose one way of squeezing the fiscal pips of the middle classes (of whatever sexual persuasion) and thus be denied a couple of billion pounds a year to waste on unreformed public services.
If they wanted to make up the difference they would have to do it honestly by taxation of the living who, unlike corpses, can vote.
From:
R C H Genochio, Royston, Herts

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