A Tax on the Middle Class

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 23, 2004 | Go to article overview

A Tax on the Middle Class


Abortion questions Olympic tears THE PROPOSAL from the Institute for Public Policy Research to raise inheritance tax on the wealthy keeps up the pressure on Chancellor Gordon Brown over this increasingly controversial tax.

Last week, shadow Chancellor Oliver Letwin drew attention to the large number of ordinary middleclass families now being caught by inheritance tax, which is levied at 40 per cent on all estates over [pounds sterling]263,000. The reason more people are getting caught is house prices: since 1997, these have risen by 130 per cent, during which time the threshold for inheritance tax has gone up by just 22 per cent.

At the same time, Mr Brown is closing a range of loopholes used by some to avoid the full impact of the tax. Inheritance tax is certainly a growing problem for middle class families, especially in the South-East: [pounds sterling]263,000 will barely buy a modest family home in many places in London. The IPPR's proposal is for a lower rate of inheritance tax up to [pounds sterling]288,000, then the current rate up to [pounds sterling]763,000, and a higher 50 per cent rate for estates worth more than that amount. In practice this would make little difference to most of the middle classes - yet such a move would still carry a politically charged message, much as Labour's proposed income tax increases did in the 1992 election. For that reason, the Treasury has been quick to deny suggestions that it will adopt this proposal from the Government's favourite think tank. In fact, taken together with other property taxes, inheritance tax does not amount to an especially severe burden compared with other countries in Europe and North America. But the belief of Britons, especially the middle classes, in their right to pass on their homes to their children is powerful, and shifts in inheritance tax - whether caused by changes in policy or by house prices - are politically dangerous.

FRESH questions are being raised about late abortions. As we report today, almost 100 MPs now believe that the time has come to reassess how late in a woman should be allowed to have a termination - currently, up to 24 weeks into pregnancy. The new mood has been prompted by a number of developments, such as recent statistics showing steadily rising numbers of abortions - but most dramatically, by astonishing new ultrasound pictures of foetuses in the womb, first published by this newspaper in June.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Tax on the Middle Class
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.