UKIP says it would abolish inheritance tax if it won the general elections next year. It would also increase VAT (value added tax, sales tax) by 5 percentage points on luxury items.
UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, which is campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union, argues that the ultra-rich never pay inheritance tax anyway.
At UKIP’s annual conference in Doncaster on Sunday, MEP Patrick O’Flynn, the party’s economic spokesman, said:
“Let me tell you what UKIP wants to do to inheritance tax; scrap it altogether. Doctrinaire socialists look at death duties from the wrong end of the telescope. Instead of being envious of those who inherit, our primary response should be to respect those who earned the money, paid tax on it, invested it wisely and wish to pass it on to their chosen heirs.”
“Envy at the good fortune of those heirs should never be used as a justification for depriving property owners of this basic right to pass on the wealth they have created. Tax was already paid on this money in life, it should not be levied in death as well.”
UKIP’s economic spokesman, Patrick O’Flynn.
Mr. O’Flynn proposes setting up a Treasury Commission to look at the whole tax system. It would start by raising VAT on luxury goods from 20% to 25%.
There would be three VAT thresholds, Mr. O’Flynn explained, for example, £50,000 for a new automobile, £1,000 for a bag, and £200 for a pair of shoes.
He added that foreigners not from the European Union should not be able to claim back VAT on shopping done in the UK.
Shaking off extreme party image
If UKIP wants to become a serious rival to the Conservative and Labour parties, it needs to shake off its current image as an extreme party. Mr. O’Flynn tried to do this today with the following pledges on taxes, which he claims would give families a fairer deal:
- The personal income tax allowance would be raised to the level of the full-time minimum wage, which in 2015 is expected to be about £13,500 per year. In other words, the first £13,500 a worker earned each year would be tax free.
- People earning between £42,000 and £55,000 per year would have their income tax reduced to 35% from the current 40%.
- A personal allowance of the full-time minimum wage would eventually be followed by a 20% standard rate, 30% intermediate rate and 40% top rate.
Over the last four weeks, two Conservative lawmakers have left their party and joined UKIP.