'A desperate sop to ageing Tory voters': Matt Frei outlines the government's proposed plans to scrap inheritance tax

15 July 2023, 16:41 | Updated: 15 July 2023, 16:42

Matt Frei on suggestions that the Tories could scrap inheritance tax

By Grace Parsons

As the Tories mull scrapping inheritance tax to shore up Blue Wall, Matt Frei outlines how this is seen as a "desperate sop to ageing Tory voters".

As Rishi Sunak weighs up the move to scrap inheritance tax as part of his manifesto ahead of next year's election, Matt Frei highlighted how the numbers regarding the cost of this potential policy aren't "adding up".

The Times reported that No 10 was discussing whether to make abolishing the levy a commitment to shore up votes in so-called "blue wall" seats in 2025.

Matt said: "This is widely seen as a desperate sop to ageing Tory voters, who are scratching their heads for reasons to carry on voting Tory when the government so many taxes and when stubbornly high inflation is already munching away at their wealth. "

"There is the question of fairness, critics see it as a pernicious double taxation. Advocates view it as a way of equalising society."

READ MORE: Labour needs to 'go in hard' on 'unfairness' of rumoured plans to scrap inheritance tax, says Jonathan Lis

Matt went on to say: "The suggestion of cutting inheritance tax comes in the context of the current public sector pay crisis. The government now suggests a 6% pay increase for workers in the public sector.

"The government also insists that this will not come at the expense of cuts. At the same time, they've asked departments to make savings - bit of a contradiction there.

"They've got to raise 5 billion extra quid to pay for these pay rises. At the same time, if you abolish the inheritance tax, it has been calculated that that would cost the Exchequer about £7 billion.

"So, the numbers don't really add up and the question is, whether this is economically feasible and is it just a sop to desperate Tory voters or to desperate Tory MPs who are looking at an extinction event in the next election."

READ MORE: Sunak and Hunt mull scrapping inheritance tax to shore up Blue Wall as opening salvo for next general election