GORDON BROWN has decided against forcing millions of families to rewrite their wills, says the Times , and backed away from his controversial Budget measures unveiled in March.
The Treasury has abandoned plans to effectively force parents to leave assets for their children to inherit on their 18th birthday or face a punitive new tax rate, and another move which would have made it prohibitively expensive for husbands to leave their assets to spouses in a trust rather than outright was also dropped.
Parents will now be able to defer their children’s inheritance to the age of 25 and be liable to a lesser charge of 4.2 per cent while the spousal exemption on trusts has also been restored as this tends to be used by Muslim families with Islamic wills who are not allowed under Sharia law to pay or receive interest.
Ministers are said to have “quietly abandoned” the plans by tabling a series of amendments yesterday o the Finance Bill, which is in its committee stage in the Commons.
Stephen Pallister, a member of the Law Society’s wills and trust committee, said: “Millions of people would have had to take expensive tax advice or rewrite their wills. This amounts to a massive climbdown.”
THE TELEGRAPH takes a different line and says the number of tax rises under Labour is approaching 100, has steadily ticked up to 80 and now taking the UK tax burden close to record proportions.
This rising tally of new taxes is said to be the “latest illustration of how families are paying more of their incomes to the government”.
Among those cited are the Chancellor's “£5bn grab on pension funds” when he abolished the pension credit dividend, his decision to increase National Insurance contributions as well as the increase in charges for North Sea operators.
They are also supported by research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggesting both tax increases and fiscal drag - in which tax allowances are not lifted in line with earnings growth - have raised the amount Britons contribute to the state.
AND AMERICAN BANK Citigroup has suffered another top-level defection to a British clearing bank, says the Scotsman.
Barclays is said to be paying almost £12m to poach Frederick (Frits) Seegers to become chief executive of global retail and commercial banking - a new position -from next month
The bank’s company restructuring effectively creates a two-line structure below chief executive John Varley, as Seegers will be in charge of UK banking, international and Barclaycard businesses while Bob Diamond will be in charge of Barclays Capital, Global Investors and Wealth Management.
Earlier in the year, Citigroup's treasurer Guy Whittaker quit to become Royal Bank of Scotland's finance director.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Julie Henderson on 020 7968 4571 or email [email protected].IFAonline
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation