Data released by HMRC yesterday estimates that up to 50% of the national IHT receipts come from London and the South East. This is set to increase given the freeze in the IHT allowance, the continued surge in the property market in the South of England and the waves of legislation targeting homes owned by wealthy foreigners.
However, any suggestion that this in some way is helping to redistribute wealth is misplaced, given that IHT receipts are a mere £3bn, a minute fraction of the overall tax take. Is it fair? Probably not. Is it right that those that can afford to make a further contribution do so? Of course it is.
Estates liable for inheritance tax paid an average of £170,000 in 2012-13, up 3pc from £165,000 the previous year. The increase is broadly in line with UK house prices, which rose by 2.6pc in the 12 months to April 2013.