UK Government Under Fire Over 'Death Tax' Plans
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Conservative Party, the largest opposition party in the UK parliament,
claims that the Labour government is secretly planning a "death tax"
to pay for their plans for a National Care Service for the elderly.
According to Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, government ministers are
planning a tax of GBP20,000 per head on the estates of the deceased to fund
reform of state care for the elderly.
Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, commented: "When
you die, a Labour government would take GBP20,000 from what you leave to your
children and family. For those with the most modest savings Labour’s plans
could leave them with nothing."
The Conservatives are proposing a system whereby people can opt to pay a one
off premium of GBP8,000 into a voluntary scheme to cover the cost of residential
care in old age. "So under our plans no-one would be forced to sell their
home to pay for care," added Hammond.
The fact that Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused to confirm or deny the rumors
about the death tax during a lively House of Commons debate on February 10 has
only served to fuel speculation that the government is giving serious consideration
to the plans.
"Gordon Brown needs to come clean with the public and say how he will
fund his new National Care Service", Lansley said.
However, Health Secretary Andy Burnham was later reported to have said that,
while the levy was suggested in a green paper last year, it was not currently
on the table as part of the reforms of elderly care.
“I can say to you very categorically that that is not what I am
considering," Burnham remarked.