When George Osborne was the Chancellor for the Conservatives, he outlined a plan to cut Inheritance Tax to the point where a couple could receive a £1million home without paying anything.
The current Conservative Chancellor, Philip Hammond, did nothing to cancel this in the recent Spring Budget so, starting next month, the threshold for Inheritance Tax will rise from its current £325,000 per person to £500,000 by 2020.
This change is expected to cost the Treasury £1billion by 2021. This is money that could be invested in our long term future; transport, the NHS, early years education. Instead the cut will likely benefit 0.04% of people in England.
New research revealed by my colleague, Rachel Reeves MP, shows that this tax cut will strengthen the North-South divide. Money that could have helped address inequalities across the country will now be concentrated in a small number of households in London and the South East.
In 2015-16, of the 100 constituencies with the highest number of property sales over £650,000 (the current Inheritance Tax threshold for a couple) 96 are in London or the South-East.
The average sold price in Bolton North East was £125,000. We ranked 430 out of 573 constituencies in England and Wales with just 0.7% of homes sold for over £650k.
We should be looking to end the North-South divide, not cutting services in Bolton to give more money to the wealthiest families in London.
This policy once again shows that this Conservative Government have their priorities wrong. There so many better ways to improve our economy and raise living standards.