Inheritance tax and FG’s ‘posh boy’ image

 

Sir, – I see that Fine Gael is obsessing about how to make the rich even richer, despite the fact that out of all the problems Ireland faces, the “burden” on families from paying some tax on an inheritance is the least of them. To listen to some people you’d be forgiven for thinking they were being taxed at 100 per cent on amounts above €310,000 per person not per estate.

If a house is passed on from parents worth €930,000 and they have three children, there is no tax due as they each have a €310,000 allowance. Any tax above that is charged at a rate of 33 per cent. If the value of the asset is €1 million they would pay 33 per cent tax on €70,000, or €23,100.

Is Fine Gael really trying to argue that three children who have inherited a property or assets worth €1 million should not have to pay €23,100 in tax? Is that really the most pressing problem Fine Gael thinks needs to be fixed?

I’d love to hear the Budget Oversight Committee chairman and Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy, who seems keen to take the credit for this idea, explain to people how to quantify how much of the increase in property values is due to owners and their care and upgrades over the years, how much is down to luck at buying in a certain area 30 years ago, or how much is down to the contribution we all make to creating a stable society where asset values can rise as they have done in Ireland.

Is it really too much to ask a well-heeled centre-right voter to pay some of their good luck inheritance back to the society that made it happen, so it can be used to provide for the needs of those who aren’t lucky enough to have parents able to leave them assets above a value where inheritance tax becomes a factor, despite their parents working just as hard and being just as honest as the lucky 1 per cent Fine Gael seems so concerned about.

To be so tone-deaf and out of touch 10 years after the bank bailouts and while people are still losing their homes, and to the vulture funds welcomed in by Fine Gael, is astounding.

Then again, I suppose inheritance tax is an issue that keeps the posh boys who lead Fine Gael up at night, while the rest of us worry about more mundane things. – Yours, etc,

DESMOND FITZGERALD,

Canary Wharf,

London.