We have just this week heard the 2016 Budget announcement from the Chancellor — George Osbourne. Pensioners have once again been ‘protected’? No cuts to benefits for older people — not even to Winter Fuel Allowance. However the Chancellor keeps reminding us he has a ‘long term plan’, so beware.
Buried in the myriad of supporting paperwork that goes behind the headlines there is a forecast about Inheritance Tax. It was only paid by 4.8% of people who died in 2013/14, but, because of the increase in the ageing population and rising property values, this proportion will increase to 9.9% of people who die by 2018/19.
This is great news for the Chancellor because, without doing anything, his Inheritance Tax take will more than double. The even better news from last year was that thanks to a relatively ineffective flue vaccine, we had the highest number of deaths since 1999.
The total Inheritance Tax take this year is expected to be a coffin full of £4.6 Billion. Let’s hope they don’t cremate it!
So, in tax terms the older population can expect to well treated, at least while they are alive and voting. Although disappointingly there was no mention of additional money for domicilliary care inspite of the big increase in the older elderly population. However, don’t expect the Chancellor to spend more money on improving elderly care in Social Services or the NHS. Keeping people alive longer will be more expensive than killing them off and collecting more tax. God save us from the Taxman !
Fingers crossed for warm winters and Winter Fuel Allowances in the years to come.