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Letter to the Guardian - Unequal unearned wealth - 5th Jan 2017
Dear Sir,
Polly Toynbee once described me when introducing me at a meeting as ‘a man with a plan’.  This is it!  I look forward to reading her new book Unjust Rewards.
It is an obscene inequality of wealth and opportunity that some UK citizens inherit unearned billions of pounds worth of  capital free of tax while others inherit nothing.   It is the UK Liberal Party gradualist and reformist policy that every UK citizen with at least one UK citizen parent should start receiving on their 25th birthday at least £1,000 UK Universal Inheritance from the past wealth of our country.  Over the following ten or more years the amount would be increased by the same amount each year until it reached a minimum 10 per cent of average wealth of every UK adult and child citizen.
UK Universal Inheritance would be financed by a new progressive Unearned Capital Receipts Tax, or Accessions Tax, on total lifetime capital gifts and bequests received. This would encourage the wider spread of giving.  The UK Universal Inheritance would be included in the total to be taxed and so would be clawed back in due course from more fortunate beneficiaries.  Inheritance Tax, our misnamed tax on giving and bequeathing capital, would be retained for administrative and cross-referral purposes and renamed Capital Donor Tax.  Its rate would be reduced from 40% to 10%, except for giving to non-UK tax payers.  Current unlimited exemptions and tax reliefs for agricultural land and other businesses, which have ensured that one third of all land is still owned by the families who grabbed it at the time of the Norman Conquest,  would be  abolished.  
Why is the traditional Liberal Party the only UK political party to tackle the issue of positively redistributing the outrageously unequal unearned ownership of capital in each new generation?  The Preamble to its traditional Liberal Party Constitution, regrettably dropped at the time of the merger with the SDP that formed the Liberal Democrats, calls for Liberty, PROPERTY and Security for All. 
Yours sincerely,
Dane Clouston
Oxford Liberal Party

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