In our Capitalist society we are taught to measure our worth in money and wealth. Individuals go through life always wanting that little bit more; be it the newest iPhone or the luxury car far out of their price range. Most will look to another and their material belongings at some point and feel inadequate or envious. The strive to better ourselves through money and possessions is a path of misery that’s too tempting to walk. Happiness is always that one step away.
When poverty and homelessness in the UK is a mere one-to-two months joblessness away it’s understandable why we worship money and why most are vehemently against inheritance tax. To lose all that we’ve striven so hard to gather in life, to leave our children in the same situation we worked so far to break from – is unthinkable.
However in society we all rely on well funded public services to raise us and look after us. Well funded public services are of the most effective ways to empower the working class. Yet we’re unwilling to pay what’s necessary to make it happen.
Past a reasonable sum to care for loved ones, it is only moral inheritance tax be set at 100%. Bluntly, the dead don’t require material possessions. The living left behind did nothing to inherit vast sums of wealth, which eventually do, and have, created an entitled wealthy elite who own and control our society. Gathering more and more until there’s nothing left for the little guy.
Extraordinarily this stands out most clearly when you consider that 0.6% of people in the UK (aristocrats) own 69% of the land. Recently one such aristocrat passed away, the Duke of Westminster. Commentary by working people were quick to criticise media for attacking a grieving family, and rightly so. However it must now be realised how immoral the scale of his inheritance tax avoidance is. Given the recent declaration of Brexit; farmers, scientists and public sector workers around the country were stricken with fear over their working futures and their ability to provide for the families that rely on them. Only one-to-two months away from poverty. Theresa May’s government have ensured £6bn to match the EU subsidies that will be lost. The Duke of Westminster alone avoided £3.6bn in inheritance taxation. Extrapolated to just a handful of the countries wealthiest, hundreds of thousands in our country would never needed to fear the potential costs of Brexit. Further expanded to all in society it is unimaginable a country of our wealth would have to let so many slip into poverty and homelessness.
The distribution of wealth in the UK has become that of a crisis; with ever declining real wages, crippling personal debt, crumbling infrastructure and an NHS creaking at the seams, it’s time drastic action is taken to turn the UK into a country that works for all of us. An inheritance tax at it’s rightful level is one step closer to achieving that goal.