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‘Raising IHT threshold has not gone far enough’

Industry experts say increases in the inheritance tax threshold are not keeping up with house price inflation.

The threshold increases from £263,000 to £275,000 for the coming tax year and to £285,000 for 2006/07 and £300,000 in 2007/08.

Chancellor Gordon Brown says 94 per cent of estates are not liable for IHT.

But Lloyds TSB Private Banking head of investments Alan Hardy says: “If his objective was to pull small and med-ium-sized estates out of the IHT bracket, then it has not gone far enough.”

Friends Provident head of pensions marketing Jeremy Ward says: “People do not think about this tax until it is too late as they still believe it is just for the wealthy.”•Brown announced a partnership with the CML for a shared equity scheme, financing 25 per cent of the purchase price. It is aimed at raising the number of people eligible for low-cost home ownership to 100,000 new homebuyers. The CML said, though, that talks are still ongoing.


Investment view

Investors who spot opportunities and get into a sector early can get big returns but can face big risks, says BRIAN TORA

To Sipp or not to Sipp, can we keep it in the family??

Many people have been reading the plethora of comment extolling the virtues of self-invested personal pensions. Mr Brown clearly had other more pressing issues to talk about and so the concept of the “family Sipp” did not appear at the despatch box.

Farrow’s view

Imagine if Madam Tussauds had a gallery dedicated to fund management. Which canny investors would make the podium?

Widows Bank spurns deposit account war

Scottish Widows Bank will not be drawn into a rate war with rival HSBC which is offering an 8 per cent deal and online banks, says managing director Graeme Hartop.


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