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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.

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