Planet Earth to Planet Tory
Thought the Tories were for you? Thought they'd changed and become cuddly and centrist now tie-less (not to say clue-less) Dave was in charge.
The Tories unveiled their big new thinking at today's conference - cuts in stamp duty that will effectively cut a couple of thousand quid off the cost of buying a house for anyone - whether hard-up first-time buyer or wealthy young City slickers. There will be less of a tax take that will be made up, the Nasty Party says, by clawing back Incapacity Benefit. So that's alright then.
The second big tax giveaway is one dear to the hearts of all wealthy Tories (and Labourites these days). It concerns Inheritance Tax - a tax that only applies to estates of more than £300,000 and then only at 40% tax.
As it stands, only 6% of people who die pay Inheritance Tax - the vast majority of those in the wealthier south-east of England. It's hardly going to be a vote winner in Wales.
That hasn't stopped our Tories getting in on the act. In the running for a double gold in the Order of the Brown Nose and Long-Service Stupidity Medal was Clwyd West MP David Jones:
“Inheritance Tax will, under a Conservative government, be paid only by millionaires. The one million pound threshold will mean that people of moderate means will now be able to pass their hard earned savings and their homes on to their families, who will not have to pay a punitive 40% tax.”
Firstly, millionaires employ accountants to ensure they don't pay any tax at all. Labour and Tory governments over the past 30 years have ensured that the UK is a very welcoming place for non-domiciled residents to live tax free.
Secondly, "people of moderate means" in Clwyd West or anywhere else in Wales rarely amass more than £300,000. As the system stands, someone leaving an estate of £500,000 would only pay £80,000 in taxes. Given that the bulk of most people's estates are houses, that have risen in value untaxed, that seems like a fair deal in our glaringly unequal society.