Darling pledges inheritance tax cut

Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced that inheritance tax will be cut in his first pre-Budget Report.

Solicitors in Northern Ireland may see more clients looking to buy houses as the inheritance tax threshold for married couples will be doubled from £300,000 to £600,000 with immediate effect.

Mr Darling also promised that by 2010, the combined allowance would be raised again to reach £700,000.

Belfast solicitors will probably see a lot of relieved couples, as property prices in the city have spiralled out of control in recent months without adjustments in inheritance tax to reflect this.

Mr Darling said married couples would enjoy an "affordable" tax cut, although his announcement was not met with a positive reaction by everyone.

The Conservatives accused the chancellor of stealing their own proposals to exempt all property of less than £1 million from inheritance tax, which they announced last week at the Tory conference in Blackpool.
Meanwhile Mr Darling criticised the mathematics of the opposition's proposals of how to pay for the tax cut.

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