New Clause 2 — Trusts relating to divorce, life protection policies and disabled persons
Finance (No. 2) Bill [Ways and Means]
Dawn Primarolo (Paymaster General, HM Treasury; Bristol South, Labour)
No, I want to make a little progress on the point about consultation and the Treasury Committee.
Another point that continues to be advanced is the number of those who would be caught by the measure. I remind the House that 94 per cent. of estates pay no inheritance tax whatsoever, so the vast majority of people have no chance of paying inheritance tax whatever their will says. It is only a small percentage of estates—6 per cent., or 34,000—that pay inheritance tax. The persistent allegations about the scale of problems that the measure will cause are unnecessary and untrue.
On the Treasury Committee, I am not going to repeat what I said on the record in Committee about the estimations made by the Treasury of the number of trusts involved because that would be wasting the time of the House. I confirm that the Treasury Committee has, quite properly, received responses on all the matters that it raised in its report in line with the requirement on the number of weeks to be taken.