Sibling Couples - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:14 am on 21st March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development 11:14 am, 21st March 2019

My noble friend makes a persuasive case. I appreciate the meeting we had in December, to which he also brought Catherine Utley. It persuaded me that this needed to be looked at again, and I therefore went to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and asked him to do so. He looked at it again, and pointed out in his letter to my noble friend on 6 February, along with the Answer I gave to my noble friend’s Question, that if siblings order their affairs such that they jointly hold the asset, the charge would effectively become liable only on properties exceeding £650,000 in value. If they had difficulty in making that payment, inheritance tax could be made payable over 10 years. That was set against the fact that the average property price in the UK is £225,000. Those were the arguments put forward for retaining the position.