20 April 2019

Labor has complained to Facebook about a “fake news” campaign, demanding the posts be removed. The posts are obvious fakes, because they accuse Labor of having the guts to introduce a good policy — an inheritance tax. As Danielle Wood explained late last year, “Taxing inheritances makes a lot of sense from both an economic and fairness perspective. Taxes on inheritances drag on the economy less than other taxes, such as income taxes. Inheritances taxes also promote what economists call ‘horizontal equity’ — ensuring that people in similar economic circumstances pay similar amounts of tax. People without well-off parents are entitled to feel miffed that they are taxed on their income from working while others can derive a similar sum from an inheritance and pay no tax whatsoever. Australia is an outlier among developed countries in not taxing inheritances.” Even the rate referred to in the fake ads is far from radical; it would match the rate of inheritance tax in the UK, which remains at the same 40% as when it was introduced by the Communist prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The sooner Labor stops sucking up to the Anthony Pratts of the world, the better off we would all be.