Labour accused of planning death tax raid on family homes

Grieving families could face a bill for hundreds of pounds in new taxes if an exemption on homes in probate is scrapped, warn Tories
Grieving families could face a bill for hundreds of pounds in new taxes if an exemption on homes in probate is scrapped, warn Tories - MOMENT RF

Labour has been accused by the Tories of planning a “death tax” on properties starting from the very day a person dies.

The Conservatives have pointed to the Labour-run Welsh government’s plans to scrap a council tax exemption on homes in probate.

They say that this – if replicated in England – would land grieving families with hundreds of pounds in new taxes.

Sir Keir Starmer has previously called the Welsh Labour government the “blueprint for what Labour can do across the UK”, and Rachel Reeves has pledged a Labour government would “look at every single tax break” to raise money.

In November 2023, the Welsh Labour government published a consultation paper on axing or curtailing the “class F” council tax exemption. This exempts a home from paying council tax until six months after probate. The exemption is in place specifically because of the considerable difficulties families face in selling a property before the conclusion of probate.

Currently each year 135,000 homes in England and 7,500 in Wales benefit from this exemption, saving bereaved families hundreds.

‘From the cradle to beyond the grave’

Bim Afolami, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “Now we know, Labour will tax you from cradle to beyond the grave. They have put a new and creative spin on that old adage. Under Labour, three things will be certain: death, taxes and now death taxes.

“This back-door tax on the dead will hit bereaved families at one of the most difficult times, just so they can fill their £38.5 billion black hole. Their £2,094 tax bomb on working families is clearly just the start.

“Whilst Labour is planning on taxing you before your casket is even closed, the Conservatives are standing firm – with a clear plan and bold action to secure your future and protect your family.”

Labour has been contacted for a comment.