By their policies shall you know them

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The current government has been behind the bedroom tax that has forced tens of thousands of people living into social housing to move home, break their ties with the communities in which they live, disrupt children's education and deny many sick and disabled people the space they need to manage their conditions.

And now the Guardian has reported that the Conservatives wan to introduce a tax relief so that all owner occupied homes are exempt from inheritance tax to a valuation limit of £1 million at a cost of maybe £1 billion a year, which is more than the bedroom tax has saved.

The proposal is absurd for a number of reasons.

First, it is likely to push up house prices in the South East when they are already over-inflated.

More importantly, there is no economic justification for this measure. The deaths where this relief will be given will tend to be second deaths in a  relationship and so will be of the elderly. The saving will be to the next generation, many of whom will be in their 50s and 60s at the time they inherit, and almost none of whom none of whom will, one would hope, have waited at home for all that time for their parents to die solely for tax reasons (and I am aware of carers, and their special needs which are already catered for in law, as I recall).

So, in that  case this is not about any need. It is simply about allowing wealth concentration to continue, which is the exact opposite of what all evidence shows that society needs.

And when the same government is also promoting the bedroom tax it is more cynical than that: this is about serving the needs of a few without need at cost to the many who have very real need.

Or as John Kenneth Galbraith put it:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

It would be hard to summarise this plan more succinctly.