Conference believes that:
a) Wealth inequality and the concentration of economic power are
economically and socially damaging.
b) Britain's deepening wealth gap rigs society in favour of those
with substantial wealth and those able to inherit it, and has
contributed to a growing intergenerational, geographical and
c) The Liberal Democrats should embrace the prosperity and
innovation generated by the market economy, but also recognise
its tendency to concentrate resources and power among a
d) Capitalism has only thrived thanks to the bold reforms - such as
the welfare state and the breaking-up of monopolies - of liberal
visionaries; these are needed once again if it is to survive the
e) The tax system must play a greater role in promoting a more
equitable distribution of wealth; taxation reflects the fact that
wealth creation is reliant on public goods such as infrastructure
and a healthy, educated labour force.
Conference notes the proposals in the spokesperson's paper,
Promoting a Fairer Distribution of Wealth, and calls for:
1. Equalising the tax treatment of income from wealth and income
from work by: abolishing the separate capital gains and dividend
tax-free allowances and instead taxing these through the income
tax personal allowance; aligning capital gains and income tax
rates while introducing a basic inflation or "rate of return"
allowance; abolishing capital gains forgiveness at death, which
creates an incentive to hold on to assets to avoid paying tax.
2. Streamlining the taxation of intergenerational transfers by:
abolishing inheritance tax and instead taxing recipients at
income tax rates and bands of £250,001 to £500,000, £500,001
to £1 million, and above £1 million; ensuring that all transfers
- not just those made at or near the giver's death - are subject
to tax; giving each person a generous £250,000 lifetime tax-free
allowance, and exempting small annual gifts below a specified
amount and all transfers to spouses and charities.
3. Reforming the current regressive system of pension tax relief
by: introducing a flat rate of 25% on pension contributions and
Tuesday 18 September