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Tax brake

DAVID Cameron has SHELVED plans to cut taxes for struggling families, the News of the World can reveal.

The Tories pledged to slash Inheritance Tax — their flagship policy — and Stamp Duty as soon as they came to power.

But they have now mothballed the moves for as long as SIX YEARS.

And other plans to give tax breaks for married couples have also been put on the backburner, possibly even for A DECADE.

Conservatives will blame Labour’s handling of the economy for the delay. It is part of a drive to find multi- billion spending cuts to curb soaring national debt.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne set out plans to raise the threshold for INHERITANCE TAX from £300,000 to £1million in 2007.

The eye-catching pledge transformed Tory fortunes in the opinion polls, setting them on course for No10.

In a major speech to the Tory party conference, Mr Osborne also promised to scrap STAMP DUTY for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £250,000.

In a letter to Gordon Brown just days later, Tory leader Mr Cameron said the cuts would be introduced as soon as they took power. He asked the PM for permission to hold talks with civil servants so they could get working on the plans right away.

He wrote: “In particular we will want to give officials the opportunity to prepare for the implementation of our IMMEDIATE PLANS . . . to reform the tax system.”

Cameron was so keen to get cracking he asked the PM for a reply by the end of the day. But now, instead of introducing the plans right after the election, the Tories will put them off until the end of the first Parliament — as late as 2015.

A Tory spokesman confirmed: “The cut in Inheritance Tax will not be brought in straight away. It will be in the first Parliamentary term.”

A Tory MP added: “It is important to be honest with people. The same goes for Stamp Duty.”

Increasing the Inheritance Tax threshold would cost £3.1billion. The stamp duty cut would cost £400million.

Cameron’s pledge to bring in a MARRIED COUPLES’ allowance has been pushed back even further.

The tax break would be worth around £20 a week and cost a Tory government £3.2billion if applied to all married partners.

But now the move intended to strengthen families is not even expected in the first term of a Tory government. And it could be downgraded to a token payment until the economy recovers.

 

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