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The Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto 2019

December 2019

Like all of the three main parties' manifestos, the treatment of capital taxation in the Liberal Democrats' manifesto is limited. What can we glean?

Capital gains tax

- The Liberal Democrats intend to abolish individuals' annual capital gains tax allowance (currently £12,000), and instead apply a common allowance to the taxation of income and capital gains.

- The Liberal Democrats' Autumn 2019 conference policy papers state that:

  • This new income/capital gains allowance would be linked to inflation.
  • Capital gains tax rebasing on death would be abolished.

Inheritance tax

The Liberal Democrats' manifesto does not expressly mention inheritance tax.  But, the Autumn 2019 conference policy papers give some insights:

- The Liberal Democrats believe that the 'chief cause' of perpetuated inequality is 'gifts and inheritances that are passed between generations'.

- Inheritance tax would be replaced by a system that would increase the tax burden on 'only the very wealthiest in society' but ensure that 'the vast majority of people' would pay less tax on transfers of wealth.

- In the recent past, the Liberal Democrats have endorsed the replacement of inheritance tax with a gift tax payable by the recipients of lifetime gifts.  A lifetime allowance of £250,000 could apply, as could an annual small gifts allowance.  The tax bands used could ascend to up to 45%, applicable to anyone who ever received cumulative lifetime gifts in excess of £1 million.


The Liberal Democrats' policies on capital taxation would certainly present some changes and challenges to wealthy individuals, but several of them could also apply to individuals who may not consider themselves particularly wealthy.

This article is an impartial review of the manifesto for the upcoming election and does not reflect the views of Wrigleys and its staff.

Click here to read the summary of the tax aspects of The Conservative Party manifesto, The Labour Party Manifesto or The Green Party Manifesto.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Joseph Thompson or any other member of the Agricultural Property or Private Client teams on 0113 244 6100.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys on Twitter here.

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors

Joseph Thompson View Biography

Joseph Thompson


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