Treasury minister Andrew Griffith tells Tory conference he wants to see inheritance tax abolished as he urges party to be ‘politically brave’

  • Treasury minister reveals his wish for inheritance tax to be ‘eliminated’
  • Andrew Griffith uses Tory conference event to urge party to be ‘politically brave’
  • Party donor Lord Spencer also blasts inheritance tax as ‘profoundly unpopular’ 

Treasury minister Andrew Griffith has revealed his wish for inheritance tax to be abolished as he urged the Tories to be ‘politically brave’.

The former businessman, who is now Financial Secretary to the Treasury and City minister, told a Conservative conference event he would like to see death duties ‘eliminated’.

His view was backed up by Lord Spencer, a major donor to the party, who blasted inheritance tax as ‘profoundly unpopular’.

The Tory peer also claimed the levy was driving many of the wealthiest in Britain overseas.

Speaking at the event in Birmingham hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, Mr Griffith admitted he ‘shouldn’t talk about tax policy’ even as a Treasury minister.

‘I shouldn’t talk about tax policy. It’s outside my swim lane even within the Treasury,’ he said.

‘But I have lots of my fantastic local association with me here and they will know, because they asked me at my selection meeting 27 months ago, which tax – if I had the choice – I would most like to see eliminated.

‘And history will record it was the inheritance tax.’

Treasury minister Andrew Griffith told a Conservative conference event he would like to see death duties ‘eliminated’

Lord Spencer, a major Conservative donor, also blasted inheritance tax as ‘profoundly unpopular’

Mr Griffith and Lord Spencer both spoke at an event in Birmingham hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank

Mr Griffith also used the event to express his belief the Tories needed to ‘celebrate wealth creation and risk taking’ and ‘drive that into the system’.

He also urged ‘fantastic’ Liz Truss to continue to be ‘politically brave’, even after her spell as Prime Minister got off to a tumultuous start with a chaotic U-turn on scrapping the 45p tax rate.

‘I celebrate wealth creation and risk taking. We’ve got to drive that into the system,’ Mr Griffith added.

‘It can’t be right that the only time a businessman is ever on the BBC is because they’re greedy, underpaying their staff or exploiting consumers.

‘That cannot be righ, there is another story to tell. The answer is that we – and this is why our new prime minister is so fantastic – need to be politically brave and have the courage of our convictions to make those arguments.

‘I’m a 2019 intake MP and not enough of us make first principle defences of why it’s so important.’

Speaking at the same event, Lord Spencer – who donated £25,000 to Ms Truss’s leadership campaign this summer – noted how the Tories had previously vowed to scrap inheritance tax for almost all households when they were in opposition in 2007.

‘My view is inheritance tax is actually profoundly unpopular – it’s better to call it death taxes, so it’s got a better political language to it,’ he said.

‘I would be terribly thrilled if our country, our Government contemplated that again.

‘Not least in economic terms as it means you actually retain capital within your own country.

‘I know quite a lot of people who have made considerable amounts of money and regrettably very, very many of them moved their tax domicile overseas.

‘That is one of the principle reasons and I think that is a sad loss to the UK.’

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