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Tories to unveil inheritance tax plan


Updated on 01 October 2007

The Tories are set to unveil plans to cut inheritance tax during their annual conference, as they gear up for a possible snap election.

The party, meeting in Blackpool for its annual conference, is trailing badly in the polls, with one survey over the weekend putting it 11 points behind Gordon Brown's Labour Party.

Party leader David Cameron has already pledged effectively to remove stamp duty for first-time buyers, and promised tax breaks worth £2,000 a year for some 1.8 million families raising children.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne will now outline the latest plans during his keynote speech to the conference.

He will reveal that wealthy businessmen classed as "non-domiciled" in the UK - who have been criticised for taking advantage of tax loopholes - are expected to be hit in order to fund the policy.

And Mr Osborne is expected to spell out how he plans to afford a promised £400 million cut in stamp duty on homes costing up to £250,000 for first-time buyers.

And shadow skills secretary David Willetts will announce proposals to tackle the compensation culture to reverse a decline in schools taking children on sporting and outdoor activities.

Meanwhile, education spokesman Michael Gove will unveil plans to extend the government's Academy schools programme to make it easier for charities, churches and voluntary groups to set up new, independent, state-funded schools.

On Sunday, Mr Cameron urged the conference to mount the "great Conservative fightback" against Mr Brown's recent ascendancy.

He told members that the choice facing voters is "more failure from Labour" or "more real change from the Conservative Party" and challenged Mr Brown to call an early poll, insisting the party is "ready".

© Independent Television News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.

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