Brown under fire for inheritance tax policy

The new prime minister, Gordon Brown, was criticised in parliament this week for his continued stance on inheritance tax.

On Tuesday, the leader of the labour party came under fire from Liberal Democrat Julia Goldsworthy, who stated that the "nature of inheritance tax is changing".

Formerly a charge affecting only the very wealthy, Ms Goldsworthy asserted that the tax now impacted on those considering themselves to have middle incomes.

However, chief secretary of the Treasury Stephen Timms asserted that the tax, affecting only six per cent of the population, reaped £3.5 billion each year to fund public services, the Guardian reports.

"It is wholly right and fair for such a contribution to come from the largest estates," he contended.

In his Budget speech earlier this year Mr Brown announced that the threshold for inheritance tax is set to rise.

Currently pegged at £300,000, the threshold is planned to be increase to £350,000 by 2010.