Friday, 17 May 2013

Gay marriage - Equality - and Inheritance Tax Avoidance

Charles Moore wrote a brilliant article on Gay marriage in the May 11th edition of the Daily Telegraph.  In it he pointed out that the Act allowing Gay Marriage does not make failure of consummation a reason for annulment as, trying to define what exactly was 'consummation' in a gay relationship defied the finest Parliamentarian draftsmen. Similarly it was decided that 'adultery' in whatever form would not, in the context of a gay marriage, be grounds for divorce. In other words sex and the sexual act has no meaning within gay marriage. So far so good. But now for a small problem - the Equality Act.

The Equality Act causes several problems for Gay marriage but the principal one is that you simply cannot have one form of marriage for gays and one for heterosexuals. So if non consummation of marriage is no longer grounds for annulment and if adultery is no longer grounds for divorce effectively sex is no longer part of marriage not just for gays but for everyone.  It follows that if sex is not part of marriage the various acts which forbid marriage to close relations etc. are clearly outmoded. In other words there can be nothing - theoretically - against a father 'marrying' his son or daughter or a mother doing so.  Now as 100% Inheritance Relief is given to wealth left to a surviving spouse the conclusion is obvious. The easy way to avoid IHT is to divorce your husband or wife and marry your heir.

Now 'Our Dave' has recieved a terrific pasticng for his cackhanded attempt to bring in gay marrriage but are we doing him a diservice?  Is he perhaps instead secretly bringing in a measure which effectively abolishes IHT with the unwitting total support of  Liberal  and  Labour parties?    


1 comment:

  1. Interesting comments there. I think this whole thing of legalising gay marriages has opened a whole new can of worms, however, as we all know, the Inland Revenue will get their dosh no matter what, so even though it might be considered a good way to prevent one's cash going to the IR by marrying one's son or daughter, you can be sure that this loophole will have been plugged somewhere down the line.