The civil partnership legislation was a welcome addition to our statute books. During the Bill's passage through Parliament the Conservatives argued that there was a real sense that it discriminated against people who lived together, albeit outside any sexual relationship. They cited the case of two sisters who might share a house but be subjected to a massive inheritance tax bill if one of them died. This could force the other to move out of their homes. The gay rights lobby dismissed this as a red herring. Today the Daily Telegraph reports that two sisters in their eighties are suing the government for having discriminated against heterosexuals. Read the full story HERE. I don't think they will win because they will find it difficult to prove wilful discrimination. They seem to be basing their case on their assertion that Parliament 'is full of homosexuals'. While that may be true, that doesn't mean they are all automatically driven by a desire to discriminate against sisters in their eighties.
But they do have right on their side. Of course, the simple solution is to abolish Inheritance Tax altogether (are listening, George?) but if that can't happen the half way house solution is to allow the primary family home to be excluded from Inheritance Tax. There is also an argument for allowing everyone who isn't married to nominate a 'significant other' who could be either a partner or relative, who would be exempt from Inheritance Tax for the primary property. I'm not so sure about that one, because it could be seen as a disincentive to marry or enter into a civil partnership.