Charging the bereaved families with a sneaky new death tax is about as low as it gets. But that's exactly what the Ministry of Justice has done.

According to plans that expired on Monday, the cost of estate – the legal right to manage a estate – fell from £ 215 to £ 6,000 next April.

Ministers are convinced that the new fees are not tax. But they certainly look very similar.

Last insult: The plans that expire on Monday are the cost of estate - the legal right to manage the estate - from £ 215 to £ 6,000 in April

Last insult: The plans that expire on Monday are the cost of estate - the legal right to manage the estate - from £ 215 to £ 6,000 in April

Final Insult: The detention plans – the legal power to administer the estate – have been out of hand on Monday and will rise from £ 215 to £ 6,000 in April

First, the amount you pay depends on the size of the estate, with the richest spending the most.

Officials insist that the new scale of fees should cover the cost of the service. However, any expert we talked to said that these allegations are not related to actual estate costs.

In addition, the MoJ openly admits that the money raised by the new fees will help close a funding gap for the rest of the legal system.

So if it runs like a tax and how a tax talks. , , It is likely that it is actually a tax.

And do not just take my word for it. When the government tried for the first time last year to increase the remission fees, the experts of a joint parliamentary committee warned that the new fee structure could be unlawful precisely for this reason.

The Mixed Committee on Legal Instruments said that the fee should be the cost of providing the service and should not be a source of funds since Parliament must vote by law before a new tax can be introduced.

The MoJ has turned its back because it is meant to "listen" to feedback and raise fees to just £ 6,000 instead of the £ 20,000 it originally intended.

However, it seems to have missed the basic point that it is simply wrong to burden families with another form of taxation if they are already faced with an inheritance tax bill.

Ministers say families could reclaim this money from the estate, but they have to pay the fee before they can access the property, and for many, the money is tied up in real estate. So that means plundering savings or maybe even taking out a loan to cover the costs.

No wonder that this cynical announcement was ripped out on a Monday at 5:30 pm instead of being duly announced in the budget last week.

Fraud Alert

Our letter editor Tony Hazell recently received a worrying scam call from a local number.

An automated voice said, "This is your internet service provider. Your service has been compromised and will be interrupted within 24 hours. Press one to speak to a technician. "

If you follow the instructions, you will probably be directed to someone who will make you take control of your computer.

They will then almost certainly plunder with viruses, steal personal information and demand a proper payment to fix them (which they will not do then).

Since Tony raised the alarm, two other readers, Norman and Jim, have written exactly the same scam.

If you receive a similar call, please hang up.

Loyalty rip-off

While we are dealing with the subject of fraud, let's discuss one of the biggest drawbacks of our time: the rip-off of insurance loyalty.

Last week, the City Watchdog announced an investigation into how insurers are frightening millions of customers who are not looking around.

Over time too. Insurers have taken advantage of their most loyal customers as cash cows by over-subscribing each year.

The key now is for the regulator to introduce stringent new rules that insurers can not get away with.

It has threatened a price cap that limits the difference between what companies can charge new and existing customers – so let's move on.

Critics claim that such a move could drive up prices for the brightest buyers who know to switch providers every year.

But they will still find ways to save – and the vulnerable could be definitively protected.


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