The idea that we need incentives to make us less selfish sounds like an oxymoron. But that is the sense at the heart of the new Legacy 10 scheme, which encourages people to make the most of the inheritance tax breaks in the last Budget.
From next year, anyone who leaves at least 10 per cent of their estate to charity will have their inheritance tax reduced from 40 per cent to 36 per cent. In an ideal world, of course, we should all be giving, out of the kindness of our hearts. But in our current, far-from-ideal circumstances, this is a welcome device to encourage the 74 per cent of us who support charities during our lifetime to join the 7 per cent of the population who leave a gift to charity in their will.
We live in an age whose problems demand imaginative solutions. Legacy 10 – which could generate billions for good causes – is one.