msb ~070 Inheritance


BBC Radio 4 One to One on inheritance
One to One to Many

Veteran environmentalist Tom Burke talked about inheritance on the BBC’s One to One this morning. As an unmarried man without children, whose wealth is mostly in the market-boosted value of his London home, he’s thinking about how to hand on something which benefits the natural world and people. “I don’t have a lot of trust in the priority that any government I’ve experienced is putting on preserving biodiversity. I understand that our future security, our future prosperity, depends on doing that. I’m not sure there’s anyone in politics very much who does.”

He also understands how charities struggle to secure funding and he wants to leave his house for the long-term benefit of a bird charity. “What would be really good is to leave them the asset which can be rented out after I’m gone …. that could fund a programme continuously… like creating a fund that could train bird guides.”

Inheritance is a contentious issue, raising issues of personal freedom and intergenerational justice. I like how Burke put environmental protection centre stage the discussion. “If we don’t deal with climate change then I don’t think we’ll be living in a world where anyone at all will be worrying about inheritance.”

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