THE election candidates' briefings in the Gazette (April 9) are by their nature contentious to some.

Stephen Pound's assertions that the Tory's Inheritance Tax (IHT) proposals are tax cuts for millionaires, however, is inaccurate. Perhaps it was a typing error as millions of people not millionaires will be affected by this tax.

IHT now kicks in at £325,000 (it was £350,000 until Alastair Darling's recent budget, so with the tax at 40 per cent there has been an immediate stealth tax increase of £10,000) and I suspect most house owners in Ealing will be affected.

A trawl of the property insert in the Gazette lists 335 properties for sale, of which 17 per cent were priced £275,000 to £325,000, and 48 per cent are priced at £325,000 or above.

As the IHT is to be frozen under Labour, again from the recent budget, for the next four years any property currently valued at about £275,000 will, with inflation, probably get caught by the IHT.

Thus, if this brief survey is representative of property values across Ealing and Acton then an estimated 65 per cent of homeowners right across the borough could be caught in the IHT trap - mostly ordinary folk who do not in any way consider themselves to be millionaires. The tax is vicious as it has to be paid from the deceased's other resources, if they have any. There are, of course, ways this tax can be mitigated but the Tory aim of raising the limit in due course to £1m to exclude as many ordinary people as possible from the effects of IHT is common sense. On the issue of IHT, voting for Labour is akin to turkeys voting for Christmas.

ED OWEN Mount Avenue