It’s traditionally been a politically unpopular move, but new research has indicated the majority of Australians are in favour of reintroducing taxes on the estates of the wealthy as a way to address the rising costs of an ageing population.

The University of South Australia (UniSA) released new research last week that shows that public resistance to inheritance and estate taxes may have declined in the 40 years since they were abolished.

Dr Veronica Coram, a social policy expert at UniSA, said the decline in the bequest motive offers the nation a material opportunity for significant Australian tax reform – as well as the chance to address the social inequalities that often accompany wealth transfer.

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