Land Value Taxation Campaign

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Land rent for public revenue

Sugar tax

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If a tax on sugar means the people eat less sugar, then a tax on wages must mean fewer jobs and a tax on goods and services, the purchase of fewer goods and services. Yet most public revenue is paid for by taxes on wages, goods and services.Then we are worried about joblessness and failure of the economy to grow.

In this way, most of the tax system is designed (not deliberately, one presumes) to damage the economy, yet politicians across the entire spectrum fail to acknowledge what should be obvious - that the tax system needs root and branch reform.
 

Labour’s confused land policies

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”After urging land reform I now know the brute power of our billionaire press”, writes George Monbiot in the Guardian today about press response to the Labour’s proposals, set out in ”Land for the many”, which was published last month. The heavy criticism was well-deserved; there is an incoherent mish-mash of suggestions which reveals a lack of understanding of the fundamental moral and economic principles involved in land policy. The policy package was an inviting target for being shot down in flames.

Astonishingly – and I am in contact with some of the members of the Labour Land Campaign (LLC) – there was no consultation with those in the Campaign when the proposals were being put together. Whoever was responsible for the report had evidently not read and digested what was on the LLC’s excellent website.

The landowning interests will obviously squeal at whatever threatens their privileges, but the classic land reform proposals put forward by the Land Value Taxation Campaign, and by the Labour Land Campaign, are an intellectually defensible position in the way that the Labour Party’s latest proposals are not. They were evidently put together by a committee in which all the members had to get their favourite ideas in, regardless of whether they were based on sound ethical and economic principles, or not.

Monbiot attacks Farage and the Brexit party for standing in the way. He seems not to understand that EU trade and economic policy also works for the landowning interest. The CAP is an obvious example, but import tariffs and free movement of labour also drive up rents and drive down wages – a process which the landowning classes have always sought to do. Then there is VAT, a requirement of EU membership; it is not a coincidence that VAT is not charged on rents but on the products of labour; any Marxist - and there are plenty of them in the Labour Party - knows that it is labour alone which adds value.

 

Who owns the country? The secretive companies hoarding England’s land

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“Multi-million pound corporations with complex structures have purchased the very ground we walk on – and we are only just beginning to discover the damage it is doing to Britain.” This article in the Guardian is an edited extract of Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land and How to Take It Back, by Guy Shrubsole, published on 2 May by HarperCollins. To order a copy, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846.

Taking back the land would require full-on LVT at a hefty rate, with the scrapping of most other taxes. It would be interesting to see what the author’s formula is. There is an informative website, https://whoownsengland.org/

 

Fear of immigration

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The fear of immigration is explained by Ricardo's Law of Rent, which nobody understands any more. Incomers create a land shortage which tends towards higher rents and drives down wages. This is not a problem if a system of land value taxation (LVT) is in place, because

  1. the rising rents become buoyant source of public revenue to pay for infrastructure and services
  2. the immigrants add to the stock of wealth being produced.
  3. land and premises are always available at competitive rents, so that there is never a shortage of work opportunities or places to live.

Otherwise, immigration becomes a source of conflict, as the newcomers are competing for homes and jobs.

Here is a video which explains Ricardo's Law of Rent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyv1xYDWAxk

The EU should have required both Freedom of Movement and LVT. The first without the second is a recipe for failure.

 

Punishing the Republic of Ireland

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Few, if any, commentators have remarked that with a so-called hard border, the main victims will be inside the Republic, since the EU's rules will restrict the flow of goods INTO the Republic. If they have to come from Continental Europe, either they have to be driven across the congested roads of the Midlands and North Wales, or they will have to be shipped direct. The latter is going to be much more expensive than getting the goods from the UK.

Compare the distances.

Dublin to Rotterdam is 667 NM, sailing time 2 days, 3 hours
Dublin to Liverpool is 126 NM, sailing time 10 hours
Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead is 61 NM, sailing time 3 hours.

The differences will add very substantially to transport costs, which will add to the price of goods in the Republic. To make matters worse for those in the Republic - it has no large container port comparable to Southampton or Felixtowe. There is not the traffic to support one, so the economies of very large container vessels will not be achieved. One would have thought that Vradakar would have had his eye on the ball and was concerned about this. Seemingly not.

 


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