Land Value Taxation Campaign

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Property industry calls for new housing agenda

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The British Property Federation believes a professionalised, branded rental sector, where big firms provide long term homes to rent, could be the answer to Britain’s woes.
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Wigmore Hall secures its future

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The other day, one of our members picked up a leaflet about the Wigmore Hall, a small London classical music venue where, amongst other things, performing musicians make their public debut. The leaflet explained:-

"In 2005 we successfully negotiated the purchase of a 250-year leasehold of Wigmore Hall for £3.1 million. Owning the lease means that we can plan ahead, secure in our own home, without the risk of crippling rent increases which would have seriously jeopordised the Hall's artistic programming."

This is curious.
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Heathrow to get third runway

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The Campaign has - can have - no view on the rights or wrongs of the decision to build a third runway at Heathrow. But we have an interest nevertheless, as it is bound to affect land values in the immediate vicinity and indeed throughout south-east England. This will come about as a result of:-
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Is the market to blame?

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It is still fashionable to blame the free market for our troubles with the economy but look again. Should we not first look at the laws under which the market functions? This letter by John Read in the Financial Times explores goes straight to the point.
 

Promoting social mobility

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Social mobility is on the British government's agenda. It doesn't matter what the government proposes because none of the suggested measures can do more than scratch the surface of the problem, at disproportionate cost. But to be fair to the government, neither the Conservatives nor the LibDems have any better policies.
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Tax system soaks the poor

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One of the vile things about the UK's current taxation system is that it reaches so far down the income scale. So says Tim Worstall in an article in The Guardian, arguing that the statutory minimum wage should not be increased. Worstall pointed out that "it is possible to be working part-time on the minimum wage and be paying income tax. Indeed, a full-time worker who gets that pre-tax £13,400 will be paying about £1,500 a year in income tax to say nothing of further National Insurance deductions. That £13,400 minus £1,500 is £11,900 – which is just about the amount a full-time minimum wage worker will make before tax. So, if we weren't taxing the working poor then, by the measurement of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, they wouldn't be poor.

"Or if you'd prefer the whole thing in a nutshell, if we want to make the working poor better off, then we should stop bloody taxing them."

Yes. And if existing taxes on labour were replaced by LVT, there would be no need for a statutory minimum wage at all because employers would not be able to get anyone to work for penurious wages. In a programme for the introduction of LVT, the first taxes to be abolished should be those on low-paid workers, which would be achieved by raising tax and national insurance thresholds. Those working for 40 hours on the statutory minimum wage should not be paying tax. Only it is not the employees who pay it. The burden falls on employers and forms part of labour costs. By reducing the cost of employing people, raising thresholds is the most effective way of getting as many people as possible into employment.

 

Labour plans to hit people in nice areas

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The government seems to have an unhappy knack of getting into a mess with property taxation. The latest wheeze is a tweaking of the Council Tax so that people who live in nice area pay more. Labour planning secret tax on 'nice houses'
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IMF Chief Economist criticises Britain's VAT cut

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We do not usually find ourselves in agreement with the IMF, but we go along with their chief economist, Oliver Blanchard, in his criticism of Gordon Brown's £12.5bn cut in VAT. Blanchard has dismissed it as "not a good idea", warning that European governments faced a new Great Depression if their stimulus packages proved inadequate.
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