Land Value Taxation Campaign

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More land value the taxpayer will not get back

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East London Line - May 2010, originally uploaded to flickr by Danny McL.

The East London Line extension has now opened with this fleet of new trains. With further extensions it will eventually link Highbury with various destinations in south and south-east London. There are many journeys that people will now be able to make faster and more easily. Of course this will have a significant effect on rents and property prices, and so yet again we shall see public investment creating land value which will end up in private pockets. No wonder the Treasury is tight-fisted about spending money on railway improvements.
 

Bumper edition of Practical Politics

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The April 2010 edition of Practical Politics covers a wide range of apparently disparate topics, all of which are ultimately linked to the ownership of land and what happens to the income stream it yields.
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Is High Speed Rail good for Britain?

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Proposals for Britain’s high speed railway (HS2) were announced a few weeks ago. We decided to wait and see what the reaction would be. On the whole, the proposals have generated little enthusiasm outside the railway press, with the commonest view being that the investment would be better spent on improving the railways we have already got. Predictably, there has been opposition from NIMBYs in the Chilterns, where the line will pass through and under some of the more salubrious and well-heeled areas.
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LVT for Glasgow?

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Glasgow City Council set up a Local Taxation Working Group which has seriously considered site value taxation. Its overall findings are in this report published last year. Our analyst David Mills has written a  detailed critique. The latter needs to be read with reference to the original report.
 

The democratic voice

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Switzerland is a direct democracy. Anyone can draw up a petition and collect signatures. If there are enough, a referendum will held, giving people the opportunity to vote on the proposition. At times, this has led to results which some might consider odd, and not necessarily “progressive”.

British democracy leaves decisions to elected representatives and their permanent advisers in the Civil Service. The view is that governments are concerned with matters of such a specialist and technical nature that they cannot be dealt with by the man in the street. Referendums are permitted by the UK parliament but they are not binding and the only one put to the entire country was about EU membership, in 1975.

Petitions are another means by which people can express their view outside the usual democratic process.
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Winston Churchill said it all better then we can

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Winston Churchill made this speech in 1909. We can't put the case better ourselves. A century on, it remains clear, concise and to the point. We would commend it to David Cameron and his team.

LAND MONOPOLY is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies -- it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly.
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Whither the Euro?

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Where is the Euro going? The coins and notes are nicely designed and it is convenient not to have to keep bags of different currencies when travelling abroad. That is of course trivial; the real benefit of the Euro is that trade within the Eurozone takes place without the burden of the cost of currency exchange and the associated risk of changes in exchange rates. Neverthless, we have always been sceptical about the long-term viability of a currency shared by many sovereign states. The ultimate question is who is responsible for issuing the currency?
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Is this difficult to understand?

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The Irish Commission on Taxation thought that LVT was too difficult for people to understand. Most Irishmen I have ever met have had a good grasp of all the ins-and-outs of betting odds, so this sounds implausible. If anyone really doesn't understand, there is always this film from Taiwan.

 


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