Land Value Taxation Campaign

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Taxation, growth and employment

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"Taxation, Growth and Employment" is the title of a pamphlet produced by the right wing (we hesitate to use the term) think tank "Policy Exchange", which describes itself as "an independent, non-partisan educational charity. We work with academics and policy makers from across the political spectrum. We are particularly interested in free market and localist solutions to public policy questions." Using "centre-right means to progressive ends", it advocates "the wider use of market forces and the promotion of individual responsibility are ideas traditionally associated with the centre right. But we are interested in how these tools could be used to achieve progressive ends - to give new opportunities to groups that don't have them today."

It is a useful critique of all existing taxes which provides useful ammunition for presenting our own case. But what are we to make of this?

Taxes would have no effect upon growth if the following two conditions held:

How the poor vote themselves into poverty

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Article by Fred Foldvary, writing on US web site We could not have put this better ourselves.

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.

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.

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.

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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