Land Value Taxation Campaign

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Current Affairs Comment

Government to promote land dereliction

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Derelict land BrightonThe Communities and Local Government's website has this piece of news on changes to the planning system.

"Developers will be given more time to start building and further flexibility to adapt plans, under a package of new measures announced by Housing Minister John Healey yesterday to support the industry during these tough economic times. Mr Healey also announced changes for developers to build to greener standards, making homes cheaper to heat and run.

"There has been a sharp drop-off in the number of permissions which are being taken up, so for a temporary period, a simpler and cheaper way of extending the life of planning consent is being introduced. Currently, permissions that are not used expire automatically - usually after three years. If developments can't be built because of economic conditions it could delay economic recovery, as those schemes would have to be reapplied for when conditions pick up.
"

Read the official announcement on the government's website here

This gives the lie to the old argument that development is constrained by planning restrictions. The site above, for instance, in the centre of Brighton, has been vacant, with planning consent, for nearly 25 years. What is really going on?
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Proposed phone tax

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Old telephone The government is proposing to levy a tax of £6 a year on all telephone lines, to pay for the expansion of high-speed broadband services to give nation-wide coverage. This is an excellent example of the government's lack of understanding of economic principles.

High speed broadband is a good thing, but not everyone wants it, needs it, or is even capable of using it. If people want it they will pay for it. There are many alternative methods of delivering the service, through wireless, copper cable or fibre optic systems, or combinations of all three. There are many national providers of utility networks who could achieve this in various ways, although it has to be said that they have failed to take the opportunity to do so as part of the general renewal of infrastructure that has turned so many of Britain's city streets into building sites in recent years.
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Bank regulation will not stop another boom and bust

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Both in the US and Europe, there is much talk of bank regulation to stop another boom and bust. It will not work. The time will come, perhaps fifteen years from now, when economies will seem to be on a path of steady growth. People will say, yet again, that this time the growth is sustainable. There will be pressure to remove the regulations, which will be seen as unduly restrictive. Politicians will concede. In any case, regulations can always be worked-around, through the invention of ingenious schemes not envisaged when the regulations were devised. Like all its predecessors, growth will turn insidiously to boom followed by bust.
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How land affects the average person

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We commend this article, which contains useful background information.
 

More land value the community won't get

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Construction of Crossrail has now started. This new deep level underground railway will run beneath central London between Paddington and Stratford, with links to Heathrow Airport and Maidenhead in the west, Shenfield in the east and Abbey Wood in the south-east. The cost will be £15.9 billion and the line is due to open in 2017. It will create all sorts of new commuting opportunities, as a recent article in the London edition of Metro explained.
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What alternative to GDP growth?

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Now that so many countries are officially in "recession", the main effort of policymakers the world over is to re-establish economies on a path of "growth". The measure of success here is Gross National Product (GNP),  the value of all goods and services produced by the people of a nation. But how much more growth is possible? Or desirable?
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Land Value Taxation and Catholic Social Teaching

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Land value taxation is a practical means of implementing Catholic Social Teaching, as set out in the series of Papal Encyclicals commencing with Rerum Novarum, promulgated by Pope Leo XIII in 1891.
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New Catholic social teaching document

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Later this year, the Bishops of England and Wales plan to produce a new social teaching document. Before the document is drafted they are holding an initial consultation.
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