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The LVTC blog, by Henry Law

The comments in the LVTC Blog are a personal view of our Hon. Secretary Henry Law and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Campaign.

This is a place for personal observations and comments on politics, economics, current affairs, on-going discussions on the potential for LVT to remedy some of the current ills, and the impact on Society of any of the above. 

Please read and enjoy, and feel free to respond to Henry if you have any thing you would like to add.


Hit those welfare scroungers

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David Cameron today unveiled plans to impose a £25-a-week benefit cut on incapacity benefit claimants who were considered fit for work. The Conservatives want to fund a £600m back-to-work programme with the money saved. They think their "tough and tender" approach will show that they are willing to help victims of the recession with apprenticeships and training and by modernising welfare. Cameron described the measures as "the centrepiece of the Tory conference" and a "big, bold, radical scheme to get millions of people back to work".

We have been here several times before. In the 1990s they put the unemployed onto incapacity benefit to make the figures look better. Then there was all sorts of attempts to withdraw the benefit when the costs started to balloon out of control. The effect of the crackdown was marginal. Then, the claimants tended to be manual workers who were no longer fit enough to continue doing the jobs they had always done, and had been weeded out when the recession came. Now, claimants tend to be younger and suffering from the stress of the contemporary working environment. In both sets of cases the many of the claimants could probably do some kind of job, but the jobs would have to exist and the employers would have to cater for their limitations.

Where are the jobs supposed to come from? Britain is "in" a recession, rather as one is "in" bed with flu. "Job creation", which seems to be what the Conservatives are in favour of, was tried in the 1980s.
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We need inflation

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So some economists would have us believe. Richard Murphy, who runs the Tax Research web site and was interviewed on the radio earlier this week, is all in favour of it. A self-proclaimed Keynsian, he argues that the economy will grind to a standstill if prices are falling. This makes no sense.

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The socially useless City

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Lord Turner, head of Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA), this week described much of the City's activities as "socially useless" and questioned whether it has grown too large.

What the City ought to be doing is to arrange finance to enable trade and industry to function smoothly. But what amounts to a casino has grown up on the back of these legitimate functions. The money appears to be made like this...
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Perfectly muddled thinking

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Henry Law's scathing personal comments on the proposed phone tax can be read on the LVTC blog.
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Popular misconceptions from Tax Justice Network

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The Tax Justice Network, as its name implies, aims to promote justice in taxation. As I have said previously, the organisation ought to be on-side with us but sadly it is not. It does little more than trade on public indignation, admittedly well-founded, and promote popular left-wing myths. This is an example of a recent exchange I had, which they declined to publish on their blog, as TJN seems to censor comments it is uncomfortable with.
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Ongoing spat with Tax Justice Network

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This is ongoing... please join in discussion here!

As regular readers of the LVTC website know, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) has been running a campaign against tax havens for some while now. One might have expected it to have come out in active support for LVT but they seem to have a blind spot about it. TJN takes the view that the tax system just needs to be tightened up - a bit more regulation and exchange, and all will be well. It is unwilling to accept that there is anything fundamentally wrong with the tax system itself. I posted this comment on their blog site...
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Economics a must for students in recession

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According to an article in the Guardian today, economics is a must study for students in recession. A surge in sixth-formers applying to study economics at university is being attributed to the global recession awakening a public thirst for knowledge about how the financial system works. Applications for degree courses beginning this autumn or next were up by 15% this January, according to UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. A spokesman for the Royal Economic Society said applications to do economics at GCSE and A-level were also up. Heaven help us.
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