Our pet theory is barking mad and will destroy employment

Wednesday, 18 March 2009 19:38

A few days ago I received an email, titled "Authoring", from someone who had visited our site. It said,

"Don't bother to reply unless you really are interested in a literate piece from a former partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers explaining why your pet theory is completely and utterly barking mad and will destroy employment."

We like a challenge. I replied that...

I am perfectly happy to publish on our web site a literate piece from anyone, challenging our stance. I have invited the author to propose alternative systems of revenue-raising, of improving the workings of the land market, of preventing tax avoidance and evasion, and of reducing the administrative and deadweight cost of existing taxation.

I have suggested looking at the FAQ section as we are of course well aware of the commonest objections. In our experience, the most cogent are that it would be disruptive to existing financial arrangements (but that was before the collapse of the banking system!) and that it would cause problems for people who were not economically active eg pensioners. I have never heard anyone suggest that it would destroy employment so this was original.

I pointed out the need to be certain about precisely what is being proposed as there was no point is making a critique of some other proposal altogether, which in our experience is what usually happens. There are many different forms of land tax. In fact we already have about half a dozen taxes which fall partially on the rental value of land eg Stamp Duty Land Tax, to which we lost no time in objecting during the consultation process.

I look forward to receiving the article, which will be useful as the author is going to get our figures looked at. There are some of us who would be delighted if someone could point out the flaw in our case. Campaigning for LVT is a thankless task which costs time and money. If they could demonstrate that the concept is wrong, I would be happy to spend my energy doing something else.

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