[diggers350] Land tax: the most dreadful scheme since Domesday

Tony Gosling tony at tlio.org.uk
Thu Sep 1 18:26:54 BST 2005

Jock, Yours is a quasi-evangelical misnomer - LVT won't redistribute land -
but take it away from the not-for-profit landowners. Its the next step of
universal enslavement to money after the buying and selling of land which
Winstanley and the Diggers rightly condemned.

Like all other forms of wealth, land under LVT will go to the super rich
and to the corporations.

Land Tax is the most frightening thing to hit the UK - as I said - since
Domesday. And will force even the humblest smallholder or subsistence
farmer to 'go industrial' or sell up.

Just like the council tax replacing the rates it will shift the tax burden
from the wealthy to the poor, forcing them to work their land to death, be
serfs, or starve.

Just like all other forms of slavery and the original development tax in
the Town and Country Planning Act in the 1940's it will be sold to the
public as a B&Q 'fix-all' but will gradually be used to divest 'let-it-be'
minimal management landowners of their estates. To be snapped up by rich

At the risk of upsetting Winstanley  - ;-)  -There's not a lot wrong with
individual ownership of land these days so long as 
1. its not too much and
2. others have rights to pass over it etc.

If we want a just society we must only tax luxuries, the wealthy and the
wealth they create - NEVER bread, water and the things we all need to live.
The basic essentials of life are sacrosanct and to tax them is to tax poverty.


At 17:46 01/09/05 +0100, you wrote:
>Hi Tony,
>Having more than your 'fair share' of something everyone needs is the
>supreme luxury - monopolistic, exclusive!  And that is the effect of LVT. 
>Whether hard earned or not, capital property, as a class distinct from real
>property, does not sui generis prevent others attaining it.  Exclusive
>occupancy of land does.
>As you say, land is a gift to mankind.  Not an individual man or woman.  It
>seems right for whatever units mankind is arranged in - communities, to
>ensure that such a gift is distributed equitably.  Since we no longer by
>and large value land by whether or not it's enough of itself to support our
>basic needs, but in financial terms, the right way to do that would seem to
>be financially.
>And if there's enough rent in the land values to pay for government
>spending, why tax anything else (apart from things you don't want to be
>used - like other natural resources mainly)?  We would argue I think that
>LVT is more progressive given the failing of the current income based
>taxation system.
>On 1 Sep 2005, at 16:47, Tony Gosling wrote:
>>Hi Jock,
>>I reckon taxes should fall on luxuries and on the rich - never on
>>necessities nor on everyone. Land should be essentially tax free as it was
>>a free gift to mankind.
>>At 16:22 31/08/05 +0100, you wrote:
>>>(Oops - I forgot to send this to the list!)
>>>You do understand that the "Development Land Tax' as proposed by the
>>government is NOT the Georgist land value tax that many of us propose?
>>>I do not recognise your characterisation as applicable to "proper" land
>>value tax.  Indeed I would take an opposite view - that taxing our incomes
>>and our hard earned capital wealth is slavery and was the final victory of
>>the feudal landowners - shifting the tax off them and their unearned land
>>based wealth and onto the newly 'liberated' proles who ended up with
>>nothing to tax but the money they could make with their own hands.
>>>The whole point about "taxing what we all need to survive" is crucial.
>>What we "all need to survive" is access to land, not ownership of land.
>>Less than half of us own anything, yet the rest of us survive, though in
>>doing so frequently have to pay through the nose in rent to landlords who
>>do nothing for their increasing wealth.  And a Georgist Land Tax, replacing
>>taxation on all sorts of other things like income and capital investment
>>returns, will redistribute from those who occupy more than they need in any
>>given location to those whom they exclude by occupying too much in an area
>>of high demand.
>>>Let's be clear, I do not know any Land Value Tax campaigners who think
>>that the Barker-Prescott Development Land Tax is a good idea.  Indeed its
>>effects, unlike with a Georgist Land Value Tax, would be, I believe,
>>counter-productive in a whole plethora of ways.
>>>Increasing density may be an appropriate response to need.  Oxford is half
>>as dense as the greater London average for example.  The great debate at
>>the moment is whether to slap hundreds of rows of new brick boxes onto
>>green field sites or...well...not building them and doing nothing about the
>>unmet need.
>>>But with a Land Value Tax yes, higher densities would be encouraged by the
>>tax system working hand in hand with the planning system (both of which we
>>at least have a democratic input to, where we don't with the total private
>>monopoly of land ownership we have at present, but so would moving economic
>>activity to less expensive, less overheated areas (something that was very
>>difficult in a leased territory of a few hundred square miles with a
>>hostile communist northern neighbour).
>>>On 31 Aug 2005, at 11:35, TLIO News wrote:
>>>Land Tax is slavery. It welds all landholders, including peasants, to a 
>>>financial system which gradually devours their labour. It's like putting 
>>>VAT on children's clothes or bread, the meanest act taxing what we all
>>>to survive.
>>>Its also a method of taking land off individuals and putting it into the 
>>>hands of the profit-making industrial agriculture and forestry businesses.
>>>Land Tax will force all landowners to produce the maximum from their land 
>>>to pay the tax, turning the earth into nothing more than the factory floor 
>>>of global capitalism. It assumes all land to be held from the state not to 
>>>us as individuals. And forcing housebuilders to increase building density 
>>>even further, just as in Hong Kong where land tax was trialed.
>>>Land tax, just like rent or fuel prices, will be intrioduced to the public 
>>>at a low rate, being jacked up to a higher rate as it becomes more
>>>Make no mistake, this is a major move toward our enslavement by the Money 
>>>Masters of the Ruling Class.
>>>As Gerrard Winstanley the Digger said, in 'The Law of Freedom'.
>>>'Money must not any longer be the great god that hedges in some and hedges 
>>>out others.'
>>>'You have taken the people's money in taxes and free quarter whereby they 
>>>are made worse able to live than before the war.'
>>>'The word of God is love, and when all thy actions are done in love to the 
>>>whole creation thou advances freedom, and freedom is Christ in you and 
>>>Christ among you.' 'Bondage is Satan in you and Satan among you.'
>>>'Everyone talks of freedom but there are few that act for freedom. The 
>>>actors for freedom are oppressed by the talkers and verbal professors of 
>>>'The common people who have cast out the oppressor by their
>>>have not authorised any yet to give away their freedom.'
>>>'Therefore England beware, William the Conqueror's army begins to gather 
>>>into head again and the old Norman prerogative law is the place of their 
>>>meeting, though their chief captain, Charles, be gone, yet his colonels, 
>>>lords of manors, his councillors and divines, which are our lawyers and 
>>>priests, his inferior officers and soldiers, which are the freeholders and 
>>>landlords, all did steal away our land from us when they killed and 
>>>murdered our fathers in that Norman conquest.'
>>>Seems to me to be a convenient way of keeping house prices artificially 
>>>high staving off the crash.
>>>I'm not interested in stopping debate about Land Tax but please, don't 
>>>believe the hype.
>>>Tony Gosling
>>>At 09:34 PM 8/30/05, you wrote:
>>>Land tax will target housebuilders' profits
>>>By Andrew Grice, Political Editor
>>>The Independent, 30 August 2005
>>>The Government is to bring in a "housing land tax" to share some of the
>>>windfall gains that are made when land is sold off for housebuilding.
>>>The move, which may raise hundreds of millions of pounds, could be
>>>by Gordon Brown in his pre-Budget report in November. A consultation
>>>would follow before a final decision on the level of the new tax is taken.
>>>Individuals as well as developers could be hit by the tax, which would be
>>>paid at the moment when planning permission is granted for housing. In an
>>>attempt to stave off criticism that the plan would encourage building
>>>in the
>>>green belt, there could be a lower rate of tax for land in brownfield
>>>Although the proposal could be controversial, the money raised would not be
>>>retained by the Treasury but would be ploughed back into plans to revive
>>>local communities by providing housing and improving services. Part of the
>>>receipts could be earmarked for local authorities.
>>>Planning approval for homes to be built can vastly increase the value of 
>>>A study for the Government found that the value of farmland in the
>>>would increase from £9,122 to £2.7m per hectare when it could be used for
>>>housing. In the North-east, the value would rise from £7,534 to £1.2m
>>>and in
>>>the east Midlands from £7,450 to £1.8m.
>>>The idea of imposing a tax on a landowner when planning permission is
>>>was first mooted by Kate Barker, a member of the Bank of England's Monetary
>>>Policy Committee, in a review of Britain's housing needs in March last
>>>It has now won the support of Mr Brown and John Prescott, the Deputy Prime
>>>Minister, who is responsible for housing and planning.
>>>While ministers would normally be wary of imposing a new, highly
>>>visible tax,
>>>they believe that the proposal can be justified on the grounds that part of
>>>the big windfalls now being enjoyed by the private sector should be used to
>>>finance the public services that new housing developments will need.
>>>Land is already subject to capital gains tax. Ms Barker argued in her 
>>>that the forms of development gains tax that had been tried in the past had
>>>failed because they distorted behaviour and raised less money than
>>>Large landowners and speculators managed to avoid the tax but smaller
>>>landowners were hit.
>>>She said the proposed tax would have to be accompanied by transitional
>>>measures to soften the blow for developers, with land sales contracts drawn
>>>up before it was introduced and for those holding large amounts of land for
>>>which planning permission has not yet been given.
>>>But the plan will be opposed by the Tories, who warn that it would
>>>provide an
>>>incentive for developers to build expensive executive homes in the green
>>>Yesterday, the Tories accused Mr Prescott of breaking a pledge that a
>>>revaluation of business rates would not raise any extra revenue after
>>>showed companies were paying an extra £1.2bn a year in England.
>>>Caroline Spelman, the shadow Local Government Secretary, said: " Business
>>>rates, like council tax, are being used as a stealth tax.
>>>"Thanks to John Prescott's rigged rates revaluation, local firms are being
>>>taxed to the hilt, taking the average bill to £10,000 for the first time."
>>>She warned that householders would be hit when a revaluation of council tax
>>>took place.
>>>"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
>>>nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
>>>for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
>>>that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
>>>righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
>>>God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
>>>(Edward Burroughs, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')
>>>Paul's new book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
>>>For details see http://www.fraw.org.uk/ebo/book.html
>>>Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
>>>3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
>>>tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
>>>email - mobbsey at gn.apc.org
>>>website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mobbsey/index.html
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>>>Diggers350 - an e-mail discussion/information-share list for campaigners
>>involved with THE LAND IS OURS landrights network (based in the UK ..web
>>ref. www.thelandisours.org). The list was originally concerned with the
>>350th anniversary of The Diggers (& still is concerned with their history).
>>The Diggers appeared at the end of the English Civil war with a mission to
>>make the earth 'a common treasury for all'. In the spring of 1999 there
>>were celebrations to remember the Diggers vision and their contribution.
>>Find out more about the Diggers and see illustrations at:
>>>Yahoo! Groups Links
>>>Jock Coats
>>>Corporate Information Systems, Computer Services,
>>>AG17, Gipsy Lane Campus, Oxford Brookes University,
>>>OX3 0BP
>>>Work: +44 1865 483353
>>>and at:
>>>Wardens' Lodgings, Flat 1e, Block J Morrell Hall,
>>>John Garne Way, OXFORD, OX3 0FF.
>>>Home: +44 1865 485019 Mobile: +44 7769 695767
>Jock Coats
>Corporate Information Systems, Computer Services,
>AG17, Gipsy Lane Campus, Oxford Brookes University,
>OX3 0BP
>Work: +44 1865 483353
>and at:
>Wardens' Lodgings, Flat 1e, Block J Morrell Hall,
>John Garne Way, OXFORD, OX3 0FF.
>Home: +44 1865 485019 Mobile: +44 7769 695767

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