Latest push for UK Land Tax - counter-arguments ignored by the G

Tony Gosling tony at
Wed Nov 30 01:07:32 GMT 2016

The underlying principle here is to tie 
absolutely everyone into the money system
Balderdash - tax luxuries - not essentials
And work towards the abolition of money
By making basic essentials: land, housing, food, 
water and even public transport (remember Ken Livingston's Fares Fair?), free
This Guardian dream would be a major move in the opposite direction

The dreamed of future money system would be 
cashless too - - a credit system like ancient Egypt - -
Again - NO!

How to make the Queen and our dukes pay their way: tax their land

Monday 15 August 2016 09.00 BST

A few thousand people own over half the UK. But 
there is a simple way to distribute wealth 
fairly: a land value tax on the unearned riches of the super-rich
Monopoly board

There are about 
million people in the UK and 
million acres of land – almost enough, in theory, 
for an acre each. (It’s not quite that simple, of 
course: not all acres are equal.) Yet about 
two-thirds of the land – 40 million acres – is 
owned by fewer than 6,000 people. If there is a 
more telling statistic about the unequal 
distribution of wealth in this country, I’d like to know what it is.

In the 19th century landowners paid tax on their 
land. Today, so corrupt is our system of 
taxation, they actually 
subsidies for it. The rest of us, meanwhile, must pay council tax.

The largest landowners exploit a tax loophole. 
Land is passed from one generation to the next 
via the tax avoidance vehicle that is the trust. 
The rest of us must pay inheritance tax.

The complexity and inconsistency of our tax 
systems are to blame for so much wealth 
inequality. One group has the resources to find 
the loopholes and exploit them, the rest of us 
don’t: and so pay more on a proportional basis. 
Complexity allows there to be one rule for some and another for everybody else.

About the only way the person who starts out with 
nothing can improve his or her lot is through 
labour. And yet we tax labour constantly and 
heavily. The worker pays the vast majority of 
taxes: 40% of government revenue comes from 
income tax and national insurance, with another 20% from VAT.

The wealth of the super-rich does not derive from 
their labour, however. 
from the appreciation in the value of their land, 
their houses, their stocks, their shares, their 
bonds, their fine art – what economists call 
their assets. These go untaxed, unless you sell. So most don’t.

If you want to redistribute wealth naturally, 
rather than via the moral minefield that is state 
re-allocation, the answer lies in changing the way we tax people.
A shooting party on the Duke of Westminsters estate in t
  ‘The late duke may have been a canny 
businessman, but he did not invent anything new.’ 
A shooting party on the Duke of Westminster’s 
estate in the Trough of Bowland. Photograph: Don McPhee for the Guardian

Instead of taxing our labour – what we produce – 
why don’t we tax what we use? Instead of taxing 
the wealth that is earned, why don’t we tax the 
wealth that is unearned? I’m talking about land. 
Nobody made the land. Nature gave it to us. By 
building on it, or farming it, or mining it, you 
have improved it, but the land itself was always 
there. So let us look solely at the unimproved 
value of the land. This is easy to assess.

If you want the right to occupy a piece of land, 
and you want the government to protect your title 
to that land, then a rent should be paid to the 
community that reflects the value of that land, 
because it is the needs of the community which 
have given that land value. What I’m describing 
might sound extremely left wing, but the 
granddaddy of rightwing economists, Milton 
Friedman, described it as the, 
bad tax”: that is LVT – 
value tax.

Who would pay the most if we hand land value tax 
in the UK? The Queen (she owns most of it), the 
of Buccleuch, the Duke of Atholl, 
Alwyne Farquharson, pension funds, the Forestry 
Commission, the Ministry of Defence and, of 
new Duke of Westminster – or rather the Grosvenor Trust, which owns the land.

The late duke may have been a canny businessman, 
but he did not invent anything new, he did not 
bring some amazing new product or service to the 
world, which we all wanted to use. His ancestors 
benefited from the 
laws 200 years ago and the estates were built. 
Now planning laws are such that few can build 
anything new. The estate, which owns some of the 
most desirable land in London, was effectively 
handed a monopoly and the duke made good from the 
fact that so many people want to live and work in London.

There’s big money to be made in land banking but 
there is nothing creative about it. You are not 
bringing anything new to the world or improving 
it. It is simply exploiting the restrictive 
planning laws in this country that prevent 
progress. It is crony capitalism at its worst.

If you don’t want to pay land value tax, you 
don’t have to. This is a tax that is voluntary. 
You simply sell the land to someone who is prepared to.

The amounts of tax payable are clear. It’s an 
easy tax to administer. It doesn’t require 
million words of tax code. And there need be no 
loopholes. The land is here – it is not in the 
Cayman Islands – and you are the owner.

The Green party actually has LVT in its 
manifesto, but it has it in addition to other 
taxes. LVT should replace other taxes.

Remember the mantra: don’t tax labour, tax land. 
Not only would it make for a much healthier, 
happier and more productive society, it would 
make for one in which wealth is more fairly distributed.

• Dominic Frisby is performing his show 
Talk About Tax at the Edinburgh Festival until 28 August

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
participation in Bormann companies that when 
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
again because a repetition would permanently 
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
America, as well as with the Bormann 
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.
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