Monday 24 September 2012

Reader's Letter Of The Day

In today's Evening Standard:

Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander are barking up the wrong tree. A wealth tax, and land-value taxation, which many Liberals have long called for are quite simply opposites.

We already have enough taxes on the private creation, exchange and consumption of wealth (income tax, corporation tax, VAT) and it is very difficult trying to raise much revenue by taxing people's savings. Evasion and avoidance would be rife as people registered assets abroad. Not only that, it would clearly be retrospective double taxation.

Conversely, a tax on the rental value of land is purely prospective as people choose to own or occupy those plots which benefit most from public services, public spending and community activities or the state of the economy. There is no scope for evasion or avoidance as you cannot move land abroad and the amount that could be collected is huge.

Business Rates - a kinf of land-value tax on commercial land and buildings - raise nearly as much money as corporation tax and collection rates are nearly 100 per cent. Reintroducing domestic rates at similar levels to business rates would generate enough revenue to replace council tax, inheritance tax and income tax* in their entirety.

Mark Wadworth, Young People's Party.

* My original list was much longer than that, but it got edited down.

The next letter was pretty good as well:

There is no need for a new tax to get the wealthy paying more or give hostage to fortune by setting a single limit over which this extra taxation is paid.

The designer of council tax left enough letters of the alphabet free so that many new bands can easily be slipped in above band H.

In a progessive society, council tax would double with every rise in band over H.

Professor Danny Dorling.


  1. Excellent stuff. Prob just as well the list was shortened (attention span and believability)

  2. So how much could a land value tax raise?

  3. "Tax wealth not work" has advantages over "Tax Land (or Rents) not work" if not strictly accurate. see

  4. RS, ta.

    Cab, the current rental value of UK land (excl. buildings) assuming everything were rented out for market rent is slightly more than £200 billion, most of that is residential.

    WD, but "wealth" is too vague a term. Ultimately, you are either taxing earned income or govt. protected monopoly income. What is "wealth"?