Monday 13 October 2014

Reader's Letter Of The Day

From todays Evening Standard (page 55):

Stamp Duty needs to be rethought entirely. It damages labour mobility and discourages pensioners from downsizing, reducing the supply of family housing among other ills.

A much fairer and efficient way to collect from the currently untaxed and unearned housing riches is via unavoidable annual taxes such as council tax. Unlike equivalent taxes in many of our peer cities around the world, [the value taken into account in calculating the tax] is currently capped at the equivalent of about £1 million in today's values.

At a time when people earning £10,001 incur a marginal tax rate of 32% in income tax and national insurance, I find it morally questionable to leave annual property taxes untouched.

Is this politically difficult? Most Londoners rent and have no realistic chance of living in a multi-million-pound-house. The middle classes have nothing to fear from higher property taxes and everything to fear from further increases [in taxes] on their earning power.

The asset-rich, cash-poor who do not wish to downsize can be accommodated by a roll up, which even over 30 years will only equate to the last five years' unearned capital gains.

All the better if extra council tax is kept in London: a big boost to local democracy.

Joe Momberg, Young People's Party.

See also the excellent, fact-filled article by Ben Chu (page 44) which says much the same thing.

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