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IFS backs Land Value Tax

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Amid a flurry of microeconomic reform proposals, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has thrown its weight behind OECD proposals for a shift away from income taxes to consumption and wealth taxes.


In particular, the IFS said: "Replacing business rates with a land value tax would remove a damaging bias against property-intensive production."


The IFS's recognition of the property problem is welcome.


Across the western world there is a mania for investing in unproductive property as a way to boost living standards. There is a case to be made that property speculation, seen as a bona fide job in some circles that deserves respect, is a way not to do any real work, but let's leave that to one side.


The last property bubble, which precipitated the financial crash, has entirely failed to diminish the appetite for making gains on property speculation as a substitute for making gains from working.


For 30 years wages have stood still. But no matter, we can speculate on property to increase our income.




Whilst 1 million 18-24 year old landless peasants languish on the dole unable to access social housing (or perhaps even some small plots of land upon which they could construct their own slums) so that they might have a roof over their heads, or allotments that could allow them to grow their own food or create their own employment by producing goods in order to improve the living standards of all.



Whilst our wealthy politicians take millions in CAP payments (the kickback from the EU taxes we pay, which we give to the wealthiest in our society on the basis that they have a paper title to land that they have not even set foot upon)



Perhaps we ought to consider the case for LVT.


Perhaps we ought to find out who these people are that supposedly own this land, and how much they are getting in CAP payments.


Perhaps we ought to end structural unemployment once and for all.


Perhaps these few land monopolist should be paying a tax to the rest of society for depriving our citizens of the ability to work the land, rather than forcing the unemployed and underpaid workers to pay a tax unto the land monopolists for being deprived of said land!

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Not that I disagree, this seems like a way to increase fairness and I'm all for giving people more land. Expensive apartments are no substitute for a brick built 1930s semi with a decent size garden to grow your own food. But... won't this massively increase the price of UK grown food, so encouraging us to import it? And how many unemployed 18-24 yr olds would know what to do with a spade?

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