Tag Archives: ALTER

Sharing the Rents: The Economic relationship Between Humanity and Nature

alter-logo-300Action for Land Taxation and Economic Reform (ALTER) seeks to build on support for Land Value Taxation amongst Liberal Democrats and to promote and campaign for this policy as part of a more sustainable and just resource based economic system.

The ALTER fringe meeting at Brighton this year was chaired by our MEP, Catherine Bearder. Jock Coats, a former Oxford city councillor, presented a paper aimed at infusing the Liberal Democrat mission statement as set out in the “preamble to the constitution” with explicitly “geoist” principles.  The paper argues that only publicly collecting the “economic rent” from land and natural resources enables a genuine market and democracy to work together to optimally distribute economic welfare and save the planet.

The premise of the paper is that neither markets nor democracy can function properly whilst a monopolistic class, rentiers, captures so much of economic productivity. It leads to a two caste society, one of which reaps the benefits of public need and public programs through land values, while the other pays for it. “Tenants pay twice so landowners don’t have to”.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

ALTER Questions the Leadership Candidates
 on the Land Value Tax and Economic Reform

ALTER is an Associated Organisation within the Liberal Democrats dedicated to advancing the causes of the Land Value Tax and other economic reforms. We chose to use the leadership contest as an opportunity.

We are aware that party policy is not determined by the leader, it is instead determined democratically by members at federal conferences. However, it is our experience that the leader has a large amount of influence in terms of which policies are given priority. So although motions and amendments on the Land Value Tax have been regularly passed at conference with near unanimity, the party has largely been quite shy about the policy, leaving it hidden within the small print of our manifesto rather than properly campaign on it.

For this reason we wished to challenge both leadership candidates as to whether they’d be willing to grasp the nettle and get seriously behind LVT, and also take their view on other areas of economic reform including workplace democracy and monetary policy.
We sent our questions and their responses are below.

Land Value Tax

Whenever the Land Value Tax has been debated at a Liberal Democrat conference, support for it is almost unanimous. While the party has consistently supported introducing the Land Value Tax, it has in recent years been highly shy about it. ALTER had to fight for it to even make the small print in our manifesto.

As leader, would you be willing to grasp the nettle and make it a front and centre policy?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Miliband, Piketty and the Liberal response

milibandThree weeks ago, Miliband crossed the Rubicon and entered the heartland of Tory ideology. His support for European-style longer and more secure tenancies — and by extension capping rent increases — runs roughshod over a hitherto post-Thatcherite consensus.

Grant Shapps led the Tory riposte with a quick and ludicrous barb: Labour were proposing “Venezuelan-style rent controls”. Most people won’t know the details of Venezuela’s housing policy, but will be sure it’s unlikely to be any worse than our own.

Times have changed. We can see this clearly in that most …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 45 Comments

Opinion: Lo-Tax for the Lib Dems

landRaising the tax-free personal allowance is the Lib Dems’ headline contribution to this Government – so popular that the Tories are trying to claim it as theirs! But when Danny Alexander said that our next manifesto should include a promise to raise and peg the personal allowance to the National Minimum Wage (almost £13,000) he was setting his tax policy working group a challenge: to find £12bn a year from elsewhere.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies this isn’t progressive. Highest earners and others benefit, while …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

LDVideo: Introducing the Land Value Tax

The Liberal Democrat campaign for Action on Land Tax and Economic reform has recently released a new video to explain the virtues of a Land Value Tax — described by ALTER as ‘making taxation more progressive and addressing the injustice of economic rent, it would encourage development and boost the economy. It’s the kind of measure that our country is in desperate need of right now.’

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged | 78 Comments

New book: The Case for a New People’s Budget

To many of us, notably Vince Cable, it has for long been blindingly obvious that the property boom would end – and end in pain for millions around the world.

The scale of the crash may have surprised even most who expected something like it at this time, as borrowing against unsecured ‘bubble’ land values was bound to lead to massive default.

However the Lib Dems’ campaign group on land value taxation (LVT) which I chair, ALTER, believes that the ‘Credit Crunch’ can be turned into a major opportunity for the Party, if it can press home its renewed conviction …

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 4th Dec - 6:19pm
    I agree with those who support Taiwan , it has a new and terrific female Liberal leader !
  • User AvatarRichard Morris 4th Dec - 6:15pm
    and @davidallen - thank you, and yes, I think that's pretty much exactly what happened.
  • User AvatarRichard Morris 4th Dec - 6:12pm
    @LaurenceCox - oh yes, I absolutely think this will happen. Its deeply troubling whenever I see the 'logic' case made by the UK side negotiators...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 4th Dec - 5:48pm
    Good article, and it's worth pursuing the argument further. As Richard explains, if Joe is told "Offer whatever you choose to offer", and Joe offers...
  • User AvatarJohn Nicholson 4th Dec - 5:43pm
    Having done a telling slot from 7.00-8.00 am at Meadows Hall, Richmond, with the temperature rising from -4 degrees to -2 in that hour (according...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 4th Dec - 5:22pm
    Professor Paton's paper was written in 2014 not as I mistakenly typed 1994, .