Author Archives: Tony Vickers

Why we need a residential Landowners’ Levy

There are two motions for debate at Brighton that I particularly welcome, as founder member of ALTER and campaigner on Land Value Taxation (LVT) for 20+ years. There’s the one on Commercial Landowners Levy (F26), which is based on an excellent paper by four esteemed experts in our Party. Then there’s F34 “Promoting a Fairer Distribution of Wealth”.

Having read both motions, I was unhappy that F34 failed to match the combination of thorough research and analysis in F26 and also falls short on radical policy proposals to address the main cause of wealth inequality: the so-called Land Question. As a …

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Opinion: Why fear this tax?

Our last Manifesto included a commitment to “reform business rates, creating a fairer system where rates are based on site values rather than rental values. “Site Value Rating” (SVR – a purely local tax) had been party policy for decades but until 2010 never made it to a manifesto. The Party had never embraced a Land Value Tax (LVT) as a key part of our national economic policy.

Since the debt-fuelled property boom led to the present global financial crisis there have been statements in support of LVT from leading figures in all the other parties. Tory Planning Minister Nick …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 27 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 …

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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 | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Where for Land Value Tax after conference vote?

A week after the Lib Dem Conference debate on “Green Tax Switch Mark 2”, how does our tax policy look from an ALTERnate perspective (i.e. not Chris Rennard’s)? Well, I’ve almost sold out of my book’s first printing (would someone like to post a review on Amazon?) and most LVT supporters who were there agree that having Vince Cable claim membership of ALTER and fulsome support for its aims in his summating speech was worth more than any show of hands in the conference hall.

Even Arnie Gibbons, who until recently used to move away – or mutter most foul – on hearing any discussion at Conference about Land Tax, was quite nice about us. We are accepted in polite circles – well Liberal ones anyway.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | 2 Comments

Opinion: Lib Dems must support LVT

I’ve been asked to preview the conclusions and argument for my book Location Matters: Recycling Britain’s Wealth here. If you subscribe to Liberator or Challenge (the Green Lib Dems’ journal) you will get reviews by others of the book before Conference. In the current Challenge you will also see a piece by me about how the Liberal Democrats’ Tax Commission got in such a depressingly non-radical place with Land Value Taxation (LVT) – which is what my book is about.

What I want to do here is explain the conception of the book, its purpose and what I hope happens next. But first, as requested, in a single sentence: conclusions and arguments. If the Liberal Democrats do not go into the next General Election campaign with a pledge to retain some form of nation-wide property tax at the same time as scrapping Council Tax, they will have betrayed their forebears and – more importantly – future generations of British people and will not deserve the support of voters.

Posted in Books, Conference and Op-eds | Tagged | 6 Comments
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