Abolish the outdated council tax and replace it with a fairer property tax

8 September 2020














We continue to campaign for fairer taxes and the abolition of the outdated council tax.

We are pleased to joined with Fairer Share and other organisations and individuals to sign this letter. 

A new property tax should:

  1. charge people based on their actual property value and ability to pay
  2. encourage the efficient use of existing property, and
  3. be simple to understand.

This letter was published in the Sunday Times on 6 Sept 2020


As the government considers its tax options in the wake of the pandemic, reform of council tax should be near the top of its list.

Council tax is poorly designed, unpopular and based, in England and Scotland, on property valuations that are almost 30 years old. A person living in property worth £100,000 may pay six times as much tax, as a proportion of their home’s value, as someone living in property that is worth £1m. This is increasingly putting lower-income families into debt.

Reforming Britain’s property taxes is integral to reducing the country’s growing regional and generational inequalities. The regressive nature of council tax, combined with the stamp duty on transactions, discourages the efficient use of existing housing.

Replacing council tax and stamp duty with one simple property tax, based on actual property value and people’s ability to pay, will result in a fairer system of taxation for most of us.

The government is promising to “level up” Britain. It should make a start by conducting a thorough review of our residential property taxes.


Tom Burgess, chairman, Coalition for Economic Justice;

Sir Vince Cable, former leader of the Liberal Democrats;

Professor Wendy Carlin CBE, Department of Economics, University College London

Andrew Dixon, founder, Fairer Share;

Liz Emerson, co-founder, Intergenerational Foundation;

Kevin Hollinrake MP;

Gavin Kerr, author of The Property-Owning Democracy: Freedom & Capitalism in the 21st Century;

Matthew Lesh, head of research, Adam Smith Institute;

Polly Mackenzie, chief executive, Demos;

Robin McAlpine, director, Common Weal;

Professor John Muellbauer, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Oxford Martin School;

John Myers, co-founder, YIMBY Alliance;

Robert Palmer, executive director, Tax Justice;

Andrew Purves, author of No Debt, High Growth, Low Tax;

Ben Rich, chief executive, Radix;

Carys Roberts, executive director, IPPR;

Will Tanner, director, Onward;

John Tizard, head of strategy, Taxpayers Against Poverty;

George Turner, director, Tax Watch;

Torrin Wilkins, director, Centre Think Tank;

Dan Wilson Craw, director, Generation Rent;

Dr Wanda Wyporska, executive director, The Equality Trust;

Reuben Young, director, Priced Out UK