New London Plan The Mayor of London cannot ban national and international land speculators, require Treasury to publish deadweight losses or improve health & wellbeing of low income Londoners

27 February 2018

The committee of MPs who monitor the work of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is undertaking an inquiry into land value capture. In other words "How does the huge unearned increase in the value of land contribute to the common good like pay for the NHS?" At the same time the Mayor of London is making a New London Plan.

TAP has sent the same submission to both of them because national housing, income and taxation policies are so bad that no city in England can improve the health and wellbeing of ALL its residents and provide truly affordable housing when national and international land speculators are free to prosper excessively, and while more and more UK citizens are forced into debt, hunger and homelessness. Our submission is below.

I have shown the names of the MPs on the committee. There is a link to their email addresses. Please bombard them, and your own MPs, with letters and emails about the lack of truly affordable housing, the vast amount of unearned and untaxed wealth in land which could help pay for the NHS and the impact on health of low incomes paying high rents, and of the consequent debt and homelessness.

Please encourage these MPs on the committee, and your own MP, to address the issues set out in this post. 

Members 

Member Party
Mr Clive Betts (Chair) Labour
Mike Amesbury Labour
Bob Blackman Conservative
Helen Hayes Labour
Kevin Hollinrake Conservative
Andrew Lewer Conservative
Jo Platt Labour (Co-op)
Mr Mark Prisk Conservative
Mary Robinson Conservative
Liz Twist Labour
Matt Western Labour

 

To the Select Committee for Housing, Communities and Local Government -

TAXPAYERS AGAINST POVERTY – SUBMISSION TO THE ENQUIRY ON LAND VALUE CAPTURE

 

  1. We are sending the committee hard copies of DEBT DEATH & DEADWEIGHT which was also the last of our four submissions to the Mayor’s consultation on the London Plan. The Editor is Fred Harrison who the director of the Land Research Trust and also a director of Taxpayers Against Poverty. It can be found online here. We ask you to take it into account in your enquiry.

 

  1. There are three things a London Plan cannot do. If they are not identified and published then the Mayor will be blamed over the years until 2041 for not delivering a sustainable plan which improves the health and wellbeing of all Londoners, when the blame ought to be pinned on national policy or lack of it. 

 

  1. He cannot ban the purchase of London land by national and international speculators. Without such a ban the mistakes of the 1979 UK government will carry on raising housing prices and rents of out of the reach of many Londoners, creating debt, hunger, homelessness and ill health. The 1979 government deregulated lending, abolished rent controls and allowed the free flow of cash in and out of the UK.  Money has poured into a UK housing market in short supply. That was let rip by the 1997 UK government and has not been curbed since 2010. Billions have been poured into land which would have been better spent creating homes and jobs.

 

  1. He cannot require the Treasury or the OBR to publish the deadweight loses in the UK from the present lack of a sustainable national housing policy. But he ought to do it for London so the public can understand how we are cheated of the wealth buried in London land by the present lack of a sustainable national housing policy. The APPG inquiry into land value capture ought to insist on it for the UK

 

  1. He cannot improve the health of the poorest Londoners. Their incomes are subjected to the punitive national regime of the present government so the impact of low incomes on their mental and physical health, life expectancy, infant deaths, low birthweight, hunger, homelessness and rough sleeping is out of his control. Please see Land grabbing, income inequality and state-sanctioned debby Paul Nicolson. And   TAP health equality campaign of 9 Blogs about low income, debt, hunger, mental and physical health by Dr Angela Donkin, Professors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, Carl Walker and Madeleine Power.  

 

The case for land value capture/land value tax/annual ground rent is as follows.

6)Fred Harrison, of the Land Research Trust has done valuable work on dead weight losses which is available in DEBT DEATH & DEADWEIGHT. We believe dead weight losses are something of which the public ought to be aware and the Treasury ought to publish. In addition to the failure of the Treasury to measure or publish the dead weight losses of the present system of taxation we are emphasising, by all means available, the following points support land value tax.

a)Land Value Tax is a secure progressive source of revenue.

b)A small percentage tax on the value of all land could gradually replace inefficient and regressive taxes like council tax, business rates and stamp duty

c)It is paid by the landlord not the tenant. ​It relieves low income tenants of the council tax ​ and its draconian enforcement. 

d)Exemptions can be arranged for high asset low income households.

e)It has been found to bring empty homes and unused land into use in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and other US cities. It works in Denmark, Australia and Hong Kong,

f)It would encourage the four big UK builders to release their bank of 600,000 plots of unused land.  

g)Land cannot be transferred tax free via the internet to an overseas bank; so taxing it in the UK might even recover a little of the trillions shipped out to tax havens by the City of London

h)It enables land owners to contribute to the common good from the unearned increase in the value of their land due to the market so relieving the landless tenants and themselves of the need for high income taxes. 

7)An LVT Colloquium at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in September 2015 concluded that, "... the technical issues often quoted as providing reasons not to switch to assessing land rather than property, namely valuation methodology and data, are capable of solution within the UK context" 

 

 

 

 

TAP DEPENDS ON SUPPORTERS - PLEASE CONSIDER A

MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION - THANKS

from the Rev Paul Nicolson

 

 


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