TAP SUPPORTERS MEETING - Manchester 11 to 1 Saturday 18th November Green Fish Resource Centre 46-50 Oldham Street
TAP SUPPORTERS OPEN MEETING - MANCHESTER
Building a program to support UKs poorest renters
TAP was founded in 2012 by a letter in The Guardian. In five years we have reached 20,453 followers on Facebook, 1879 followers and 3448 likes on Twitter and 516 signed up through our website. Regular contributors are providing £400 a month for and ee have also received generous one off contributions. for all of which very many thanks. We currently have £3500 in the bank. As you may know, we really do run TAP on a shoestring and we are funded by people like you. We'll be able to do even more to challenge the current unfairness if you are able to contribute through our website and encourage friends and other contacts to do so.
Also we now have a very well informed and substantial bank of information about "Affordable Housing" and "Health Inqualities", There will also be an on line short book about "Land Value Tax" after our Land Seminar on the 18th October.
The purpose of the meetings is to agree plans to consolidate TAPs progress in;
1. Campaigning policy and national and local action.
A suggestion is that TAP supporters who are nationwide coalesce around the Mayoral areas with and for the poorest renters. This will need local TAP leaders in each Mayoral arear.
Tim Bowles (Conservative), Mayor of the West of England
Andy Burnham (Labour), Mayor of Greater Manchester
Ben Houchen (Conservative), Mayor of the Tees Valley
James Palmer (Conservative), Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
Steve Rotheram (Labour), Mayor of Liverpool City Region
Andy Street (Conservative), Mayor of the West Midlands
2. Funding by monthly contributions through the website and by institutional finders.
TAXPAYERS AGAINST POVERTY
No citizen without an affordable home and an adequate income in work or unemployment.
The route to affordable rents
The crisis of unaffordable housing for the poorest renters in the UK has to be tackled from both ends - income and rents. Rents have gone up because the value of land in the chaotic UK market in land has escalated. Affordable rents have much, much less to do with the cost of building
RENTS AND INCOME
The government ought to stop selling public land to private developers. Council housing pays for itself with tenants rents providing the inflated market value of land is not put into the viability appraisals .
Councillors and MPs were proud to have built council homes and flats after the Second World War and then again when Harold Macmillan built 300,000 council houses a year because Churchill told him to.
All politicians should now be ashamed of the way a viability appraisal can be fixed to ensure the greatest profit for the land owner only if the fewest truly affordable houses are built for renters.
The crisis for the poorest renters is now and some immediate relief is needed. Their health suffers because their income is low and benefits are frozen; high rents and council tax drive them ever lower.
a) Ending the freeze on benefit increases.
b) Ending the cuts in housing benefit created by the bedroom tax, the benefit cap and the local housing allowance, all of which have increased the rent paid by the poorest tenants.
c) Restoring the 100% council tax benefit for the unemployed.
d) Linking affordable rents to income say at 33%. It is absurd to suggest that 80% of the local average market rent can be affordable because it goes (surprise! surprise!) up with the market. We urgently need a living unemployment benefit.
HEALTH A HUMANITARIAN AND ECONOMIC REASON FOR MAKING RENTS AFFORDABLE
The Institute of Health Equity has reported
a) Low income and debt impact on health Income can impact on health in different ways. Income impacts on health directly, for instance, because of insufficient money to heat your home or buy a healthy balanced diet. Cold homes increase rates of respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, excess winter deaths and mental Inadequate diets increase the risk of malnutrition, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
b) In 2010 it was estimated that inequalities in health accounted for productivity losses of £31-£33 billion per year, and £20-£32 billion a year in lost taxes and higher welfare payments. Additional NHS healthcare costs associated with inequality were estimated to be in excess of £5.5 billion a year.
TAP SUPPORTS LAND VALUE TAX FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS
As a small percentage of the value of all land should be phased in while council tax, business rates and stamp-duty are phased out. LVT shifts tax away from the income of the middle and lower incomes onto wealth which has accumulated due to the market without a stroke of work by the land owners.
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 supporting land value tax.
- Land Value Tax is a secure progressive source of revenue.
- 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.
- It is paid by the landlord not the tenant. It relieves low income tenants of the council tax and its draconian enforcement.
- Exemptions can be arranged for high asset low income households.
- 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,
- It would encourage the four big UK builders to release their bank of 600,000 plots of unused land.
- 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.
- 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.
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"
Rev Paul Nicolson
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