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Tony Blair is right – we should scrap council tax in favour of a land tax

Readers' letters | Published:

Tony Blair is in to it and for once it isn’t about going to war.

Tony Blair

In this case he has it right: council tax should go.

We only have council tax because of the disastrous Thatcher ‘poll tax’ which was no longer sustainable as it was pitched at a level unaffordable to those on low incomes. It was a tax on individuals and not on property so all adults paid.

If it had been a modest sum, say £100 per annum, it might have worked as a badge of citizenship. But it would never have yielded the financial return of the old rates or the council tax.

What is needed is a fresh start to replace the council tax and the non-domestic business rate that is seen to be fair and equitable.

For the Green Party we see taxation having a vital role in assisting a move to creating social equality and ecological sustainability. This can be found, in part, with a land tax, especially if administrated at a local level.

Some equalisation between communities would be needed by an independent authority.

It is hoped that the introduction of LVT would go some way to stem the enormous unearned and untaxed wealth gained by land owners from the massive increase in the value of their land over recent years.

The shift to a land based tax would have a positive effect on the critical housing shortage as it would force the use of the many thousands of plots of unused land owned. That said, we would not throw the market open to a free for all, we would continue to respect the green belt and greenfield sites, protect agricultural land with a reduced tax.

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Our end game is to make the best use of land for the social good: something neither the council tax or the business rates manage to achieve.

John Lloyd

South Shropshire Green Party

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