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Launch of All Party Parliamentary Group on Land Value Capture

November 14, 2017 2:07 PM
By Joe Bourke in Liberal Democrat Voice

In July of this year ALTER floated the idea of a Progressive Alliance round Land Value Taxation and put out a call for the formation of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Land Value Tax in advance of our fringe at Bournemouth on this theme.

Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)n a pre-budget speech in the City of London this week, Sir Vince Cable laid out Liberal Democrat proposals for tax reform including investigating the feasibility of Land Value Taxation (LVT).

He said;

"Authoritative analysis of the British tax system, notably the Mirrlees Report, makes it clear that the taxation of land is the most economically efficient and rational form of taxation, the least open to evasion and avoidance and the most relevant to contemporary needs such as better utilisation of land for housing. The Lib Dems are committed as a first step to replacing business rates with site value taxation."

Sir Vince will Chair the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Land Value Capture to be launched at Westminster next month, supported by Sir Edward Davey MP who has been active in investigating cartel-like practices and leasehold abuses in retirement homes

The 2017 Conservative manifesto included a commitment to registering all UK land and reforming land value capture as a means of funding local infrastructure. Richard Bacon MP (Conservative), who steered the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Bill through Parliament in 2015 will serve as Vice-Chair of the APPG. The South Norfolk MP has called for a revolution in people building their own homes as a means of fixing the broken housing system. According to Mr. Bacon, serviced plots can be sold for £55,000 (or rented out by local authorities) and a house built for between £80,000 and £160,000 dramatically reducing the costs that new households currently face.

Caroline Lucas MP (Green) who presented a private members bill in 2012 calling on the government to undertake a feasibility study into the introduction of LVT will also serve as a vice-chair.

Labour's 2017 manifesto promised to "…review council tax and business rates and consider … land value tax, to ensure local government has sustainable funding for the long term." Ruth Cadbury MP, who has served as part of Labour's shadow housing team will represent the Labour party position on the groups governing committee.

The SNP conference passed a resolution in March this year backing LVT as a mainstay of Scotland's land reform program,

ALTER is a member of the Coalition for Economic Justice. The CEJ comprises political groups, pressure groups and charities who came together in 2008 in response to the economic crisis of that year and who have continued to work together for the establishment of justice in economic affairs. The cross-party group proposes the introduction of LVT and will furnish secretariat services to the new APPG on Land Value Capture.

ALTER members interested in attending the launch of the APPG next month, can register on the ALTER website.

* Joe Bourke is an accountant and university lecturer, Chair of ALTER, Chair of Hounslow Liberal Democrats and PPC for the Brentford and Isleworth constituency.