(Original post by JPKC)
Firstly, we need to actually debate the merits of a land value tax - I noticed that in the Tax Bill 2011 a lot of members simply nodded it through because, well, the Bill it came in looked nice and professional. I hope the same doesn't happen this time around.
I've been trying to find some external justification for the gross land value (as stated in David Richards' somewhat obscure work) but to this point haven't been able to find anything online covering it - I'd appreciate some explanation for how the figure was realised.
Assuming that it is watertight, there are still numerous problems with the implementation - firstly, the Bill here (and B408) assumes wrongly that all land in the UK is liable for taxation. The Government happens to own around 17%+ of all this land and cannot tax itself. Similarly, charities like the National Trust and RSPB have substantive holdings that shouldn't be taxed either - together the amount of untaxable land probably reaches around c.23%, and that ignores the Crown Estates and land owned by the Church.
Secondly, could anyone who has so far nodded this by actually specifically tell me how much a farmer, with, say, 40,000 acres, would end up paying in tax for their land per annum?
Land value taxes were first proposed at a time when the amount of land owned correlated with personal fortune, this is not the case today as wealth now is concentrated in areas like the City (in contrast to places like Downton Abbey 100 years ago). This undermines J&T's somewhat unfounded claim that this is a "hugely progressive" tax. How?
Another problem of impracticality is that 40% of all land in the UK is not registered with an owner, it only comes to the attention of the Land Registry when it is part of a transaction - this obviously impedes the ability of the taxman to see who owns/owes what.
I believe that we should have a ground rent tax, but I think that making it our prime source of revenue by such an extent is a step too far - I'd expect Lib Dem, Labour, Socialist, UKIP and Tory colleagues to consider the ramifications of destroying the redistributive nature of the tax system.
As for the welfare section, I broadly agree with the principle of a basic income, but I'm not confident in the nuances of this proposal - for instance, why call it the Citizen's Income if legal residents can claim it? Seems a minor oversight. It's also odd that the figures for the CI have no explanatory notes - why make a distinction between retirees and adults? Why not just have employed people/unemployed people because ultimately that's what the difference comes down to. I think an adult's amount should remain static until their death.