Replace standard rate tax and fix land market as well

Sir, I agree with Prof Willem Buiter (Letters, October 18) that simplicity is necessary for a good tax regime in order to facilitate collectability and economic efficiency aims.

However, there are other criteria for a good system and it is surely unfair not to distinguish between earned and unearned income unless or until it becomes possible to limit income tax to those who can command economic rent.

I am concerned also that Prof Buiter only sees fit to discuss taxes on labour and capital while ignoring completely the third factor of production: land. Rent, as Ricardo demonstrated, is a surplus that can be collected at no cost to production.

A full annual tax on land rent could replace standard rate income tax, while at the same time fixing the dysfunctional land market, which lies at the heart of the housing crisis.

Carol Wilcox
Labour Land Campaign

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