Labour should be bold on taxation

Your leader on public finances (7 September) refers in its final section to the need for Labour to tackle the inequitable taxation system, rather than just cutting spending. In her Comment article (8 September), Polly Toynbee refers to the call by Compass for a switch to land value taxation as a means of preventing the next housing boom. An annual land value tax has the advantage of both reducing inequalities – by replacing other inequitable taxes on labour and enterprise – and avoiding the pernicious and causal link between lending and property values, each feeding off the other, thus creating the credit surge and crunch. It would also lead to better use of land and buildings, the encouragement of a more productive economy and the provision of much needed infrastructure. As Ashley Seager said (Economics, 10 August), “such a radical reform … would require bold political leadership”. Has this government the guts to act bravely to save our economy?

John Lipetz
Chair, Coalition for Economic Justice

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