Coop Party blends into the Landscape of LVT

1 Sep 2009

Our allies in the Labour & Cooperative Movement, the Labour Land Campaign, have achieved a significant victory by securing the support of the Cooperative Party Conference for a General Election Manifesto which includes very clear support for using LVT as an economic instrument.

The Coop Party does not fight against Labour but sponsors about 30 Parliamentary candidates, mainly in quite safe Labour seats. One of ten bullet points in a summary of its policies for "changing the way we do business" for the 2010 election is:-

"Land Reform - As we seek to bring stability to the financial system, it is only right that we aim to do the same for the property markets. A key policy concern for the future has to be to keep growth in house prices consistent with other parts of the economy. We should use taxaÂtion to change incentives within the property market, ensuring that we incentivise the producÂtive use of land rather than expected capital gains in an upward market."

In more detail on page 17 of the manifesto, it says:-

"....There is significant evidence to suggest that the shortage of homes in the UK has been artificially created by a poorly functioning property market. This has had the effect of substantial growth in house prices, with the market rewarding those with property assets at the expense of people seeking places to live.

"In order to prevent similar problems emerging in the upturn, the Government should use taxation to change incentives within the property market, ensuring that it incentivises the productive use of land rather than expected capital gains in an upward market. The Government should replace counÂcil tax and national non-domestic rates with a land value tax. While this would be a new method of taxation in the UK, countries such as Denmark, Hong Kong and Taiwan utilise land values to help their economies. Local Authorities in parts of Australia, New Zealand and North America have all adopted local forms of land value taxation. This is likely to not only improve economic stability but also stimulate investment in more productive elements of the UK economy over the medium to long term."

In the latest issue of ALTER's newsletter Landscape, we report from Scotland on how the SNP Government has cooled its ardour for Local Income Tax. Supporters of LVT in all parties on Glasgow City Council have asked the Scottish Government to consider a trial of a reformed "LVT-like" local tax in the city.

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