We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

All News and Articles

  • Electric fencing and gate on Millden Estate, Angus.
    Article: Oct 14, 2015
    By David Cooper

    In a damning report produced for the League against Cruel Sports, Andy Wightman and & Dr Ruth Tingay shows how Scottish grouse shooting estates receive lavish govermnent subsidies. One estate, Glenogil, which is managed as a grouse shooting estate, receives agricultural subsidies from the Scottish Government. The presence of a sheep flock (used to 'mop up' ticks that would otherwise attack the grouse) is sufficient to qualify the estate as an agricultural holding. In 2010, the estate received £368,787 in public funds and in 2011, £346,757. Such taxpayer provided funds allows the building of electric fences and private roads that scar the countryside so that well heeled grouse shooters are saved the effort of trekking across the moors. Meanwhile, employees on grouse estates are paid less than the national minimum wage.

  • Article: Sep 24, 2015


    Hong Kong's Economic Miracle Explained by Andrew Purves

    Governments around the world are wrestling with the problems of enormous debts, low growth, high unemployment and a gap between the demands of public expenditure and what can be raised through taxation. This problem has been acute since the financial crisis, but has been a hallmark of western economies for decades.

  • Article: Sep 18, 2015


    Policy proposals

    • Tax on land and natural resource monopoly
    • Free trade - opposed to tariffs, which were at the time both the major method of protectionist trade policy and an important source of federal revenue
    • Supported the use of government issued paper currency such as the greenback. He opposed the use of metallic currency (such as gold or silver) and money issued by private commercial banks
    • Citizen's dividend - proposed to create a pension and disability system, and that excess public revenues from land rents could be distributed to residents "as a right" instead of as charity
    • to end or restrict the use of intellectual property
    • to have government own and manage all right-of-way and "natural" monopolies, such as utility companies and mass transportation,
    • to replace contract patronage with the direct employment of government workers, with civil-service protections,
    • to implement campaign finance reform and political spending restrictions.
  • Article: Sep 11, 2015
    By Dr Tony Vickers

    Ahead of the Housing debate at Bournemouth, ALTER's Dr Tony Vickers has written a paper that points out that the "Housing Crisis" is not really about how many new homes can be built but about how we make better use of the 98% of homes we already have. Drawing on research by the Intergenerational Foundation, he points the finger at massive under-occupation by pensioners of owner-occupied family homes, encouraged by government.

  • Freemans Wood
    Article: Sep 1, 2015
    By David Cooper

    Freeman's Wood is a plot of land on the edge of Lancaster. The land has been used by local people for decades, and they have regarded it as common land, but fencing was installed around it in 2012, resulting in public unrest and reports in the local press.

    The land is owned by a property investment company which is registered in Bermuda, and its owners are thought to be based in Hong Kong. The director of the UK development company for the site is a Punjab-born, polo-playing friend of Prince Charles. His son plays polo with Prince Harry. So this scrubby semi-derelict patch of land has direct links to global economic, political, and social networks.

  • Article: Jul 9, 2015

    Farron and Lamb

    Answers to questions from ALTER from leadership contenders Tim Farron and Norman Lamb have been published on Libdem Voice.

  • Article: Jun 26, 2015

    ALTER is actively advocating Land Value Taxation in Scotland, and has provided a detailed submission to Scottish Local Tax Commission. It is authored by ALTER member John Howell and can be found here.

  • Article: May 30, 2015

    A good article by Edward Lucas on the Economist blog, outlining the economic advantages but the considerable politicial difficulties of introducing Land Value Tax. One of the comments to the article makes the interesting point that China has substantial land taxes which no doubt increases the ability of the Chinese state to invest in infrastructure. Where better infrastructure leads to higher tax receipts, public investment flows. While western nations stagnate due to rent seeking behavior by land owners, the emerging economies in the East forge ahead.

  • George Osborne Banana
    Article: May 3, 2015

    George Osborne wants to introduce Mugabe-style property grabs into the UK. His latest wheeze is to force the sale of private property owned by housing associations to their tenants at a huge discount. The associations will be 'compensated' for this confiscation by the taxpayer. By offering this electoral bribe, he hopes to win votes in marginal constituencies.

  • lakeshore
    Article: Apr 23, 2015

    Is support for Land Value Tax becoming the "new normal"? In yesterday's Financial Times leader ( "UK's weak productivity invites a bolder response") the paper comments:-

    ...the challenge that remains is the dysfunctional market for land. Here, artificial scarcity acts as a tax on all enterprise, and drives up the price of a home (which indirectly raises wages). It also slows down the delivery of better infrastructure. To address this, measures would be needed: land value taxation, the greenbelt policy revisited, even more compulsory purchase of land...

  • Article: Apr 15, 2015
    2.3 Creating a stable and competitive environment for growth
    In England we will complete the ongoing review of Business Rates, prioritising reforms that lessen the burden on smaller businesses, ensure high streets remain competitive and promote more efficient use of land.
  • Daffodils
    Article: Apr 2, 2015
    By David Cooper

    Have the great bastions of economic neo-liberalism suddenly seen the light? The Forbes Magazine produced a truly astonishing tweet:

    "Contra Piketty It's Not A Wealth Tax We Need But A Land Value Tax http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/03/27/contra-piketty-its-not-a-wealth-tax-we-need-but-a-land-value-tax/"

  • Article: Mar 11, 2015

    ALTER is hoping to have the following amendment included in the Manifesto debate at the March Spring Conference in Liverpool. The amendement has been submitted by Tony Vickers. Come and support us at the debate if you are attending the conference.

    Proposed ALTER Amendment to Motion F6 at Liverpool Spring Conference

  • Wasing
    Article: Jan 22, 2015
    By David Cooper in Libdem Voice

    Few things are more complicated and opaque than the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade deal being hammered out between the EU and the USA. It has been criticized by activists and journalists such as George Monbiot, but Vince Cable asserts there is nothing to worry about. Who is right?

  • Gareth Wilson ()
    Article: Jan 5, 2015
    By Catherine Hodgkinson


    ALTER sends heartiest congratulations to Gareth Wilson and wishes him all the very best for May. We would like to hear from other ALTER members who are candidates. If you have been selected, please e-mail Catherine (CEHodgkinson@aol.com) with some details. At our next ALTER Executive meeting on 16 January, we will be discussing ALTER's role in the General Election campaign and the ways we might be able to assist our members and supporters who are standing. Meanwhile ALTER would like to thank all its members for their continuing support and to wish them a happy, healthy and successful 2015.