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All News and Articles

  • Article: Nov 13, 2014

    In this short paper ALTER supporter Behrooz Tavassolian argues Land Value Tax is the best way to resolve the current Housing shortage problems that manifest itself within the UK. Instead of 750,000 properties standing empty in Britain, landowners would be motivated to ensure their assets are in use.

  • Article: Oct 30, 2014

    A new posting by Toby Matthews looks at the fallout of the Clacton-on-Sea election and asks how peripheral areas can rebuild their economies.

    As Matthews says...

    We need only revisit Ricardo's Law of Rent to understand that the economic margin will be hit the hardest. They cannot compete with London and they certainly can't bear the same tax load.

  • Article: Oct 9, 2014

    In a pre-manifesto briefing for ALTER, Vice-Chair Tony Vickers argues strongly for including local taxes in the 2015 election manifesto, stating "Saying nothing about Council Tax reform is a serious omission: it is bad politics and also bad policy".

  • Article: Oct 8, 2014
    By Tony Vickers

    report may of interest to supporters as well as ALTER members.

  • Article: Oct 6, 2014
    By Tony Vickers

    Report on ALTER's Glasgow Fringe meeting 5th October 2014: "New Nations, New Taxes?"

    Former banker, Scot and nephew of Malcolm Bruce MP James Oates - Chair of the British-Estonia chamber of commerce - spoke about Estonia's tax system at ALTER's fringe on Sunday, to an audience that included the Guardian's Michael White. James was followed by ALTER Vice Chair Dr Tony Vickers, bringing us up-to-date with prospects for Land Value Tax in Scotland and the UK.

  • Article: Sep 7, 2014
    By David Cooper

    "Welfare for the Rich - who really receives the biggest subsidies in the UK?"

    We all know that Britain's richest 1% have accumulated as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population but what is not recognised by most politicians or journalists is that the poorest are subsidising the richest because of our fundamentally flawed economic system.

  • Article: Jun 7, 2014
    By David Cooper

    George Monbiot quotes Professor Danny Dorling's in a Guardian article earlier this week. As Monbiot says, "the problem that lies behind our multiple housing crises is simple and obvious. It is, at root, a failure to tax". He advocates property taxes, and in particular an under occupancy tax.

    The least intrusive, easiest to administer, and hardest-to-avoid property tax is Land Value Tax. It discourages under-occupancy since it taxes based on potential rental value. But it is a truly libertarian tax : provided the owner stumps up the money, he or she can choose whether the property is actually used to its full potential.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014
    By David Cooper

    Reports of empy mansions in Bishop's Avenue, London's Billionaire's row, have highlighted the shocking waste of housing in the capital. Foreign speculators abuse the UK's property ownership laws to provide a safe haven for their wealth. From Russian gangsters, African dictators and tax dodging Greeks, hot money floods onto the UK property market, as overseas speculators seek a safe haven for their fortunes. Our rule of law and impartial system of justice protects their land against trespass, damage and arbitrary confiscation. However the relationship is entirely parasitical. Speculators benefit from the protection of British law, but do not contribute towards the costs of maintaining the state.

  • Article: Mar 11, 2014
    By David Cooper

    Squaring the circle is hard, but according to Stuart Roger UKIP wants to achieve something even harder. They are determined to ditch Europe but equally determined to hang on to its biggest gravy train: the Common Agricultural Policy. Money from CAP goes to some of their most enthusiastic supporters: rural landowners and farmers.

  • Article: Mar 6, 2014
    By David Cooper

    Business rates in the UK are not fit for purpose, and MPs are calling for its reform, reports the Telegraph. Predictably, their remedy is to load all taxes onto profits and productivity; the Telegraph treasures a vision of a Britain that is a paradise for land speculators and hoarders who should have to pay nothing to maintain their huge land banks of unused land.

  • Article: Feb 18, 2014
    By David Cooper

    The floods have hit Datchet and neighbouring Eton. In the words of Deborah Orr (Guardian 15'th Feb) the effluent has hit the affluent. The prime minister, who used to talk about hard choices, has announced that money is no object. When the wealthy scream for suckle at the teat of central funding, money gushes with no questions asked.

  • Vince Cable visits ALTER stand at SLF conference, with members Toby Matthews and Daniel Henry. (Daniel Henry)
    Article: Feb 16, 2014

    On 7 - 9th March will be the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference and ALTER, as always will be present.

    Land Value Tax: The Business Advantage 1pm Saturday

    ALTER will be hosting the Saturday lunchtime fringe "Land Value Tax: The Business Advantage." It will explore how a Land Tax would be more beneficial to business than the currents rates regime.

    This will feature the business secretary the Rt Hon VInce Cable MP and veteran former MP Michael Meadowcroft, long time supporters of LVT.

  • Article: Feb 14, 2014

    In its Green Budget 2014, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) backs the replacement of Business Rates with a Land Value Tax on all commercial land.

    In chapter 11 of the Green Budget, authors Stuart Adam and Helen Miller criticise the current system of taxes on non-domestic property, i.e. Business Rates. The current system of Business Rates imposes a levy on the estimated market rental value of non-domestic property. Business Rates is paid by the occupying business, not the owner of the property. If rental values go up (for example, through increased footfall) the occupier suffers increased costs but the owner gets a free benefit. This creates a disincentive for the use and development of business property.

  • Article: Feb 12, 2014

    Veteral Land Value Tax campaigner Fred Harrison flings down the gauntlet to the Libdems in this thought provoking video, featuring contributions from former Liberal MP Michael Meadowcroft. It is a well produced and gives a straightforward and easy to understand presentation of the major pro-LVT arguments, complete with specific illustrations.

  • Article: Feb 9, 2014
    By David Cooper

    The Somerset Levels are flooded, and the Environment Agency is taking flak. But a quick look at way that tax is collected for drainage shows that trouble was inevitable.

    In England and Wales, Internal Drainage Boards (IDB) are responsible for providing flood protection. Flood protection is rather like insurance, in the sense that money has to be invested upfront, to decrease the risk of loss of property in the future. Unlike insurance however, flood protection cannot be implemented for each property individually. It therefore has to be implemented publicly, and financed through taxation. According to Wikipedia, all properties within a drainage district are deemed to derive benefit from the activities of an IDB. Every property is therefore subject to a drainage rate (i.e. a tax) paid annually to the IDB. So far so good.