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All News and Articles

  • ALTER Bournemouth 2017 Fringe
    Article: Sep 19, 2017

    ALTER's fringe meeting attracted a good audience for speakers Rachel Collinson, Green Party spokesperson on Energy, Business & Industrial Strategy (left), our vice chair Dr Tony Vickers, Chairman Joseph Bouke (standing) Heather Wetzel of the Labour Land Campaign, and David Ford of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

  • Sir Vince Cable meets David Cooper, ALTER secretary, and Joseph Bourke, Chair, at the Bournemouth Stand
    Article: Sep 19, 2017

    Calls from ALTER for taxation of property owners who are registered for tax outside the UK have resonated with our leader who called for "Fierce tax on overseas residents buying British property". Sir Vince Cable vistited the ALTER stand during the Bournmouth conference, here pictured with Chairman Joe Bourke and Secretary David Cooper.

  • Article: Sep 2, 2017

    If after 30 minutes you're not moved by this, check you still have a pulse

    .

    Henry George (September 2, 1839 - October 29, 1897) was an American political economist and journalist. His writing was immensely popular in the 19th century, and sparked several reform movements of the Progressive Era. His writings also inspired the economic philosophy known as Georgism, based on the belief that people should own the value they produce themselves, but that the economic value derived from land should belong equally to all members of society.

  • Article: Aug 7, 2017

    ALTER is supportive of universal income, but recognizes the danger that any such money would be captured by increased rents. Universal Income cannot work without a mechanism to recapture the economic rent from land owership. A new spin on this idea, "Basic Rental Income", is described in a recent Libdem Voice article by our chairman Joe Bourke.

  • Rethinking economics of land and housing
    Article: Jul 30, 2017

    Dr Tony Vickers reviews a new book by Josh Ryan-Collns, Toby Lloyd and Laurie Macfarlane, "Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing" . This is an indictment of wastful austerity policies amd throws a spotlight on the Conservative strategy of socialism for the rich, ruthess capitalism for the poor. Vickers summarizes his review with the strong recommendation "This book is not by Liberal Democrats but it ought to be read by every Lib Dem campaigner." It highlights how in the last quarter century, the share of total bank lending to real estate has almost doubled to nearly 50% while the share lending to companies that create real new wealth has shrunk to a mere 15%. The post-crash quantitative easing by the Bank of England exacerbated this: six pounds out of every seven has gone into reflating the property bubble via bank lending.

  • Joe Bourke, ALTER Chairman
    Article: Jul 12, 2017

    Joe Bourke, Chairman of ALTER, has called for an all party group on Land Taxation in a recent Libdemvoice article. Could this by the answer to the Maybot's prayer for constructive policy suggestions from other political parties? There is some support for LVT within the Conservatives. After all Nick Boles (former conservative minister for planning) has suggested such a tax, and Tim Montgomorie, of Conservative Home fame, has also expressed support. However tt is hard to imagine such a policty appealing to Teresa May, the epitome of conservative (with a small "c") mediocrity.

  • Mansion
    Article: Jul 9, 2017

    Our Chairman Joe Bourke summarizes the views of progressive parties on Land Value Taxation in a recent articile in Libdem Voice... see article.

  • Terraced Houses
    Article: Apr 28, 2017

    In a recent article in Libdem Voice, ALTER secretary David Cooper summarizes the newly developed "Property Uplift Recovery Tax" proposal from ALTER. A more complete description can be found here.

  • ALTER fringe York Spring 2017 conference
    Article: Mar 25, 2017

    A record number of new members attended the Spring Conference in York, and ALTER's fringe was packed. Vice Chair Tony Vickers spoke about the housing crisis, and secretary David Cooper unveiled a proposed tax (provisionally called the " Property Uplift Recovery Tax") on overseas investors in the UK housing market.

  • Urban Empty Lot
    Article: Feb 28, 2017


    ALTER member and former Parliamentarian Michael Meadowcroft makes a cogent point in last week's Observer….

    A Better Business Rate Formula, the Observer, 26.02.17

    One of the key problems with the current basis for business rates (''Small Shops recoil in the face of rates that will more than double", Business, last week), is that the valuations are based on rental values. Thus a business that improves its premises and contributes towards the success of the area increases the rental value and therefore brings more expense, whereas a business that neglects its premises and is a factor in the decline·of the area decreases its costs. It is just the opposite of what should be the case.

  • Vice Chair Tony Vickers (left) talks to a delegate
    Article: Feb 26, 2017

    To get our message across ALTER has run a stand for the second South Central Conference in a row. Tony Vickers and David Cooper manned the stand, and there was considerable interest from some delegates. As a result a number of new ALTER members were recruited.

  • Vince Cable gives Keyword Speech at South Central Regional Conference, Oct 2016
    Article: Oct 23, 2016



    ALTER actively fosters awareness of LVT among the Liberal Democrat grass roots and as part of this we ran an ALTER stand at the South Central Regional Conference on 22 October, held near Chandler's Ford. Activists were cheered by the positive Witney by-election result. The key message: there are new members in our party, but very low awarness of LVT, and we have a mountain to climb even in making activists aware of our economic ideas. But we can get new members if we put our case across well!

  • Article: Sep 22, 2016
    By Jock Coats

    Paper by Jock Coats of ALTER was launched at a fringe meeting in Brighton (at the Lib Dem Conference) with Molly Scott Cato MEP (Green Party), Catherine Bearder MEP and Heather Wetzel (Labour Land Campaign)

  • Terraced Houses Glasgow Hillhead
    Article: Aug 3, 2016

    Edward Lucas has published a great article in the Times on why sitting on our hands while the housing crisis spirals out of control is no way forward. He concludes:

    "If we do not deflate the housing bubble and make its beneficiaries pay more, we will sooner or later have a government elected by the majority of the population who are suffering from its effects. It will run housing policy based on what it regards as fairness; property rights will come second - or nowhere."

  • Country cottage
    Article: Mar 11, 2016

    ALTER Vice Chair Dr Tony Vickers has published a position paper which shows how the housing crisis should be solved through tax reforms, beginning with LVT. At present home owners cream off unearned income from the economic activities of others, a harmful effect which reduces GDP by 20%. He shows that any strategy which reforms only business rates will lead to market distortions, and advocates a Homestead Allowance and combining property and income taxes. The full report can be found at The Real Hope for Home-ownership.