Q. How would the North-South Divide be healed with Annual Ground Rent/Land Value Tax?
A. By collecting and distributing the returns (growing site values – biggest at the economic centre) on taxes invested in amenities by EVERYONE.
A proportional distribution of returns on taxes invested in amenities by the UK regions (including Scotland) would have made the UK Idea a union of equals. Prosperity produced by working together would have been shared.
Instead we have endemic and accelerating inequality: those socially-produced returns go to UK site owners, engendering a community of landlords fattened on unearned wealth (extracted from its producers).
Government failure to collect the AGR/LVT we all produce causes the rabid land speculation at the root of the housing crisis. Public services are starved whilst landlords celebrate. Renters of homes become their indentured servants for life. Communities at the margin decay: businesses there cannot afford the landlords’ replacement taxes on wages and trade. They are destroyed. Employment is gone and citizens there must die on average up to 20 years early.
In Brussels Blitz or £500bn Dividend Fred Harrison and Ian Kirkwood discuss how post-Brexit Britain could flourish as never before.
For 300 years the four nations of the United Kingdom laboured under a tax regime which imposed an artificial ceiling on ceiling on productivity. Those taxes continue to create havoc in people’s lives.
The only viable strategy for the UK is a fiscal reform-led programme that organically restructures the economy to replace rent-seeking with value-adding enterprise. This would re-balance relationships between the regions by eliminating the bias that now favours London. And it would transform the City of London to secure prosperity across the kingdom.
A national conversation is needed to create the democratic mandate that authorises the re-design of the public’s finances. And the leaders of all political parties must agree to work together to eliminate the internal barriers that rupture people’s health and wealth.
The annual damage caused by the tax regime amounts to at least £500bn. The palliative policies that are supposed to mitigate that damage have failed.
Twice in the 20th century the people of Britain mandated the structural reform of their finances. Twice the law was enacted. Twice, Parliament failed to honour the “rule of law”. Will Parliament now grasp the opportunity offered by Brexit to unite the nation in a new kind of prosperity?
Not long now till SLRG’s Professor Roger Sandilands addresses Scot Gov economists and employees (19 October) on Henry George and Annual Ground Rent/Land Value Tax.
It is the one subject we all need to get our heads around if we want something we certainly don’t have now: a boosted economy that shares prosperity.
Good luck Roger!