Nicola, if you declare Scotland’s intent to move from Income Taxes to Ground Rents you will initiate constructive fiscal mayhem at Westminster and boost shared prosperity in Scotland

You will be both undermining the central pillar on which Westminster is built and confronting the reason why the UK Idea, as constituted, could never work in Scotland’s interests: Rent-seeking.

10p off Scottish Income Tax (a change you can make today) will mean people, resources and businesses will start being sucked into, rather than out of, Scotland. The replacement revenue will come from a reformed locally-collected Annual Ground Rent (another change you can make today) that will revitalise local governance and democracy.

By collecting revenue direct from unearned, socially-generated ECONOMIC RENT (currently privatised by Acts of the Westminster parliament) at least £6,000,000,000 a year of Scottish deadweight losses will be avoided immediately (one sixth of today’s total Scottish deadweight losses …ALL of which can be avoided by government policy decisions). That is £6bn of additional economic activity a year that will be conducted in Scotland (our conservative estimate of likely gains is, according to economist Martin Feldstein [Harvard], less than half of the figure that would actually be achieved).
Replacing 10p of Income Tax now with locally collected AGR would be the first step in moving to AGR as state revenue, which is the policy that has powered the surging economies of Hong Kong (HK taxes on wages and profits going even lower this year), Singapore and Taiwan. You will also be setting in motion forces that will automatically
1. cancel austerity
2. boost Scottish economic growth
3. fully fund Scottish public services
4. escape annual deficits
5. reduce concentrated land holding (i.e. land reform)
6. halt premature deaths attributable to poverty (e.g. currently 17 years lost to men in Drumchapel)
7. end social exclusion
8. provide full employment
9. share prosperity
10. reverse depopulation
11. remove the burden of debt we are currently placing on our children and future generations of Scots
12. curb pollution and abuse of natural resources
The alternative is to allow Scotland to remain a Rent-seeking zone. In which case responsibility for sustaining the problems that characterise such cultures will begin to be shifted away from Westminster on to the shoulders of Holyrood.

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