Monday, June 06, 2005
Land Value Tax is a very good idea & his argument that it does not punish people who add value to property. Antonia Swinson has written on this as well. Personally I would like to see LVT applied specifically to built up areas or within half a mile thereof & excluding green belts. To put LVT on all farming land would bankrupt the farming industry & while there are very good economic arguments that that would be a good thing (government subsidy considerably exceeds the combined income of all farm workers) but I think it would be somewhat heartless. In areas where building is likely it would certainly be have the indicated effect.
As regards housebuilding I think habsolutelylutly right though I personally would like to see some specific encouragement giving to off site manufacturing which would turn housebuilding into a mass manufacturing process. See my undebated proposal 20/11/4.
His ideas about encouraging R&D are new to me & as a general supporter of hi-tech have my full support. He has also chosen to mention this rather than cutting corporation tax specifically because the latter requires Westminster agreement. I do not think this is an either/or choice - I would happily consider both to be good investments. Only caveat I would give is that such grants should be an automatic result of spending on the R&D not a PC government grant - we currently have a windmill industry which is munificently supported by all sorts of grants, particularly granted to small firms in marginals - economically this is all wasted.
Meanwhile there are a few letters from Nationalist dinosaurs pushing the idea that independence was the cause of Ireland's success (starting 68 years after independence) & that the SNP shouldn't sully themselves with such practical matters until such time as 51% of us put our trust in them (or slightly more sensibly in the pro-independence SNP, SSP & Greens combined). Labour must really be wishing for an opposition who thus abrogate the responsibility of government.