the United Kingdom
the average home costs seven times the average annual income. In the U.S.A.
the average person pays three and a half their annual income on a home. In the United
Kingdom the average size
of the home will be 330
square feet per
person, while Americans occupy 750 square feet
per person. In the UK,
on average, homes cost twice as much and are half the size as in the U.S.A.
the land question means the solving of all social questions…
Possession of land by people who do not use it is immoral - just like
the possession of slaves."
- Leo Tolstoy
The UK has a very
that lies at the root of many of its problems; it is the usage and
ownership of “land”. Most are
not aware that
land is a big problem that affects just about every man, woman and
child in the UK. This problem has been effectively suppressed.
The value of land accounts for 2/3 of the value of the average home in
the UK - a very big problem.
Some points relating
to high land prices:
a) House Prices Are Far Too High -
prices for very small high density homes are the norm in the United
house prices are amongst the highest in the world in comparison to
land is a greater
part of the total house price the higher house prices become.
An acre of agricultural
land can be purchased
for £2,000, a complete eco kit home for £20,000,
yet the average price of a
house in the UK
is near to £200,000.
permission to erect a house in the countryside in a country with a land
will be near impossible.
that the high land value is the reason why their homes are so
period of thirty years, real house prices in the UK rose up by around
annum while remaining stable in Germany and Switzerland.
Land Prices Disrupt
Family Life - High land values cascading into high house
prices entails that
both parents of homes in the vast majority of families need to work to
mortgages to keep a very small roof over their heads. Only
about 8% of UK
families have the wife at home full time. This
breakdown in traditional family life results in
the latch-key kids,
who all too often end up as delinquents and in trouble.
Vandalism and graffiti is rife in the UK
giving the country a very poor image.
c) Average Person
Priced Out of Housing Market - The problem of not
allowing to build
on land is surfacing in parts of the country where locals with low
incomes and in
some cases not so low, are being priced out of the housing market. Many cannot afford to live
in the towns,
villages and city districts where they were born and brought up, having
leave splitting family groups. Many
these towns and villages are surrounded by low grade land which lays
through public subsidy. Small
and individual selfbuilders are eager to build on this land to fill the
housing gap; however they are prevented from doing so.
This artificial shortage of available
reduces home ownership. Home
in the UK
is at 68% which is lower than Spain,
and New Zealand
and very close to rates in Italy,
The land is not serving the population. Not only that, it
financially penalises the
Far Too Small - The averaged
sized new home in the UK is a
paltry 76 square metres, while in
Germany with a similar population density
new homes are 109 square metres, nearly half as much again in size. In Australia the average
sized new home is 205.7 square metres, in the Netherlands
115 square metres and in Denmark
137 square metres. Danish rooms are twice as big as the hutches now on
the United Kingdom. In Japan,
a country once notorious for small homes, the average sized new home is
averaged size living room in the UK
is a miniscule 13 foot
by 15 foot;
a room which has to function as TV
room, children’s play room, entertainment room and relaxation
room. If the
averaged sized man stands in the
middle of a typical British living room and stretched out an arm he
either a wall or ceiling. British
many programmes dedicated to giving a larger feel to a room by careful
of furnishing and colour co-ordination.
This is an attempt to create an impression of space
The housing charity, Shelter, estimate
500,000 households are
Debt Is Mainly Mortgages - The
media is full of tales of high consumer debt in the UK. Few state that 80% is
actually mortgages, not
debt for luxury goods; giving the impression the population of the UK
are financially reckless and decadent.
short, the average person pays extortionate amounts for a tiny roof to
Land Prices Discourage Commerce and Industry -
High land prices result
in high rents, which are passed onto commerce and industry. Many foreign investors and
been discouraged from establishing in the UK
because of uncompetitive rents.
g) Barrier to Building
Affordable Homes - Preventing the population
affordable homes in the countryside forces them into urban areas where
will be given publicly owned or subsidised homes, paid for from taxes. We pay from public money,
which could be
better spend on needy projects, to house people who would otherwise pay
build their own homes. This
a ludicrous situation. Taxpayers
keeps land idle and is also used to house the population. Better use can be made of
is at Root of Traveller Problems - Approximately 300,000
people in the UK
travel the roads in caravans, effectively homeless.
That is the equivalent population of a city
out on the road. Some traveller societies, mainly the original
Gypsies, have deep routes and traditions of travelling, most do not. Many have become a
nuisance to the wider
society and are firmly unwanted and unwelcome wherever they set up camp. The root cause that
initially forced theses
people onto the roads was access to land to live on.
The Irish travelling communities originated
land was owned by a handful of people forcing these people off the land
lived on. Many of
the travellers in the UK
originate from Ireland. Most traveller families
want a permanent place
to live. The
evictions of Travellers caravans
from land they actually own when attempting a permanent settlement
demonstrates this. If
allowed to build permanent homes the problem would be alleviated.
Immigration is encouraged by boom and bust construction -
The planning and land system in the UK does not promote a stable
constant construction industry, which is the bedrock of many
countries as it is labour intensive. Because of the nature
planning and construction and lack of available land released to build
upon, housing is always falling behind demand in many respects. When
the situation worsens the government steps in to
rectify the housing problem - invariably using taxpayers money. This
boom and bust means that when there is a housing boom, the
desparately short of construction skills and labour. These
skills are then
imported from aboard, and currently around one million Eastern
are filling the gap. If the planning system was relaxed
freely available to build upon in urban and country areas, then
construction would be a constant and stable industry, out of
hands of a few construction companies and not requiring large scale
immigration to fill temporary skills shortages.
Strange that land can be the root of excessive house
prices, however very true.
Strange that land can be the root cause of much child and
teenage vandalism, however very true.
Strange that land can be the root cause of forcing people
out of their home towns and villages, splitting up families,
however very true.
Strange that land can result in homes being far too small,
however very true.
Strange that land can be the root cause of disrupted
families, however very true.
Strange that land can discourage business and growth,
however very true.
Strange that land accounts for vast profits by financial
institutions lending money for homes with inflated prices,
however very true.
Strange in that land increases the tax burden on
subsidised homes, however very true.
Strange in that land created, and maintains, the problem
of the travellers, however very true.
Strange that land encourages immigration with the social
problems different cultures and religions bring with
it, however very true.
The above is all very true, yet on the
surface few would relate the problems to land and its usage.
UK HAS A LAND SURPLUS
Contrary to popular belief, the UK
has approximately only 7.5% of its land settled upon. The
Urban plot of 4 million acres
is only 6.6%. The UK actually has a
of land. Despite
claims of concreting over the South East
of England, only 7.1% is settled with the Home Counties being
North West of England is densest with
So why does land
for 2/3 of the value
of the average home, with all the negative spins offs, if we have all
Quite simply, the deliberate creation of
an artificial land
shortage, which ramps up land prices.
creates this artificial land shortage?
The 1947 Town and Country Planning act,
introduced by a “Labour”
government, who promised land nationalisation during the 1945 general
herds the population into small isolated highly dense pockets of land
the Labour government
allowed the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) to be
in drafting the act. CPRE
was formed by
large landowners. They
act to suit themselves. The
administration at the time accepted their input. Over
90% of the population now live in
urbanised areas, the second highest percentage in Europe,
leaving the countryside virtually empty, because of this draconian act. This crams near 55 million
of the population into around
7% of the land, which is only 4.2 million acres out of a UK
total of 60 million acres. 60
people own just 6% of the land.
pitiful lack of land for new housing is not helped by the 30 million
acres that have ‘disappeared’.
- Peter Snow (referring to the Land Registry & Planning)
The act prevents us from building on the
though much of it is being paid to remain idle by taxpayers money. A countryside that has
lost its population at an
alarming rate over the past 30 years. The
population of the UK
are forced into tight urban pockets paying extortionate prices for
land, and subsequently
houses. Their taxes
are used to reinforce
this bizarre situation by paying to:
- Keep land unused to maintain an
artificial land shortage
inflating house prices.
- House large sections of the population unnecessarily
Overwhelmingly control where the population live
This adds insult to injury. A contemptuous slap in the
The Town & Country Planning act is
in effect an act to
control the population, rather than ensure adequate agricultural land
areas of natural beauty or promote first class habitation. The latter it certainly
does not do.
Who are the
benefactors of this
artificial land shortage?
The ludicrously small figure of 0.65% of
population own 68.3% of the land, many are aristocratic families dating
hundreds of years. Despite
stating that the British aristocracy is poverty stricken and exists no
they have managed to hang on to their lucrative acres very well, and in
cases expand their empires.
The root of this situation came about from
conquest. The Normans
gave land to people who were favorable to them. In
short, many of these families were traitors
to their own kind conspiring with invaders.
The Saxons had a very different approach to land,
its ownership and
usage. However, the
Feudal system imposed by the Normans meant 100% of taxes came from the
land, and not from any income tax. The
land owners, mainly Lords, moved taxes away from land to increase their
wealth, moving taxation onto individuals. Later, the
enclosures of common
lands and the Highland croft
clearances completed the
land rout with these people greedily stealing land. The
situation has never been
still has this landowning aristocratic legacy, which still,
stating otherwise, has a large effect and influence on the British
landowners are part of the British
establishment and do everything in their power to keep the status quo. The late Enoch Powel
described the British
establishment as “the power that need not speak its
very astute description.
Most of these landowners produce little
making their vast
profits by taking rent. When
reports that times are hard for farmers, they omit the word
“tenant”. It should
be “tenant farmers”.
When times are bad
the landowner always gets his rent, or takes the farm back, paying no
it when idle, and leaves it until times are better.
To justify their monopolies in land
landowners state they are only custodians of the land and only they can
maintain the land properly. “Maintaining
the land properly” is rather open and vague, if they ever do
such a thing of
course. Their excuse to grab land intially,
in the English enclosures and Highland Clearances, was to
improve and mainatin land. If these
people are only
custodians and looking after the land for our benefit, then why
aren’t the public
allowed on uncultivated land? These custodians fence
off all their lands and only
allow access to the population when forced to
by law. Their
claims clearly do not hold
water. The British prime minister in 1909 stated about
British landowners hoarding land and their so-called
productivity of land:
of acres ... more stripped and sterile than they were, and providing a
living for fewer people than they did 1000 years ago - acres which
abroad would either be clad in profitable trees or be brought ... to a
higher state of cultivation."
- Lloyd George
has never had a revolution, which tend to strip away the vested
interests of the entrenched
landowning rich. No
political party has
had the stomach to face up to large landowners, who are a legacy of our
unjust past. Landed
the top brass of the military. In
1960s and 1970s, there were two planned military coups against the
as many in the British establishment thought, amongst other
he would nationalise land. However, there was full employment, a sound
economy and the population were not discontent, only aspects of the
Establishment were. After
1945 Atlee promised land reform, but ran out of time, so Wilson,
a major part of the Atlee government, should carry out the promise when
Labour party returned to power, which he mysteriously never did.
Tony Blair ejected from the House of Lords
peers, who between them owned the equivalent of 4.5 average sized
counties. The Royal
approximate the size of one average sized English county. The Duke of Argyle owns
vast tracts of Scotland. Historically landowners
have been a problem;
the Irish famine was a direct result of large landowners. The problem is still with
us and in many
respects even greater. With
being omnipresent in the Palace
land reform would always be difficult if near impossible. Tony Blair ejecting
hereditary peers is the
first step in land reform, as one barrier has been partially
consider how the so-called owners of the land got hold of it. They
seized it by force, afterwards hiring lawyers to provide them with
In the case of the enclosure of the common lands, which was going on
1600 to 1850, the land-grabbers did not even have the excuse of being
conquerors; they were quite frankly taking the heritage of their own
countrymen, upon no sort of pretext except that they had the power to
– George Orwell.
for the few
surviving commons, the high roads, the lands of the National Trust, a
number of parks, and the sea shore below high-tide mark, every square
England is `owned' by a few thousand families. These people are just
useful as so many tapeworms. It
desirable that people should own their own dwelling houses, and it is
desirable that a farmer should own as much land as he can actually
– George Orwell.
Approximately 80% of all homes built in
are built by about only 20 companies. In
no other country in the western world does such a monopoly exist. The sort of situation seen
House Builders Federation
influences the building regulations so heavily in order to maintain the
that the UK
backwards in house building technology compared to large parts of Western
and North America. The
Federation opposes any increase in building regulations that they
eat into their members vast profits. They
opposed all increases in insulation standards and in 1990 described the
proposed insulation increase as “a cosmetic
Graham Chapman, the founder of the Lotus
motor car company,
wanted to make the best sports cars, and aimed to do so, with making
money a secondary object. Large
only want profit not
caring about the poor quality dross they serve up.
None want to build the best designed and
constructed houses. As
no Graham Chapman
is present in the British construction industry, they will have to be
legislated into leading edge advanced designs and construction.
When deputy Prime Minister, John
Prescott verbally ordered developers to adopt advanced
improve the renowned poor quality of new homes. Otherwise
he said he would intervene. However, no
legislation was passed to force the issue,
famed left hook might. All encouraging at the time,
however without firm
legislation as the driver, quite hollow. Firm legislation is
required not soundbites.
It comes as no surprise that amongst the
richest people in
landowners and construction company owners. The
richest man in the USA
is Bill Gates a creator of software products that the population
– he is
productive, he is creative. In
the richest man is the Duke of Westminster, who primarily takes in rent.
c) A Poor
Far too much land is given over to
agriculture, about 78%, which only
accounts for about 2.5% of the UK
economy. This poor
subsidised industry is absorbing land that could be better used
commerce and for much needed spacious higher quality homes for the
population. Much of
the land is paid
to remain idle out
of our taxes. The UK
could actually abandon most of agriculture and import most of its food,
is obtainable cheaper elsewhere.
50% of the EU budget is allocated to the
Policy (CAP). CAP
is supporting a
lifestyle of a very small minority of country dwellers in a poor
industry. In effect
that is its prime
The city of Sheffield,
a one industry city of steel, was virtually killed by allowing imports
cheaper steel from abroad. This
great misery and distress to its large population. Yet
agriculture is subsidised to the hilt
having land allocated to it which clearly can be better utilised for
greater good of British society.
The justification for subsidising
agriculture is that we
need to eat. We
also need steel and cars
in our modern society, yet the auto and steel industries were allowed
away to cheaper competition from abroad, and especially the Far
taxpayers money be propping up an economically
small industry that consumes vast tracts of land that certainly could
used? What is good
for the goose is good
for the gander.
The overall agricultural subsidy is over
billion per year. This
£5 billion to an
industry whose total turnover is only £15 billion per annum. Unbelievable. This implies
in the agricultural industry, about 40% on the £15 billion
figure. Applied to
the acres agriculture absorbs, and
approximately 16 million acres are uneconomic. Apply
real economics to farming and you
theoretically free up 16 million
acres, which is near 27% of the total UK
This is land that certainly could be put
use for the population of the UK.
Allowing the population to spread out and live amongst nature is highly
desirable and simultaneously
lowering land prices. This
house prices which the UK
desperately needs. Second
could be within reach of much of the population, as in Scandinavia,
creating large recreation and construction industries, and keeping
the population in
touch with the nature of their own country. In
population have access to large forests which are heavily used at
and woods are ideal
for recreation and absorb CO2 cleaning up the atmosphere. Much land could be turned
over to public forests.
this artificial land shortage tolerated by the population of the UK?
Quite simply the large landowners have
waged a subtle highly
successful propaganda campaign. This has convinced the population of
that they do not have enough land, that nothing should be built on
countryside and that sterile greenbelts should keep them accessing the
may appear too strong
a word, however propaganda it certainly is. Large
landowners point to very large countries like
as proof the UK
is small with open countryside scarce.
When viewing the UK
in isolation it is not small and can easily support its 60 million
population and even
lots more. Open
countryside is in
persons per square
kilometre the UK
is about equal to Germany,
not viewed as being small and short of land.
The propaganda campaign has been so successful, you
will find poor
people in inner city sink estates agreeing that the countryside should
built on; people who probably have never even stepped on a field.
Emotive terms have been formed and
liberally used such as concreting
over the countryside and urban sprawl. With only about 7.5% of the
land settled, we
can’t concrete over the countryside even if we wanted
to. About two thirds
of all new
housing is built within existing urban areas with the remainder mainly
the edge of urban areas. Very
built on open countryside.
Cities have a natural footprint limit. The generally accepted
limit is that if it
takes over an hour to travel from one side to the other its expansion
tails off. In olden
times this hour was
on foot or on horseback, now it is in cars or on public transport. So we can’t
“sprawl” too far either. In England
the area of greenbelt has doubled since 1980, with nearly 21
million acres absorbed in total. The
actually has greenbelt sprawl.
extensively introduced in the 1950s, were intended to be narrow and
used for recreation by the inhabitants of the towns and cities they
belts were expanded in width, but
continued to be used for farming. The
shire counties used greenbelts to hold back the disliked populations of
towns and cities. Recreational
disappeared and the greenbelts became green barriers to keep large
numbers of urban
inhabitants from mixing with a very small number of rural residents. This is a clear case of
the few exercising
their will over a massive majority. Often
these greenbelts were not even green, containing industry and intensive
agriculture. Instead of being a sports jacket for the urban dwellers geenbelts became a straight jacket..
The biggest propaganda organs are: the
Council for the
Protection of Rural England and the Countryside Alliance. Green
movements like Friends
of the Earth have been accused of being fronts for large landowners. Large landowners use green
groups to keep the population out of the countryside. The
former is an organisation formed by large landowners and the latter is
by large landowners. Their
angle is keep
the status quo by keeping townies out of the countryside, and also
villagers in villages. A
report described the countryside as, “the near exclusive
preserve of the more
affluent sections of society.”
The Council for the Protection of Rural England have protected little
of the character of the English countryside since world war two,
despite their claims. In 1940 the German air force took photo
reconnaissance photos of largely southern England. The captured photos,
when compared to the ordnance survey maps of 1870, 70 years before,
clearly indicated there was little difference in topology. When
compared to the ordnance survey maps of today, there are vast
changes. The 1947 T&C planning act just allowed
raping agriculturalists, who contribute no more than around 2.5% to the
UK economy, to go wild.
The Council for the Protection of Rural
England claim to be acting in the interest of the
wildlife and the countryside in general.
This is far from the case.
the obscene profits of large landowners they are primarily interested
protecting little of rural England.
Medieval times 100% of all taxes came from taxes on land. Up until the
late 1600s 3/4 of all taxes came from land taxes. The aristocracy
peeled back taxes on land and put it onto individual people's efforts,
income tax. By the mid 1800s, only 5% of taxes came from
The shift away from land created the scourge of the modern
economy - boom and bust.
Land reform must mesh with
relaxed planning laws that allow the population to build on all land. Laws passed relating to
land are rendered
sterile if relaxed planning laws are not implemented. Areas
of natural beauty, SSSI's, national
parks, industrial and commercial sectors, etc, of course should have
restrictions, which still leaves a vast amount of subsidised field
build on. Building
on a larger mass of
land will eliminate the unappealing high density, high impact developer
estates; the sort that make people shudder, with many having to buy as
have Hobson’s choice.
Many against building on the
countryside envisage high density, high
developer estates. The
vision of these
estates stirs negative emotions. That
clearly would not occur if the people are allowed to spread out on the
land. With cheaper
land, people would
build larger houses on larger plots for less money. Having
the large developers curtailed will
result in a mixed assortment of higher quality homes.
the world’s largest pharmaceuticals
group, abandoned plans to locate its European
headquarters to Britain because of planning
of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Five was delayed for years by
planning objections, with Swedish furniture giant
IKEA struggling for permission for 20 more stores. The
system not only strangles the population in choosing a place to live
also discourages wealth creating industry.
The autonomous house is
combined heat & power units, grey water re-cycling, rainwater
wireless communications, mobile phones, amongst others, are all here. These houses have a low
impact on the
utilities is no longer necessary. Locating
homes with all modern conveniences, just
about anywhere in the UK is now feasible. Herding the population into
they offered basic utilities no longer need be the case.
eco minded people would emphasise that more transport journeys would be
needed if the population are more evenly spread amongst the land.
Great leaps in battery and supercapacitors which promote
hybrid and full electric cars is now a reality. These products are on
sale with more constantly coming onto the market with
increasingly advanced designs. Supercapacitor technology, clawing back
and storing normally wasted braking energy and light-rail
have reduced the running and maintenance costs of electric trains.
Electric vehicles have zero emissions creating a
A farmer can build a 40 foot ugly concrete
without planning permission. The
agricultural industry in some areas has blotted the landscape as far as
can see with polythene tunnels to grow fruits of which some are not
the UK. If a good looking house
was built to the
local vernacular visually enhancing the countryside, without planning
permission, it would be pulled down by the authorities. Houses
are deemed to blot the countryside and
undesirable, yet raw concrete and polythene is not, and is accepted.
be living amongst nature, not having to drive out to see it. Walking on land is another
matter, as most of
it is fenced off.
"The vast majority of the British
people have no right whatsoever to their native land save to walk the
or trudge the roads”
– Henry George.
organisations are demanding all city brownfield sites be built on.
Many think all new developments can be on brownfield sites despite only
14% of demand being catered for on current brownfield sites. This
should be resisted as we now have an ideal
opportunity to leave
most of these sites vacant, cleaned up and made natural again by
into parks, woods and encouraging wildlife for the local population to
enjoy. This is an
ideal opportunity to improve
brownfield areas, improving the quality of life of urban dwellers.
wrongs of the incompetent planners of the past. Areas
like Hampstead Heath could be actively
in towns and cities would also be a
great bonus. The
differentiation between town and country requires abolition as the Town
Country planning act attempts to divide. Using
the words town and country sets the tone. It
creates conflict. It creates
When presenting an advanced German Huf
Haus house on TV,
Quentin Wilson stated that modern architecture in Britain
ceased after world war two. Quentin
totally correct. The
1947 Town &
Country Planning act curtailed advancement in design, being hostile to
change. Top British
Brenda and Robert Vale left the UK
to practice abroad, disillusioned at a planning system that firmly
The 2004 PPS7 planning law, may hopefully
pave the way for
the population to live back in the countryside and build individual
homes on greenfield
sites. The proviso
is that it must be an
eco house, well designed, modern, with advanced construction
from the act:
Policy Statement 7: Sustainable
Development in Rural Areas
Very occasionally the exceptional quality and
innovative nature of the design of a proposed, isolated new house may
this special justification for granting planning permission. Such a
should be truly outstanding and ground-breaking, for example, in its
materials, methods of construction or its contribution to protecting
enhancing the environment, so helping to raise standards of design more
generally in rural areas. The value of such a building will be found in
reflection of the highest standards in contemporary architecture, the
significant enhancement of its immediate setting and its sensitivity to
defining characteristics of the local area.”
law, which on paper actively encourages advanced
eco design and construction, is a positive step.
If PPS7 is implemented anything like the
previous PPG7, Gummers law, which permitted building houses in the
then hope is lost rendering this law a cosmetic exercise. Approximately 100 houses
were built in the
countryside under Gummers law from 1997 to 2004, a figure is so low not
build, however the planners would block proposals at every angle and
opportunity rendering the law virtually useless.
Kate Barker Review of Land Use Planning Final Report - Recommendations,
document of December 2006 holds a belief that any building project that
has little or no impact on others should be given the go-ahead, whether
it is a private extension, the restoration of an empty building in a
town, or even in some cases the development of low-value farmland
within green belt areas.". This aspect is encouraging and compounded by
the PPS7 law may open the way for the population to build on the
policy based on the French approach is worth pursuing.
There are no central quotas for housing, with
houses being built almost anywhere provided the local community
system works well and
caters for the needs of communities.
The German and Swiss systems are also admirable.
The 1947 Town & Country Planning
act is Stalinist in nature being based on quotas which local
authorities have to acheive. Demand, market forces, plays little part
in this act. Amazingly, Mrs Thatcher in the 1980s reinforced this
Stalinist planning act.
British planning system does little to assist in alleviating the
Kate Barker Recommendations Report document of December 2006
encouraging in many respects, however it falls short in many areas,
with a lot of emphasis on cutting red tape rather than encouraging a
system that would improve the quality of life of the population.
Barker did point to the inadequate planning system for creating the
the world’s 15 most expensive prime commercial property
locations, five are in England.
West End occupation costs of £98 per square foot are the most
in the world. They are around 40% more than any other city in
the world, and double that of Paris, the next most expensive European
site occupation costs in Manchester and Leeds are around 40 per cent
more than mid-town Manhattan.
1. Nationalise Land
Land Value Tax
In theory, the Queen, the state, owns all
the land in the UK. A nation state has
sovereignty over its own
short, the state owns all the
land. So how can
individual people own
its land too? Sounds
like horse trading. A
workaround was to grant an infinite lease
on the land, the title, and the ability to sell on the lease. Effectively this is land
individuals or organisations.
All and every
right attached to the land is not in the title.
For the state to take direct control of
land would be a
difficult task to undertake. It
not be generally accepted by the population, although they own it
would be akin to compensating slave traders when slavery was abolished;
British government did. The concept of “land
ownership” has been in the western
psyche for hundreds of years, and redirecting their mindset would be
The Labour Party’s 1945
manifesto, stated “Labour believes
in land nationalisation and will work towards it” and
“as a first step the
State and the local authorities must have wider and speedier powers to
land for public purposes wherever the public interest so
took that ‘first step’, however future
governments have been unwilling to take the second and much larger one. Nationalising land would
mean some form of
lease back arrangement, in which the government would receive rents. Of course, a relaxed
planning system must
accompany such nationalisation, to allow the population to freely live
2. REDISTRIBUTE LAND
Most major western nations have
re-distributed land having
laws preventing large areas of land being in the hands of a few people. These countries generally
have a higher
quality of life than the UK
because of their sensible land laws.
British government started the ball rolling in the late 1800s to
land in Ireland. It was accomplished in
2000 with the Irish
Land Commission being disbanded completing the task.
The land had to be bought from the larger
landowners, none was confiscated.
re-distribution in Ireland
has been attributed as one of the platforms of its economic success. Large landowners were a
direct cause of the
Irish famine, which eventually resulted in the Irish rebellion. Land being in the hands of
a few is not ideal
from many aspects.
The British government is to pay for land
re-distribution in Zimbabwe
using British taxpayers money. The
British government can re-distribute land elsewhere in the world, but
do so in its own backyard. A
screaming out for land and planning reform.
In 1945 the USA
and how it should cope with the future.
They assessed that land ownership was a major
obstacle, being in the
hands of a few people. To
great effect land
re-distribution was forced on the Japanese, being attributed as one of
keystones of their post war economic miracle.
Land re-distribution is effective. It may mean large landowners
will have to sell
parts of their estates, with laws capping land ownership levels. Of course, a relaxed
planning system must
accompany such re-distribution, to allow the population to
freely live on the
need to unlock and allot
land on a far wider scale than anyone in this country has so far
(head of Thatcher's policy unit)
VALUE TAX (LVT) - GEOMONICS
blend of radicalism and conservatism can puzzle one, until it is seen
as a reconciliation of the two. The system is internally consistent,
but defies conventional stereotypes."
- Professor Mason Gaffney (US economist)
1929 financial crash and 2008 Credit Crunch crash, were land
fuelled as land and house prices spiraled out of control. When the
economy expands demand for land increases, LVT, the core of Geonomics, prevents this occurring.
LVT is a silver bullet to prevent booms and busts. Henry
George, an American, devised LVT in the modern sense. The precursor of the board game Monopoly, was the Landlord's Game, named 'Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit' in the UK. The board game was designed to teach people the theories of Henry George.
LVT is one tax, a tax on the value of
land, no personal income tax, no Council Tax. LVT taxes only the "value"
of the land based on the current market value, not the building on the land
or any improvements. If a new conservatory or extension is built on a house the owner pays no extra tax as they would do currently. Someone
northern Scotland on one acre will pay very
the land is not worth so much. Someone
in central London with one acre pays
substantially more. A larger house will not be penalised,
unlike the current Council Tax system.
initially proposed government ownership of all land, as the population,
anyhow. Getting it
across and accepted
would have been virtually impossible. Redistribution of land,
many view as Communism, and would accuse the state of
seizing land. Henry
realised that the
will not accept that you cannot
own land. It is in
the psyche of the western world,
especially the Anglo Saxon world. That
is where LVT excels. Own
land by all
means, but if you own half of Scotland just to shoot birds on, tax will
be due on
that land, which currently is not the case. LVT
will force large landowners to sell and not
hoard land, discouraging speculators. It will
also encourage productive use of the land; if they cannot then they sell it to someone
make productive use of it.
It prevents land hoarding and
encourages development in urban areas.
not tax an individuals
and hence their productivity and personal growth, which the current
system does, holding
the population's labour and lifestyle is taxed. The more you work, the
more tax you pay - a disincentive to work hard. If
I build a nice
extension to my house so my family can enjoy and improve their quality
of life, the Council Tax is raised. This
is bordering on ludicrous as it is a disincentive to improve the
house curtailing the construction industry. With two
one-acre plots side by side, I
may want to build an eight-roomed house for my family to enjoy and the man
next door a two-bedroom bungalow, so he can enjoy the land for
the current system, I pay more than next door in Council Tax. Under LVT we pay the same
as the bricks on the land is not regarded as taxable, only the land is. A
large house creates jobs in building the structure and ongoing
maintenance, yet the current system suppresses job creation and
curtails the quality of life by penalising those who build
houses and make improvements to homes and land. The
large is all relevant. A
large house in the UKwould be an
average house in the USA.
Sweden, highly successful Hong Kong and some
Australian states, amongst others, use LVT,
although none yet as a single tax. LVT is one of the reasons
Kong and Singapore were able to have very low income tax rates
and places of opportunity for those who worked hard
money - the foundations of their success.
of the few mass transit systems to operate without a penny of subsidy
is Hong Kong's, using only LVT to raiuse the funds. Once the best
example of Geonomics, Hong Kong, leases plots to building
owners collecting an immense amount of rent, enough to keep taxes
on merchandise and incomes quite low. Before reverting to mainland
communist control, Fortune Magazine routinely
named Hong Kong "the world's best city for business". Although a highly
populous city, Hong Kong raises most of its own food in its suburbs.
Some US cities are
now using a dual rate tax, with property
taxes being based solely on the land values. Harrisburgh in Virginia is
using LVT to finance transport infrastructure. Land Value Tax can easily fund
infrastructure, which actually raises values of land, which is
LVT in lieu of taxing people's productivity, which is income
taxes, the urban economy automatically generates higher quality design,
affordable housing, stable and safe neighbourhoods, higher urban
density, mass-transit transport systems, lower costs
for builders and planning made easier. To realise these benefits many authorities are turning to LVT. The most recent were Mexicali and Estonia.
LVT spreads the proceeds of a
society’s productivity more evenly than at present. It does not
person’s effort to advance.
“Land should be taxed as much as
possible, and improvements as little as possible.”
my opinion the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved
value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago."
have made speeches by the yard on the
subject of land-value taxation, and you know what a supporter I am of
- Milton Friedman (economist)
- Winston Churchill
1909 the Liberal government under Lloyd George and Winston Churchill
attempted to introduce LVT to put the land to its best economic use.
The House of Lords, or more accurately House of
Landlords, opposed forcing in legislate to reform
of Lords. The King, a large landowner, said to Lloyd George, that LVT
was "a menace to property and a Socialistic spirit". The Lords fought
and delayed with the key aspect to the finance bill not being
implemented, which was the critical land valuation tax, LVT.
The only war
Winston Churchill ever lost was against the
- Fred Harrison (economist)
effect of Tony Blair ejecting hereditary Lords from Parliament cannot
be underestimated in forcing through future land reforms or Land Value
Taxation. A major barrier has been eliminated.
Land Value Tax:
Below: UK price index graph from 1983
to 2007, immediately prior to the Credit Crunch financial crash.
Spreads the proceeds of a
society’s productivity more evenly
land housing booms and busts
land and housing highly affordable
graph from March 1983 to March 2007, shows the rise in land prices and
house prices, which are way above supressed earnings and
As the economy rises land
values (house prices) follow the economy.
debt is incurred to buy land. Over the business cycle the biggest
capital gains are in land. Debt is accrued to exploit the demand for
land. Debt rises exponentially. Land values then leads overtaking the
rest of the economy. The scales are tipped and an economic crash
results. Currently we have an 18 year boom and bust cycle in land
(house) prices. The 1929 and 2008 financial crashes were a result of
land (house) prices spiralling out of control. We have an
Anglo/American culture of accepting making money from nothing - owning
land. This culture has to change to a productive culture.
- What people put into the
economy is taxed - People's
productiveness is taxed - their income and profits from their
savings. What people put into the economy, their effort.
- What people
take out of the economy is not taxed - the value of the land is not
taxed. This value came about because of the communities
activities, not the land owner.
Introducing Land Value Tax will solve many problems. Land
prices) will not spiral out of control, people's efforts, working, will
not be taken from them in tax.
graph displays there was a land price boom in 1989
and the subsequent crash in 1992.
Land prices rose sharply from 1997 to just before the Credit Crunch
crash. The crash was inevitable. As
the land of this country is provided free of charge by nature, rising
house (land) prices do not raise national wealth one single penny. They
serve no useful economic purpose and are an obvious target for taxation, eliminating taxation on people's production.
Value Tax would put a stop on the root cause of boom and busts.
THE WAY FORWARD
Sort out the land and planning systems and
that appear unrelated in British society disappear.
It is not a panacea to right all the
country’s ills; however it will be a superb base on which to
spring from, as
other countries have effectively demonstrated, and right many, many of
problems of our unfair and uneven society.
LVT will clearly prevent land fulled economic booms and
busts, and keep land and house prices to sensible levels.
A stumbling block to any reform is general
home owners perceive that
planning and land reform will devalue their homes and result in
equity. The country
with house price values. The
reality is cash with value being an
abstract concept. In some
areas negative equity may be the case,
although some opinion is
that this would not occur. A
from LVT taxes could compensate those who drop into the trap in the
initial transfer of one system to another is a suggestion. As land prices rise with
time, negative equity
would cease to be a problem.
Clearly the public need to be informed
that land, the God
given stuff under their feet, without which we cannot survive, is the
problem in their own advancement and actually curtails their current
standards and quality of life. That
the man in the inner city sink estate, the man in the terraced house,
in the box semi, the man in the executive home and the country villager. Once the public is aware
and this suppressed
problem becomes an open issue, then the road is clear for land reform
what method is selected. Until
and land tax reformers are sailing into the wind. Emphasis
must be moved to educate and alert
the average man and how he is directly affected.
DATA ON LAND USAGE
land cover of
Great Britain is 23.5m hectares. Taken from the Office of National
in 2002, usage was as follows:
1.8m hectares. 7.65% of the land mass.
10.8m hectares. 45.96%
of the land mass.
land, with much uses as
agricultural land - 7.0m
hectares. 29.78% of
the land mass.
2.8m hectares. 11.91%
of the land mass
0.3m hectares. 1.28%
of the land mass.
largely transport infrastructure - 0.8m hectares.
3.42% of the land mass.
Many question the accuracy of the above figures as government
differing figures. Nevertheless
figures are a good guide.
The settled land figure includes gardens
and other green
spaces, which are estimated at around 5%.
When adjusted a figure of only 2.5% of paved land