The holiday season, followed by the events of the last few days, has meant that I haven’t blogged about my regular preoccupations for quite a while now.
Happily however, there is news. ALTER has just published Prof Iain McLean’s submission to the Lib Dem Tax Commission on their website, while the Centre for Um have launched a new section on their Free Think website dedicated to land value taxation, kickstarted by a 50 page pamphlet by ALTER Chair Tony Vickers.
I haven’t had a chance to digest either paper yet, but one statistic from Prof McLean’s saubmission did scream out: going on the government’s official definition of poverty (admittedly something which Andy Mayer here brings into question with some good cause), only 2% of the population can be described as cash-poor asset-rich, the intended beneficiaries of switching from council tax to local income tax. Everyone else is either cash-poor asset-poor (who should be our main target for social justice measures) or cash-rich asset-rich. What ever else you may say about local income tax, basing an election campaign around a policy that either doesn’t help or actually hurts 98% of the population is a little daft.
I get a sense from the blogosphere that there is a real groundswell here, not so much to abandon local income tax (personally I favour quite radical localisation of income tax), but to move away from the commitment to abandon domestic property taxation altogether. Can we convince the rest of the party?