16 September 2011 2:14 PM

Lib Dem Chiefs Rally Behind Land Tax

Vince Cable's plans for a mansion tax sparked a revolt at the Liberal Democrats' annual rally two years ago.

But this time the Business Secretary may win more support from party chiefs for a land tax on the wealthy.

Several senior Lib-Dems are making positive sounds about it.

The party's deputy leader Simon Hughes tells The Standard: "The current system of council tax is outdated and unfair - many people on average incomes find paying their council tax a struggle whilst millionaires do not pay a fair share. Liberals and Liberal Democrats have long argued for a fairer system of land and property taxation.

"I welcome any proposals which move the burden of taxation towards developers and large land owners who have made huge profits out of rising land values in the capital and away from many hard working people on lower and middle incomes."

And it is not only Lib-Dem Lefties and the rank-and-file who are warming to a land tax.

Moderate MP Norman Lamb, Nick Clegg's chief-of-staff. said: "I'm attracted by the proposition of a land tax.

"It makes it much harder for the very wealthy to avoid taxation by squirrelling away their assets overseas."

Treasury minister Danny Alexander has also voiced support for a new levy on the wealthy.

Chancellor George Osborne can be expected to lead Tory opposition to a land tax.

But wealthy owners of homes with large gardens, especially in London and the South East, should not doubt the resolve among some Lib-Dems to push this controversial levy.

Nicholas Cecil



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Norman Speight

I really can't vote for a Parliamentary representative who has a commitment to more taxes. Also, I don't recall him making his support for more taxation clear, or, plugging that particular point at any election meeting. I therefore presume that he and his party will be pushing for more taxation as a policy - don't see the electorate being all that enthusiastic for an increase in their bills to support more political spending either.

Duncan Stott

Land tax would be the replacement for council tax, not on top of it. It should also replace inheritance tax, business rates and stamp duty and the 50p incomne tax rate.

Personally I'd also like to see income tax cut much more by raising the personal allowance, with land value tax filling the gap.

Jill Byron

Are you really going to tax the farmers yet again? They are the only ones who can feed the population, so just remember, if you tax them out of existence, you will eventually starve. Farming is an incredibly hard way of life with profit margins getting lower every day, so why should they have to pay land tax on their business, and sadly that is what it is now. They pay their taxes just like anyone else, so why on earth should it be right to tax them twice?!

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