Friday, June 07, 2024

Charles Moore on Tories and Labour

What are the two main parties' core beliefs? Lord Moore in The Spectator  The Spectator 1 June 2024 asks for clarification about:

 '...current confusion in which Tories hint at approval of socialist principles and Labour of capitalist ones,...' 

What clear choices are there for the ordinary voters on polling day July 4th?

Maybe the only clear choice is about competence? The decline in skills in managing public affairs over the long Tory regime after 5 prime ministers in 14 years does not inspire 'More of the same please'. Is there a chance that a fresh lot would do a lot better? Here's hoping... As Moore implies they are really playing a similar song with only slight variations and they don't have  anything very new to envision us with. Are the Lib-Dems any different?

If we are really in a capitalist system does that explain the growing need for food banks? If it is socialist why are the food banks needed at all with taxes the highest for 70 years?   Has socialism failed too?  Why is it becoming more difficult to buy a house on an average salary? Why are housing rents ever increasing? OK, we are in a mixed system - part socialist part capitalist - but are there any alterative tweaks to think about?

There is a system change that would begin to sort the inefficient running of the economy which the food banks and shortfalls of the NHS show up - after all,  technological success is not an issue so the issue is fairness. A new way would focus on where taxes comes from, how welfare is handled and how citizenship should be fairly recognised.

Tax reform is need to source a large input to the public purse from Land Value Tax  instead of from income tax and other taxes. The property market mirrors the speculative aspect of capitalism and brings  untaxed gains to homeowners when they have done nothing to produce the added land value. What such free lunch do renters get like that? Separating the land value from the house value  (about a quarter or a third of the Rightmove or Zoopla price) shows the value that should be taxed on an annual basis. The amount would need to match the average income tax currently paid so that for the period of the tax reform  any income tax paid would be a rebate allowed  against the charge for land value.  

There is an added green and a housing benefit to land value taxation in that it would encourage the development of land. A house could be enlarged to build rent-producing rooms under the same land tax charge. With more homes built to cover land tax charges on vacant land with planning permission, houses would become more affordable.  The failure to build enough homes has been a feature over decades  - land value tax is an incentive to build more - whilst Help to Buy schemes merely inflate prices by adding new money into the existing housing stock. 

Welfare reform should be included in this LVT tax shift by instituting a regular unconditional Universal Basic Income (aka: Citizen's Income). This should eventually replace most of the welfare benefits which are clearly inadequate given the food banks and housing benefit needed. The individual fine tuning of welfare benefits now needed would be  reduced  bringing large admin savings. The UBI would not be conditional on work and it would be provided for citizens only. These changes would make fairness for people a new feature of our socio-economic system, reducing the centralising nature of the state and curbing capitalistic power.  

Banking reform could add to the UBI sources (see this Blog elsewhere). For other banking reforms and how banking works see:  Charles Bazlinton - YouTube  .

posted  by Charles Bazlinton  author: The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom 

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