Home: Coalition for Economic Justice
The Coalition for Economic Justice was formed in 2008. Since 2017, the Coalition has been working in the UK Houses of Parliament as Secretariat to the APPG on Land Value Capture. It published its first full year report, "Capturing Land Value for the Public Benefit", in Nov 2018.
For full details on the work of our Parliamentary APPG, please see www.c4ej.com/appg
About the Coalition
The Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ) comprises political groups, pressure groups and charities who came together in 2008 in response to the economic crisis of that year and who have continued to work together for the establishment of justice in economic affairs.
The CEJ proposes the introduction of an annual Location Value Tax (LVT) (also known by several other names, including Land Value Tax) as a means to reduce existing taxes on enterprise and labour in order to rebalance the economy and prevent future economic crises.
CEJ's Explainer Video
The CEJ commissioned a documentary explaining the relevance of LVT in the UK. Titled 'The Taxing Question of Land', it was screened at the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) HQ in London and attended by UK Government cabinet members, amongst other leading figures. It was excellently received, with LVT featuring in the manefestos of the Labour Party, Liberal Democratcs, and Greens at the subsequent General Election. The documentary has been viewed nearly 50,000 times, and can be commented here.
The case for Location Value Tax
Every economic crisis in living memory has been preceded by an unsustainable and speculative rise in property values, commercial/industrial as well as residential. The link between property values and bank and building society lending is strong and causal. Excessive lending fuels property prices.
The rise in property prices is in fact a rise in the land element of the price, since the cost of building materials, and builders' wages, has risen hardly at all. An annual tax on the rental value of land would exert a restraining influence on property values and give some control over this key determinant of economic stability. Such a tax would also cut the ground from under excessive and imprudent bank lending and remove much of the speculation in land. With LVT introduced to reduce taxes on enterprise and labour, an overall tax increase is not required.
In the present market economy the justification for a rise in prices is that it brings forth increased supply. As the land supply is fixed there can be no such increase. As economists from Adam Smith onwards have recognised, land is a monopoly. Rising property prices therefore serve no useful economic purpose and are the natural and obvious target for taxation. The LVT collected on an annual basis would help to reduce those taxes, many of which are unpopular (e.g., council tax and stamp duty) as well as income tax, national insurance and business rates which directly discourage production.
LVT is a progressive tax falling most heavily where the benefit to the community is greatest and most lightly where the benefit is least. As the tax is based on permitted land use - not on current use (or non-use) value - LVT will penalise those who hold land out of use. It will therefore encourage land use and stimulate economic activity. With LVT introduced, there will be little or no incentive to speculate in land and hence property. Much of the credit which currently supports land (property) values would no longer be needed and would be available to finance the production of goods and services. LVT is easy and cheap to collect and difficult, indeed virtually impossible, to avoid.
The economic case for LVT is strong. So is the ethical case. Since it is the community that creates the enhanced land value, it is only right that the Government (through an annual LVT) collect it for communal use. E.g. to fund infrastructure and local services that benefit the whole community. The political basis for taking this forward, while feasible, requires deeper consideration. Within our member organisations (listed in the left hand column of this web page) there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise on this matter.
Introducing LVT is much more than changing tax it is about fundamentally re-orientating the economy to encourage productivity activity and discourage and minimise "rent seeking" where wealth is acquired meaning through having control without providing any service. The diagram below attempts to show the holistic effects LVT can have on the whole economy.
CEJ: Our Mission
“To campaign for the sharing of the rental value of natural resources, including land, as the most effective way of removing the injustice caused by the private appropriation of community-created wealth.”
Strategic Aims of the Coalition for Economic Justice:
1. We seek to influence politicians and policy makers by establishing contacts, meeting with parliamentarians, political parties and government officials, lobbying and holding events;
2. We seek to influence the wider public through work with opinion formers and the media and by appealing to peoples’ innate sense of justice;
3. We seek to engage and collaborate with a wide range of organisations with similar or compatible aims, particularly (but not exclusively) with those seeking money reform, linking the public collection of the community-created value of economic rent with the need for a just and sustainable economy; and
4. We seek to work with academics, think-tanks and the range of educational institutions to influence both the understanding of economic rent and the development of academic courses and to encourage the involvement of students”
By means of moral and pragmatic reasoning, based on sound principle, the CEJ is working to develop an understanding of annual land value taxation - thereby obtaining recognition that the collection of the economic rent of land and natural resources is a key measure needed to tackle the current dysfunctional economic system.
The CEJ is working through an Action Plan that supports the four aims listed above.
There are numerous further articles and resources that are available from this website. Please browse the navigation panel on the left hand side of the screen for articles of interest.
Should you wish to discover more about the work of the CEJ, or would like get involved, please contact one of the individuals whose details are listed in the column on the left of this web page.
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