Cross-party coalition formed
PRESS RELEASE London, 27 December 2008
Press Release: Cross-party coalition formed with new solution to economic crisis
In an unprecedented move to advocate an original solution to the current economic crisis, twelve think-tanks, charities and political pressure groups have joined forces. The new cross-party group, called the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ), has argued for the reduction of existing taxes to be replaced by an annual Land Value Tax in order to prevent future crises and alleviate the current one.
The Coalition issued in a statement: "The current economic crisis highlights, yet again, the inadequacies of the current economic system which is unstable and deeply flawed. Events are clearly demonstrating that the speculative rise in land prices is a common feature of the repeated economic booms and busts. In order to address this problem we call for a new approach that delivers both economic justice and prosperity for all. This solution must be based upon the annual collection of land value for public purposes".
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance commented: "I look forward to learning more about the campaign as it develops in the New Year. I very much hope that the coalition manages to generate a national debate on taxation, particularly now we are in recession."
The Chair of the CEJ, John Lipetz explains that "in response to the financial crisis, a group of charities, think-tanks, political factions and pressure groups from right across the political spectrum have for the first time sat down together to agree the best way to cure the current crisis, and prevent future ones. This is to shift tax off enterprise and labour onto a form of annual Land Value Taxation. We invite others sharing our concern to join us.”
Robin Smith of the think-tank Systemic Fiscal Reform Group says "It is clear that enterprise is once again taking the hit, particularly hard working small businesses, from this latest debt-fuelled land boom. History shows that economic bailouts will not provide a long-term solution because Land, which is at the heart of the matter, has been obscured from political, media and academic scrutiny. The founders of the CEJ are calling for new thinking around economic reform and represents a real movement towards progress and prosperity for all."
Heather Wetzel of the Professional Land Reform Group adds: "If we are to establish economic stability, encourage sustainable growth and end poverty it is necessary to look for new solutions. An annual Land Value Tax on all land will prevent future land price speculation, enable modest interest rates on business investment and provide income for both essential infrastructure investment and for the reduction of taxes on individuals and trade."
Initial Resolution Passed at Meeting of the Coalition for Economic Justice
“The current economic crisis highlights, again, the inadequacies of the economic system which is unstable and deeply flawed. It is clear that events are demonstrating the common feature of repeated economic booms and depressions in the speculative rise in land prices.
In order to address this problem we need to suggest to the wider world that it is possible to create a new approach that delivers both economic justice and prosperity for all. This solution must be based upon the annual collection of land value for public purposes.
This meeting agrees that there is an urgent need to convince policy makers of this, and for them to develop (with our assistance) policies to capture unearned land values. Such policies would enable taxes on labour and enterprise to be minimised. Investment in necessary public infrastructure would thus be recovered for public benefit.
We believe, however, that it is unproductive at this stage for our respective groups to attempt to agree how to achieve this. An agreement by the main parties on the need for a nation-wide tax on the value of land would trigger completion of the registration and valuation of land within a single parliament. We therefore commit to trying to persuade all parties to agree to this being a manifesto commitment.”