Tuesday, 6 August 2013

I am pretty sure that is precisely not what the Taxpayers' Alliance is suggesting Jonathan ...

hence the oversight in respect of mentioning "what the report also suggests" ..

The Taxpayers' Alliance cites approvingly the Mirrlees report, the Institute for Fiscal Studies' definitive review of the structure of the UK tax system. What they neglected to mention was the Mirrlees recommendation for a "housing services tax" – a revamped, increased version of council tax, "levied as a proportion of up-to-date values with no cap and no discount for unoccupied or single-occupancy properties".
and Jonathan thinks he knows why ....
So if a housing services tax is such a wonderful idea, who would lose from it? Precisely those vested interests who would gain most from the Taxpayers' Alliance/Times proposal for abolition or sharp reductions in stamp duty – well-off homeowners, their children whose inheritances might be eroded, and rich foreigners buying expensive property in London.
Stamp out stamp duty by all means, but replace it with a fair housing tax

8 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

My thoughts exactly, thanks, you've saved me the bother.

Kj said...

This Taxpayer's Alliance is a proper astroturf Homey union isn't it?

DBC Reed said...

Why is it called the Tax Payers Alliance when paying tax is the last thing they want to do? Tax Avoiders Union would be more like it? Who appointed them to look after the interests of we who pay tax?

DBC Reed said...

PS There was a more interesting bunch called The Other Taxpayers Alliance who were interested in fairer taxation, not no taxation at all, but they went "inactive" about 2011 ,it looks like.
Time for a Real Taxpayers Alliance?

Mark Wadsworth said...

SBC, the TPA do two things.

a) On behalf of taxpayers generally, they identify huge amounts of wasteful-kleptocratic spending by government and councils. All good stuff. Sometimes they exaggerate but there's plenty of stuff they don't know about.

b) They campaign steadfastly against the few small taxes that are remotely connected to land while largely ignoring the larger, far more damaging taxes.

So they are just rent seekers.

DBC Reed said...

@MW
Wasteful kleptocratic spending by ..councils? My council has to cut millions and has set about it by turning off street lights : one side of town centre streets and not the other; same side alternate lights. This is dangerous and lends the town a depressive aura; the opposite of bright lights ,big city (went right to my baby's head).We want more spending not less: it does n't really matter who does it (private sector or public) in a mixed economy.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, sure, out of the annual £150 billion or so wasteful-kleptocratic expenditure in the UK, most of it is done by central government, councils are pretty well run in comparison.

And I emphasise "in comparison". The fact that local councils "only" waste five or ten per cent of their budgets rather than fifty per cent doth not make them saints.

But of course the TPA like identifying the odd million here or there wasted by local councils rather than the odd £10 billion here or there at national level - because that gives them an excuse to slag off Council Tax, or even more bizarrely, Business Rates.

Kj said...

There's plenty of waste in local government. Lights being switched off, is a perfect example of what local government does, that is exactly the same as larger government. It cuts the small items, almost always the most archetypical public goods; fixing potholes, street lights, litter, parks. OTOH constantly expanding the workforce towards non-jobs.
If you really want to see waste, and I agree with MW, the TPA seems to have an important role in exposing this, look at parish council accounts. The ultimate, low-level democracy in action. You'll find anything between 30-70% is spent on administration.