Tony Blair backs land value tax

Michael Lloyd

December 4, 2017

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has come out in support of Labour’s ‘land value tax’ in a new report from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

The much maligned ‘land value tax’ would replace council tax and business rates and see the value of the land taxed instead of the property itself.

The former PM (pcitured) said it would create a “fairer and more rational system of property taxation”.

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The report read: “The flexibility of the LVT — and the broader Community Reinvestment Programme — suggests its feasibility. Property tax reform is long overdue. In cities across the OECD, landowners have reaped massive windfall gains from housing shortages on one hand, and public investment in infrastructure on the other.

“The land value tax attacks the housing crisis at its root, shifting the market away from speculation and toward provision. Middle-class homeowners need not fall in its crosshairs: the devil of the LVT, as with all taxes, lies in its details. Yet policymakers must recognize that substantive housing reform will not be politically painless. The CRP provides one efficient and equitable way of easing that pain, while setting the housing market back onto the right track.”

The report also suggested backing the idea of a new sovereign property fund to help councils build, giving councils powers of compulsory purchase to buy under-used properties and minimum rent periods of three years with caps on rent rises and stronger protection against eviction.

Blair said the ideas were “radical but practical; progressive but in a way which aligns with the modern world and is not in defiance of it”.

The report, called ‘Home Truths: A progressive vision of housing policy in the 21st century’, was written by Institute research fellow David Adler.

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