Thursday, June 24, 2004

Sadr - a power hungry fraud.

Sadr is only offering a truce so as to allow the Iraqi Govt and Coallition forces to destroy Zarqawi before they begin their attempt to grab power.

Cynical. Cynical. Cynical.

I have faith in the Iraqis who I believe are smart enough to see through such disengenuous tokens.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Land and Tax - it is being proposed as LVT

Further to land and tax, the ideas I have proposed are already actively being formed over at landvaluetax, a UK org website.

The UK Greens have this in their manifesto, and it is being seriously looked at in Scotland.

I believe it has far-reaching economic and social implications for the good, and Britain could become one of the leaders in socio-economic evolution.

With no VAT or income tax, the UK would become a haven for all Europe and even America in terms of retail trade.

My main concern is evolving from the existing taxation model (income, purchase and corp tax) to Land Value Taxation and oversight/regulation.

One segment at a time would be very trying to pull the tablecloth off slowly - it needs one quick confident action. How? First step is to assemble all land registry information and devise an initial rating system so that the impact will be known once the correct revenues are able to be collected. It will require adjustments and easements, such as allowing existing owners a few years to adjust their exposure to the tax.

Regulation will be harder. Once companies no longer pay corporation tax, PAYE or NI and that employees no longer "pay" PAYE, NI, the regulatory framework that administers such information will be a cost centre, not a revenue generator, as it will be statistical as opposed to a financial exercise.

I can see the Health and Safety body and Equal Rights Commission being used to 'police' companies to ensure fair pay, conditions and equal opportunites, though at some point employees should be flagged in some way to ensure they are working in safe environments.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Land and Tax reform.

Taxation is a complex and time consuming business where the criminal and rich avoid it, the poor benefit from it but the middle classes have to pay it.

Income tax, VAT, capital gains. Messy - especially VAT if you are a small business about to become VAT-liable.

If the main tax we have is on land then much is simplified. Land tax is hard to avoid. People can choose how much exposure to it they encounter by making choices as to how they live. Low rise or high rise. Large country estate or studio flat.

It encourages sensible land use, as people will build up to cut costs in high tax areas such as city centres. Renters pay their dues as the landlord will onpass the tax to them - the demand for share of freehold property will keep a lid on avaricous private landlords.

VAT will not exist as a form of revenue collection. This frees small businesses and the state from the wasteful administration. It means there is no such thing as the 'black' economy operating outside of the VAT system.

No income tax will remove the administration. People are taxed on where they live, not what they earn. Typically, higher earners spend more on their accomodation and in a better area and this will continue to be so, but people have the choice to save more and live frugally.

Local authority tax will operate as a percentage of the land tax, set by the relevent authorities.

This system does not tax consumption, so encouraging a free and open economy. It has a very lean administration overhead, thus allowing for small government.

Landowners can defer their taxation burdens over time in cases of temporary hardship. Such a length of time will be phased in and would be limited to ensure cash flow for the state. As land is an asset, when sold any outstanding tax shall be paid at that time.

Land will have different tarriffs depending on zoning and use.

As the UK will become virtually tax-free for tourist spending, it should attract trade and commerce from Europe.

Special duties on fuel, alcohol, tabacco and other luxury goods such as cars will remain.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Voting - Polling Stations, Postal Votes and ID cards...

With the UK EU and local elections, I was allowed to vote by just saying a name and address that matched.

This is pathetic - I could have got that from someone's front garden by looking into their paper recycling bin!

Postal votes are no better - If I moved house my votes may have gone to another person or even to someone spoofing multiple people in the house.

ID cards are the answer. People should turn out at a polling station WHEREVER and cast their vote. Technically you do not even need to cast it in a specific place, as your ID check at the reception desk can produce a form which you then use to cast your vote (i.e. this avoids someone having 2 IDs, showing one but voting with another or others).

All this is doable, though I can see the government and the rapacious ICT companies spinning this out into a decade long, £100M project!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Oil the wheels of change

The latest oil price rises may continue.

The Iraq war, far from bringing this on, probably delayed the onset of al-Qaeda attacks against Saudi interests. Attacks on infidel oil activity may have begun a year ago.

The price rises, apart from risking Tony Blair's position, may have a useful knock on effect - making people live conveniently to where they work, recycle plastics, cut out the school run and to stop the current madness for gas-guzzling SUV/4x4's.

Maybe God/Allah/JHWH just does not like off-roaders?