Published: 10 August, 2012
• WHAT Labour councillor Raphael Andrews doesn’t say is that right-to-buy was a Labour Party idea, first mooted in its manifesto for the 1959 election, which his party lost (Why it’s time to scrap the failed right-to-buy scheme, August 3).
Doesn’t he know, or was he just spinning?
For someone so keen to correct your paper’s confusion over Bunhill and Clerkenwell wards, it’s a curious omission.
If Cllr Andrews really wants to reduce housing inequity, he should be urging his party to introduce a new election manifesto commitment to adopt land-value tax (LVT) as a replacement for council tax. Labour leader Ed Miliband supports LVT.
Council tax is obscenely regressive, being in effect a subsidy to the most expensive homes and their owners, based as it is on 1991 property prices. Property prices have on average tripled since the early 1990s, and in some parts of Islington by an even greater multiple.
In practice, this means, Islington residents of two-bedroom flats, whether council-owned or private, frequently pay the same council tax as owners of (multi-) million-pound properties.
Why is Labour, the party which would have us believe it backs “fairness”, silent on this gross injustice?
Land-value tax would not only be fair, it’d have the added advantage of reducing property-price inflation – otherwise known as house-price rises, a major contributor to Islington’s, as well as the UK’s, growing inequality.
It would also help curb tax-evasion and avoidance as land can’t be hidden or offshored.
Ellington Street, N7