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The Labour Party have commissioned an ‘independent’ report titled “Land for the Many” that proposes changes in the way land in the UK is used and governed.
Key proposal headlines include:
Tenancies should be open-ended, and landlords should lose their power to evict a tenant who has not broken the terms of the tenancy agreement for the first three years of the tenancy agreement, and should have to provide grounds for eviction after that point.
Cap on annual permissible rent increases, at no more than the rate of wage inflation or consumer price inflation (whichever is lower)
Replace the council tax with a progressive property tax. This should be payable by owners, not tenants.
Stamp Duty Land Tax should be phased out for those buying homes to live in themselves, and capital gains tax for second homes and investment properties should be increased
Buy to Let mortgages should be more firmly regulated and restricted.
Discourage land and housing from being treated as financial assets by encouraging banks to redirect lending into productive sectors, and encourage a more efficient use of the existing housing stock.
The guiding principle of the report:
“The pursuit of luxury has been a common theme among thinkers on both right and left. But it is evident that there is neither the physical nor the ecological space for everyone to enjoy private luxury. If we all sought to own our own tennis courts, swimming pools, playbarns and art collections, Newcastle would need to expand to the size of London, and London would cover much of England.
But there is enough physical and ecological space for everyone to enjoy public luxury. We have room, even on these crowded islands, for magnificent parks, playing fields, public swimming pools, urban nature reserves and allotments sufficient to meet the needs of all. The expansion of public wealth in land creates more space for everyone, while the expansion of private wealth in land reduces the space available for others, at the cost of most people’s quality of life. The guiding principle of this report is private sufficiency and public luxury.”
James Brokenshire, Housing Secretary, said: “These proposals are extraordinary and deeply damaging in equal measure. Labour will stop at nothing to hammer families with more tax and make home ownership a pipe dream for future generations.
“Plans to seize land into public ownership also show Labour’s true colours of more and more state control. This tax bombshell for families would mean family homes with gardens paying far more and higher taxes on pensioners by abolishing the single person discount.”
Labour’s spokesman for the Cabinet Office, said: “For too long, people across the country have had little or no say over the decisions that affect their communities and the places in which they live. So much of this can be traced back to the broken system of land ownership. Concentration of land in the hands of a few has led to unwanted developments, unaffordable house prices, financial crises and environmental degradation.
“Labour is committed to tackling these head on and delivering a fundamental shift in wealth and power from the few to the many.”
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