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July 26, 2006


Igor Belanov

The most pressing task in the field of Housing Policy is to increase the amount of decent quality, reasonable cost rented accommodation. This would help to eliminate the stigma attached to not owning a home, help mobility, and encourage the idea of a home as somewhere to live rather than as 'property' and a source of wealth. A lot of dilapidated rented accommodation is ridiculously expensive these days.


In Edwardian times, lots of middle class people, and upper clas people, rented. I guess that it was the combination of inflation and tax-breaks that made owning irresistible. You could always bring back Schedule A income tax. As for Inheritance Tax, it might be a good idea to raise more money by it: I'd suggest reducing the rate (to say 10%), reducing the threshold (to, say, £10k) and closing the loopholes.

Mark Wadsworth

May I recommend to everybody that you read my original report - which inpsired Ross Clark's Comment - on the complete simplification and demystification of the UK tax, benefits and pensions system (at www.bowgroup.com).

Of course CGT will go; it discourages efficient use of housing as you have pointed out. The same goes for Stamp Duty Land Tax.

I am against IHT in principal, but more to the point it only raises £3bn, as much as the TV licence fee.

Council Tax is a joke anyway.

Which is why I suggested we get rid of all the above taxes and have a 1% annual tax on teh market value of your home, with a £70,000 exempt band as a rough and ready substitute for Council Tax benefit.

Chris Purnell

I was under the impression that the graduated stamp duty was a stealthy CGT as a lagging indicator. The Treasury nett of this gives some credence to this opinion.

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