Governments, landowners and developers value their cosy nexus

Proposed planning gain tax aims to send clear message that things have changed

‘A simple, radical policy is required to shift perceptions of a cosy nexus. But setting the rate at 50 per cent could look like dividing the spoils rather than tackling speculation.’ Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

‘A simple, radical policy is required to shift perceptions of a cosy nexus. But setting the rate at 50 per cent could look like dividing the spoils rather than tackling speculation.’ Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Advocates of a planning gain tax enjoy pointing out that something similar was advocated by Winston Churchill.

In the early 1900s, Churchill called for all unearned increases in the value of land to be taxed, claiming this would raise enough revenue to replace most other forms of taxation. That may have been plausible in Edwardian Britain but by the 1920s Churchill was dismissing the idea as archaic, as land was no longer “the sole source of all wealth”.

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