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March 23, 2011

Ireland: Labour / Fine Gael do U-turn on Site Value Tax

Prior to the Irish General Election, the opposition Fine Gael - the main party in the new Coalition - was promising to ditch their Fianna Fail / Green Government predecessors' policy of a Site Value Tax (SVT). However the Labour Party, always Fine Gael's most likely partners to replace the unpopular regime that oversaw Ireland's massive boom-bust property cycle, said it would retain SVT.

Once again, the tail wags the dog - the incoming Irish Government has kept SVT in its Programme. This is a victory for Ireland's very effective 'green economics' research foundation (leading the way for the British 'Coalition for Economic Justice' (CEJ)): Feasta. In 2008, Feasta obtained official status from the previous Irish Government, specifically to research what is called over there "Smart Taxes" - a project involving an international network of academics and campaign groups.

Is this the role model for PLRG? Should we 're-brand' and/or join the Smart Tax Network?

Irish author Kevin Cahill, writing in New Statesman earlier this month, would almost certainly not support SVT.  According to Cahill (in conversation with myself many years ago) the secrets of Ireland's economic boom was the absence of any property tax on homes. In his view of the world's need for 'Land Reform', he still regards support for SVT/LVT as "tax addicts" - on the wrong side of good sense. The solution to the Great Property Swindle, apparently, is Land Registration. Let the people know who owns the world - even Antarctica (mainly Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, would you believe!) and somehow magically all land and inequality problems will solve themselves.

Somehow I think Feasta is right and not Cahill.


Posted by Tony Vickers at March 23, 2011 6:05 PM | TrackBack

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