Letters: Charge on land values

Faced with the choice between tax increases and cuts in services, politicians ought to consider Ron Greer's suggestion for a charge on land values.

As well as giving huge scope for reductions in current deadweight taxation, this would be a key factor in eliminating the economic boom and bust cycle that is led by the property market. It is land, not bricks and mortar, that is the volatile component of that market. An annual charge on the rental value of land, excluding the value of the buildings, would destroy the speculative element and prevent the bubble from forming.

It is almost exactly a century since radical Liberals attempted to introduce land value taxation in Lloyd George's "People's Budget", only to be thwarted by aristocratic landowners in the House of Lords, who recognised that their traditional source of wealth and power would be destroyed.

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Following Nick Clegg's television success, the present-day Liberal Democrats ought to put clear blue water between them and their opponents by reviving the policy.

JOHN DIGNEY, Lochard Road, Aberfoyle, Stirling