I READ with interest Mr Johns’s response to my observations on his proposal for a Land Tax (Letters, October 12th) including his taking me to task for failing to attend the public meeting on the issue on September 28th.
Not for the first time, I have been unable to attend a public meeting organised by the Labour Party as I was unaware of it taking place.
If Mr Johns and his colleagues sincerely want genuine debate I suggest they invite the attendance of a representative of each of the other four parties which stood at the recent council elections, three of which, including the BNP, are represented at all local government levels in this area.
I note Mr Johns does not deny farmland would be liable to the new tax.
Instead he airily implies it would be taxed at a much lesser rate than “the prime development land being deliberately held vacant ... when there is an acute shortage of land for homes and high unemployment in the construction industry”.
This is again typical of the Labour Party in that rather than offer sensible ideas it puts blame for some of our ills on certain sections of the population - in this case landowners wishing to “maximise returns” (which of us would not do the same - oh yes, I know the answer to that one - Gordon Brown when he sold the country’s gold reserves at near the bottom of the market).
Labour’s tax would be fraught with problems; no one has sought to value every landholding in the country to tax it since William the Conqueror. The Domesday Book took 20 years to compile, required an army of snoopers and ushered in the feudal system.
I agree there is a problem that Britain has on average poorer housing stock than most of the rest of Western Europe.
This isn’t helped by the unsustainable rapidly rising population almost entirely caused by other parties’ failure to recognise, let alone address, immigration as a problem. Aside from leaving the EU to regain control of our borders the British National Party has a number of policies to address the housing shortage.
We would return to local authorities the power to borrow money to build housing - thus undermining the position of the landowners allegedly hoarding land - and returning to local people the power to decide what shall happen in their area.
We have also suggested the new money being printed, delicately referred to as “quantitive easing”, ought to be used in construction (wherever possible on brownfield sites) to improve the housing stock, thus kick-starting the whole economy.
Nelson Town Councillor and BNP Candidate
Pendle East Division
Lancashire County Council