Taxing development

The government wants to speed more housebuilding, but it also wants to tax development. It proposes a new infrastructure tax to replace the existing system.

It is true the gap between land values with permission to build homes and land values for land without any building  permission is huge. It is also true the wider community incurs large costs from more housebuilding. There needs to be more schools , surgeries, roads, power lines, broadband cables and the rest. All parties have accepted the idea that there should be some infrastructure levy or contribution to public sector infrastructure costs, just as securing private sector services may entail direct payments to the service providers. The government does not mention the need for compensation payments to existing homeowners, though there are clear cases where the amenity and value of their property is hit by more traffic and noise, worse views etc. Developers who want speedy progress sometimes offer compensation to reduce opposition to a scheme.

The Section 106 payments system has been a  negotiation between Councils and developers. Many Councils have wanted to take the money to build more homes for rent instead of using the money to build the roads, schools and surgeries needed. The sums have expanded to try to accommodate  both needs. The government has also introduced an additional Infrastructure levy.

The new levy proposed is only set out in  outline. It is national with maybe a single national rate or rates. It might also have regional or local variations. It seeks to flex according to land and home prices, allowing developers to make a given margin  before the levy kicks in. In  falling markets the levy would fall and in rising markets it would rise. That is a sensible feature.

I would urge simplicity and suggest a per house levy to cover the obvious public sector infrastructure costs. The government wishes to increase this tax, which will make achieving more home building more difficult.

Given that many people want fewer new homes with reduced migration, what do you think would be sensible by way of a tax on new developments?

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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Hold on ! Are we not paying the highest taxes in 40 years ? Where is the money for road tax going if not on roads ? Where is the money going from my pocket if not on schools, hospitals and the like ?

    We do not have a spending or housing problem, we have a MASS IMMIGRATION problem and a government hooked using it to push up GDP.

    If you want money to pay for schools and such fund it from existing resources, like from the overseas aid budget.

    Oh, and before I forget, you are still borrowing. Why ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Why are they still borrowing? Because borrowing is yet another tax and they are addicted to tax borrow and piss down the drain.

      • NigelE
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        … to tax, borrow, accomodate a few 1000 more illegal immigrants in hotels, fund dubious overseas projects and cultureal events, employ more public sector workers, create a few more quangos, expand the HoL, procede with HS2 and …

        • Hope
          Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          Your govt introduced Coomunity Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on new build houses since 2010 it also,charges New Home Bonus (NHB) for each house. This is paid by the purchaser ultimately. This was suppos d to provide infrastructure money for laocal,authorities. They spent it on general budgets not infrastructure and now you want another tax! Your govt. changed the planning legislation in 2010. You are eager to blame everyone, any inanimate object or not even reflect what your govt. actually introduced and occurs now and since 2010! Remember the community charge freeze promise your govt broke and then had the bare face cheek to let councils make add ons as well! Mayhab even said in social adult care nothing has changed when councils were already charging extra and she wanted more! Highest taxation fifty years, come get out of office. You lot are done.

    • BOF
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      +1. Billions can be found by cuttting the CS and quagos.

    • Michelle
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      I agree, and millions more do too.

      Blair started the mass immigration project, and every Conservative administration since has kept it going. Now we are faced with all these ‘shortages’ and the only solution they have is to concrete over England!!
      Immigration from outside the EU has rocketed under Conservatives, and Migration Watch seem to think there is a possibility under the new points system this could go even higher.

      As for the debacle down in Dover…….

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      What is needed is to reverse the single main impact of the Norman invasion, by returning the freehold title of most of England to the public, that is, of farmland, which accounts for most of it.

      The freeholds could be replaced by transferable farming rights, by statutory profits-a-prendre, which could be bought and sold just as farmland is, indeed, they would be an equivalent asset to the existing freeholds, but with one important exception.

      When the use of the land changed, the profit-owner would be entitled to compensation at market rate for that farming right. However, we the public would get the benefit of the increase in value of the land from its development.

      This has been proposed before, and it is strongly rumoured that the democratically-elected government were threatened with a military coup by the core of the British Establishment.

      That tells you who they are if so, and something about the limit of democracy here.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        It was all working fine until we started importing circa 5x Wembley stadia of people every year.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink


        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

          Someone has to do the work to pay for the seventeen million least productive in the UK.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        So now its a demand for reparations because of the Norman invasion many centuries ago.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

          Ed, about half of England is still in the hands of a few hundred heirs to those invaders.

          There is an equitable solution – In The Public Interest.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 13, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            You mean a socialist state that steals legally held freehold property off individuals they dont like.
            Your use of ancient history to justify a Marxist society is pathetic.
            The public interest…that idea leads to the hell hole dictatorships seen frequently in the twentieth century which killed 100 million people.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

            ECHR would give them the necessary protection.

            That is, entitlement to reasonable compensation, but not to having money firehosed at them. It’s not as if anyone would be thrown off their land.

            Or the UK could simply pull out of ECHR – as some here wish – and not compensate them at all.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            No it doesn’t.
            A socialist government could pass legislation to sequester freehold land.
            Reasonable compensation….heard that before.
            You share that desire.

      • anon
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes – this democratic deficit is one we can address after 01.1.21. It includes most of the establishment BBC etc.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:09 am | Permalink

        Then you have to closely define who is British. Who is allowed to become British. As it is our most valuable right, our vote, is given away to all comers willy nilly.
        Here is the problem. I have just had an EPC done. It’s the bible of facts for this property. It’s in black and white. It says I have an electric Emerson water heater (it’s mains gas) it says there is no underfloor insulation (there is 6 inches throughout) it says the wall insulation in internal (it’s cavity) it says the house is 4,500 sq ft (it’s (5,5022). It can’t be changed. It has to be redone, but the criteria have changed so I will get a lower overall value if I do. The ‘assumptions’ of the new EPC will be based on the old.
        So I’m telling you that if the state get anything wrong, regardless of the facts, the facts have to change because the document never will. Do you trust the State to award the ownership of the U.K. to named individuals?
        I don’t.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Mark B,

      Although mass immigration (still at over 600K/year) helps to increase GDP I believe there are 2 more important reasons for government and corporates to not wish to reduce immigration:

      Firstly the government and globalist corporates can save on training costs for skilled jobs and/or save on investment in new plant and machinery to make us more competitive.

      Secondly the corporates keep wages low for many jobs as a result of unlimited immigration of cheap labour.

      We even read of UK factories where pay rates are less than the minimum wage but with no apparent action taken.

      We are told that immigrants do the jobs that UK residents refuse to do. But this is because the rates of pay are so low as a result of mass immigration.

      At the same time the additional costs in housing, healthcare and infrastructure caused by large scale immigration are paid for by the UK taxpayer.

    • Otto
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      We do have a housing problem – as there are 55 million too many people in the UK there are too many houses.

  2. Adam
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    This is yet one further matter which preventing over-population would remedy in one act; without tinkering with all the knock-on details caused or sorting out such consequences after the event.

  3. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Making affordable housing unaffordable.
    The answer to everything is more tax.
    It wouldn’t be so bad if you spent the billions you collect wisely. Where is the low tax Conservative Party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Well as Cameron said he was “low tax at heart”. The Conservative pretend to be before election but never cut in practice other then just before elections reversed post the election. We currently have about the highest taxes for 40+ years with huge tax complexity another tax on top too. This combined with fairly dire and declining public services. Tax borrow and piss down the drain on dire things like HS2, green crap and the communist NHS. Even Thatcher failed to cut taxes nearly enough.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        Or they cut one tax (so they can point to it) and increase others by twice as much.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Where is the Conservative Party?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

        Try Highgate Cemetary.

  4. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    To answer the question: a tax, set by national government/devolved administrations, but varied to reflect conditions in the local area, and based around the expected occupancy level of the property. A three-bedroom house would be assumed to house two adults and 2.4 children of school age, and that assumption would drive the tax determination. The price of the house shouldn’t be a factor. (I don’t trust councils to do a good job of taxation.)
    Regarding ‘The government does not mention the need for compensation payments to existing homeowners, though there are clear cases where the amenity and value of their property is hit by more traffic and noise, worse views etc.’ One of my aunties has had an unobstructed view of farmland from her back-garden for most of her life. This year saw the complete removal of the view as an estate of some two hundred executive boxes was built. Her back-garden is now overlooked by several houses. Financial compensation is not sought by her. She would have been happier for the development – provoked by the government’s ‘Trashing the Garden of England to provide housing for a population that is increasingly out of control Programme’ – not to have gone ahead. It won’t surprise you that she had never felt as uncertain about how to vote at a general election as she did last December. And it shouldn’t surprise you that right-wing me now has an almost visceral hatred for the Conservative Party.
    For the love of God, stop destroying our country!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      All incomers, that have never contributed to the location they now whish to enjoy. Yet she would have been funding the infrastructure, the schools and so on for years.

    • Michelle
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Millions echo that last sentiment.

    • BOF
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      It makes me want to weep as we watch the tragedy unfold. Conservative to the core, I will never again vote for that party.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Another thought: there’s hardly any difference between New Labour and the Boris-form of Conservatism.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Yes..for the love of God! ( do they love God? Do they have any love in their hearts?)
      Desist! Leave what we love alone!
      This overdevelopment destroys lives ( the cold hearted do not understand that).
      Hopefully, it also destroys political parties.
      Liars and rogues.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      Anything for unearned profit! They have sold out completely. I’m afraid we are in revolutionary territory.
      What is left of the Tory Party had better sort this out. They have weeks not months. Boris and his ilk must go into retirement. The House of Lords must be disbanded totally – it is a sham! The WA must be shredded and talks with the EU must STOP. A Bill arresting that all Constitutional law requires a supermajority to overturn. Pay for MPs must cease! (This creates a qualification – only those who have achieved will be able to afford to stand and the death knell for the professional politician). All illegal immigrants must be removed – I don’t care if they are pushed beyond our sea border and left on the high seas – they must have the choice of going back to their own country, first safe country or that instead of remaining in a 4 star hotel at the idiot British Government insist, and the borders must be closed to all alien immigration!
      This or something similar will be imposed one way or the other – don’t make the British fight for it, it will be a sorry sight.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

        ‘….asserting that all Constitutional law … ‘

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Well new developments and properties are already very, very highly taxed. With stamp duty (often two lots of it at up to 15% on the plot and then the resales), corporation tax, tax and NI on the builders salaries, LEA fees, planning costs, over the top (green crap driven) building controls, capital gains taxes, land registry fees, over the top utility connection charges, demands for a % of social housing, LEA fees and later inheritance tax steals 40% off you too. Why should someone buying a house have to pay for other people to have subsidised housing who live next door anyway? The whole idea of “key workers” is rather obnoxious. Especially given the sorts of jobs the government considers “key”.

    Landlord’s even pay tax on “profits” they have not even made thanks to the economic illiterates Osborne/Hammond and now continued by Sunak who also has almost killed entrepreneurs relief to deter them one assumes.

    Schools, power lines, broadband, surgeries, hospitals …… should of course be paid for by people when (and if) they use them and not by government. But with a safety net for those few who really cannot pay or top up vouchers for education costs. Freedom and choice please not misguided, government knows best, tax borrow and waste socialism.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      Landlords! Not me the damn tablet!

  6. Lester the Cynic
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Note to Boris, Roosevelt didn’t lift America out of the Depression by building….. it was World War 2 which lifted America out of the Depression
    I had an email from Boris saying that unless I made a donation as I had before the General Election the Tory March would could to a shuddering halt, it’s a heavy burden which I feel totally unable to shoulder….. the whole tone of the email was nauseating in the extreme, sorry Boris but you don’t cut the mustard, we desperately need a Donald Trump figure, Nigel Farage where are you?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Boris could be so much better than Trump. He just need to become a tax cutting, small government, red tape cutter and to abolish all the green crap.

      Alas he show no sign of having a working compass plus he has a new baby and a new deluded, lefty, climate alarmist wife. He is becoming a nanny state dope and he has not even cancelled HS2 as yet.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

        Only four years left until the next election.

        • bigneil(newercomp)
          Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          Four years until they say “lessons have been learned”? and the other classic – ” we aim to cut immigration”. The second one will be put out in every other language, just so the immigrants here can understand it – and also – as an afterthought – in English – for us – the 2nd/3rd/4th/ ???th class citizens in (what was once ) their own country.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted August 12, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          And YOU will vote Tory again.

          Please sir, may I have another.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            Mike, No, not me again. I won’t vote Labour either as they have much the same policy over illegal immigration. Farage for me next time. He’s the only one with sensible policies more like Conservative policies used to be.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Yes all Boris needed to be better than Trump was not to be himself at all!
        PS even Thatcher was not ‘better than Trump’. He’s going down as one of the Greats, maybe the greatest.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        There is an aura of submission about him.
        Who IS he working for?
        The wife? The EU?
        Or has he sold the country to China for tuppence?
        Charged with honing up the totalitarianism for them?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

          +1 yes. Defeat! It reeks.

      • Lester the Cynic
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        LL a slow motion car crash?
        But who do we vote for, it’s becoming an impossible question!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Thank God we know how to bring this ‘Tory March’ to a shuddering halt. Sooner the better. Not a penny!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry.
      I had similar and am shouldering the burden with you!
      Not a zillionth of a single penny.
      E mail, as you say, nauseating beyond….

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      we desperately need a Donald Trump figure

      Ha, ha! Good one.

      , Nigel Farage where are you?

      Excluded from UK Politics by people like you who vote Tory and who would not countenance a change to the first past the post voting system that guarantees us Tory or Labour governments. If we had AV or PR, people could vote for who they wanted to and a Farage led party would have a significant position in parliament – maybe even the largest party.

      But, you’ll vote Tory next time. And the time after that.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Not so here. I loaned my vote to the tories to get Brexit done.
        If that’s not achieved and they don’t stop inward immigration they lose my vote.
        If they award the Fleet Support vessels to a foreign yard they lose my vote.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        Sadly, and I mean that, Farage is not the equal of Trumps toenail. Else we would all have voted for him.

        • hefner
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Maybe you should read ‘The Room where it happened’ by John Bolton. Given the way the author describes Trump and his rather inconsistent not to say stupid way of taking decisions, to say that Farage is not the equal of Trump’s toenail is rather disparaging to Farage.

  7. agricola
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Whatever tax, for whatever purpose, you add to the cost of house building, it is the house buyer who will pay because it will be passed on in the price. This is what happens when matters are decided by failed lawyers in Parliament. They would not choose Parliament as a career if they were any good as lawyers.

    The thrust and direction should be to increase dramatically the number of houses built, to reduce the unit cost of each house to make it affordable to the first time buyer, and to increase the quality of the product. None of this will be achieved by tinkering with yet another tax while ignoring the factors that could have real impact.

    Deal with the disparity in price of none building land and building land. Deal with the corruption in the planning system and its excessive complexity and consumption of time. Deal with the profiteering in the cost of building materials occassioned by the Covid 19 crisis. Build houses in factories not in the archaic brick on brick current methods. Subject those factories to ISO9000 methology. Lay down the minimum standards of construction to make the end product cheap to live in. Ensure that the electricity companies repay for excessive solar generated electricity at the same rate they charge for their supply.

    I realise that getting it right may impact on financial contributions to your party from organisations and individuals who like the system as it is, but as those contributions are added to the cost of a new house you will have to adjust to being minus them.

  8. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Is it me or am I the only one to find it amazing that we are even talking about the various ways of taxing peoples homes, to deliberately make them more expensive to purchase, so the purchaser needs to borrow more money, at a greater monthly cost just to have somewhere to live with a roof over their head !

    We already have taxes on water taxes on electricity, taxes on Gas, taxes on the value of the house when purchased , taxes on its value each year, taxes when you move, taxes when you die, good grief when are you going to tax the air we breathe.

    This once again comes down to the argument about who should pay to keep the local infrastructure operating.

    Given we all use the facilities, then surely it is fair that we all contribute in some direct way, and the obvious and fairest solution was scrapped many years ago, it was called the Poll Tax.

    It was so simple, everyone over the age of 18 paid into the scheme, because everyone used or benefited from the use of the facilities, the cost was the same for all, because the benefit was the same for all.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Difficult to argue Alan but should the poll tax be used to cover the costs of increased infrastructure?

      Unless the additional population’s take from the poll tax covers this additional spend then the existing locality pays for the additions.

    • agricola
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Yes the Poll Tax failed because it was ill thought out, badly presented and its opposition was allowed to fall to Labour whose client base was for the first time in its existence going to have to contribute. I can still hear them howling.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      The UK tax system is corrupt and organized by people that as each day goes by it suggests they are just as corrupt. There can never be enough tax income for all the give a ways required to win the next election.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      ALAN ++

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      If they hadn’t stolen everything from us ( and admittedly, sheep are always happy to “render unto Caesar”)
      We would have all these things for ourselves.
      Water,land,houses,borders etc etc
      The Plague helped rid us of feudalism and they have waited all these years to chuck us back into serfdom, by way of the virus
      Only this time we will have no rights whatsoever except the right to be taxed.
      And no access to food or medicines except through them!

      • Mark B
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink


        That has been my view too!

    • SM
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      No, Alan, you are not the only one to find it amazing, nor the only one to think that a simple and flat rate tax on all adults living within a Borough and using its facilities was the fair and sensible way to go.

    • hefner
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      AJ, I hope you know that in 1992 Sir John as Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities was directly involved in abolishing the Community Charge/”Poll Tax” and replacing it by the current Council Tax.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Do you remember the opposition in the country when the Community Charge was introduced?

        Involved….Good word hef.
        One minute you want a government that listens the next minute..

      • SM
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, you omitted to mention that Sir John was against the Community Charge from the outset.

        • hefner
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Edward2, I love the way you know what I want, even to the minute, oh you’re so good.
          SM, I was just trying to tell AJ that he might not get much support for a ‘poll tax’ from Sir John.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            Thanks hef.
            Glad to be of help.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      They are taxing the air we breathe. What do you think the CO2 / Climate Change SCAM is for ?

  9. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This sounds like a really complicated tax; big company lawyers will have a field day with this.
    If we’re looking to tax, how about taxing the money multi-nationals pull out of their UK subsidiaries? You know, the money dressed up as royalties or debt repayment.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      How about the money to pay for the administration fees in tax havens. A well know coffee chain charges all its UK outlets an administration fee on all material purchases. As in all the coffee beans are sold from that great coffee bean producing nation – Switzerland. They define what price that will be and it has nothing to do with the market rate, hence the UK outlets never make a profit, never pay UK tax, yet enjoy the health, wealth of the nation without contributing.

    • agricola
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      They won’t take up your latter suggestion because these are the organisations lobbying and financing them. Never forget the sweetheart deals done by HMRC (government) and the oligarch deals. Corruption in all but name.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Another parasitic job creation scheme for lawyers, planning advisors, tax specialists and the likes.

    • NickC
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews, Exactly so. A sort of IR35 for large corporations who site their HQs in tax havens and cheat by pretending their profits here are franchise fees or suchlike.

  10. agricola
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The other glaring factor is expanding population. Simple economics, when demand exceeds supply the unit price increases. So immigration should effectively stop. Then if you are intent on taxing anything direct your efforts at reproduction . Remove all forms of tax on any product designed to stop reproduction, and face reality by making it available to anyone from the age of 14 upwards. Tax heavily anyone who begats more than two children. Remove all illegal immigrants you are not desperate to keep. Ultimately this would reduce demand for housing and halt the intrusion on our green and pleasant land.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      +1 illegal immigrants are law breakers. There is no limitation point on criminal activity. They must all be removed, also anyone who obtained ‘British citizenship’ by deception. In fact I thing it should be announced, overnight, that everyone with dual citizenship has had their British Citizenship repealed.

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    If all these extra houses, required to accommodate a growing population, need additional infrastructure (and then the running costs of that infrastructure) might one ask if the additional population is actually paying for itself and contributing as we are repeatedly told it is.

    @jerry it is not all divorcees and singletons living it up by themselves, there is a knock on effect from the population explosion.

    Multi millionaire footballers, unless hiding behind image rights tax deals, will be making a contribution to their existence in this country but the nurse with two children will not be
    (and that nurse being here is preventing us needing an initiative to train our own nurses).

    I face living with my children until they are 30+ but housing is found for incomers who by their very presence have pushed up prices further and absorbed our taxes.

    So Sir John, I do not wish your government to design a new tax, I would rather you reduce the tax take and offer benefits and services to fewer people who really should not qualify.

  12. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Clearly there should be more contribution by new occupiers to create new infrastructure. Pre-existing owners effectively pay an ongoing maintenance charge relating to assets which were built or acquired many years ago. Builders proposing new housing, which result in population growth over and above the 1900-2000 average should supply new assets and pay for new services created relating to that “over-population”. If this makes new properties expensive, therefore impossible to sell compared to cheaper existing accommodation, too bad. If the usual rate of population growth ensued, we wouldn’t need these new houses.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      You could call it an “over-population surcharge” to reflect what this is about.

      • anon
        Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        This burden falls then on non subsidised youngsters who either rent or buy. Either way they pay dearly. They delay family formation and effectively this increases the rate of change in society.

        Meanwhile who wins.
        Socially funded housing winners who are “chosen” based on need whilst other long settled citizens on waiting lists are queue jumped and effectively excluded.

        This state of affairs will change eventually as people including the recent arrivals wise up. Some seem prefer direct action and the response is being noted.

        • anon
          Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

          The winners are not really winners. However those that gain financially from them are.

  13. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Why don’t we simply ‘invent’ a new category of citizen – as ‘citizens‘ we’re themselves invented. Let’s say ‘native citizen’ and tax the hell out of everybody else? Nobody but a ‘native vitizen’ gets a free house, free healthcare etc. Then the promise that the ‘immigrants and asylum seekers will be paying your pension etc.’ will be honoured and we don’t need to dream up any more taxes.

    • NickC
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Lynn, Many countries do just that. NHS and schools for example should be only available “free” for natives.

      • hefner
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Which countries? Just to know where I wouldn’t want to emigrate to.

  14. agricola
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    In the hope that Nigel reads this diary, can I suggest that he concentrates his political energy on producing a fairer simplified tax system for the UK. That the current system is over complex, subject to dispute, and wide open to abuse at every individual and corporate level is not in question. If Nigel could hit the next electorate with something that made sense he would infuriate our current parties and gain much support. Which is in effect what he has always done best.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Give the bloke a break. It doesn’t matter how much support he has, the Labour and Tory parties will never allow him into parliament. They will put every activist in the country into any constituency he stands in. And the voting system is rigged in favour of the Tory and Labour parties. We are doomed to big state and high taxation and mass immigration.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      Nigel like Boris has no political economy. He is a front man because he inveigled himself into that position by dubious means. The cause of the independent Britain must attract a higher class applicant than Nigel. He has punched above his weight, I give him full credit. But like Boris he would be outwitted by the blob.

      • hefner
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        And who is the blob supported by, if not recently by the voters themselves when a change in voting system was proposed in 2011. You cannot have it both ways, as much as you try.

  15. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I accept the premise of taxation for approved land, it may speed up the building process.

    I also accept that is wrong that to enable a House Builder to maximize their profit it is the wider community that is forced into fully fund the additional infrastructure costs. Where the salt is rubbed in the wounds is that a community as here in Wokingham is primarily creating the funding for incomers who at no time have contributed to the area. In essence an unfair and unreasonable tax.

    Sir John all this is still tinkering, a layer here a layer there. More if buts to remedy an already bust system, then grants to compensate and inequality here or there. The UK taxpayer is asked and expects to pay their fair due on their own economic activity, but seeing the deceit elsewhere they have to question why should they. If every economic activity paid the same flat rate on that activity, we could get rid of all the complexity and save a fortune in the layers of administration costs. Meaning the tax take from ALL would be less.

    Government can solve situations, but seemingly out of pure ego and the need to manipulate they create the most complex, inconsistent and expensive systems known to man. We seem to consistently and constantly get ruled by ego’s that defy logic and purpose.

    There is absolutely no reason for tax breaks, grants, subsidies, taxpayer handouts on any basis, other than to appease the egos of the Politicians that run with their ego and not Common Sense. Governments in the UK have to stop suggesting they have money – they DONT. Mugging the taxpayer to satisfy ego is dishonest.

    You could even reason the society is all over the place is because Governments are. They are disorganized, discriminatory very self, self, self in a selfish way so much so they are leading society up the same path.

    Keep digging the hole and we will all get buried.

  16. BeebTax
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The government says we need more housing. Then it suggests we raise taxes on housing. That seems contradictory.

    Putting houses in new places does not increase demand for local services. It is the people in those homes that create that demand. Where have they come from? Say – and I don’t know if this is true – people are leaving the cities to live in suburbs or rural areas, then shouldn’t money be taken away from the urban areas they are leaving and transferred to those areas where they are settling? Isn’t allocation of resources one important function of a central government that collects general taxes?

  17. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Why is it that time and time again there is a plea to the Government for money for this, compensation for that. But not once is any one interested in contributing. Could it be the tax system is so corrupt, that nowadays no one expects to pay but everyone expects a hand out.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      Well 85% of Scots don’t pay. Maybe England needs a Barnet formula?

  18. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    If you want to encourage something you don’t suppress it with ever more taxation — However did the socialist concept of taxing every possible thing become Tory policy?

    Whatever happens, at the end of the day it is the consumer / renter / buyer that will pay the required tax, it’s just a matter of when and how.

    If we must tax this situation I would propose that the profit, earned by those buying counciil houses at a huge discount and selling at market rates, be taxed at say 25% — One effect of this would be to keep house prices lower than they might have been.

  19. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    It’s a shame you don’t spend more time doing what you always say you are doing – reducing waste and the appalling mismanagement of public funds. Look at the money being pissed away at the moment on useless PPE and the ‘world beating’ track and trace.

    Newsflash. We don’t want a ‘world beating’ anything, some quiet efficiency is what we need.

    • NickC
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Mike W, Indeed, “World beating”??? They think that a bit of window dressing will fool us into believing they’ve done something right.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      Just less idiocy would be a refreshing change!

  20. Nigl
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I knew the tax element would provoke the most comments. Wasteful government desperate for any income dressing it up that it is big business paying, but like the Banks, now Amazon with your tax on success it all gets passed down to guess who? Us and your attempts to disguise it are transparent.

    Incidentally dressing up the infrastructure contribution as if the developers are paying it is again a trope. It’s added to the cost of the house so the new owners are paying for their own roads, surgeries etc.

    You get tax from all the workers throughout the supply chain, vat I guess from all the companies involved from materials to logistics and then corporation tax on their profits and tax on their dividends hitting pensioners and still you want a levy.

    It beggars belief.

  21. Know-Dice
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    On a good day Government and Councils may be 50% efficient with the tasks they are charged to carry out, but mostly much less than that.

    A good example is dealings that a colleague had with the Treasury Solicitor, cost him about £10,000 for work that a “normal” solicitor would have charged £1000.

    Just keep things simple and have the “bonfire” of Quangos that David Cameron promised…

    And wow, the BBC headlining that the UK has gone into recession…hmmm… what do you expect if you shut the Country down for 3 months…

  22. a-tracy
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I thought lots of areas had falling school rolls as areas developed, children grow up from the homes newly built 30 years ago but a high % of those parents still living in those estates so new children are required to keep the school alive, as the previous newbies children leave home new children are required for the doctors surgeries, not everywhere needs new schools or doctors to be built?

    A new cul-de-sac of 20 houses creates a new £40-45,000 per year rates for the local council to distribute much of it is wasted, lots of it is spent topping up pension schemes and filling up gaps left by failed investments the Council made outside of the local area.

    The new estate gets the new roundabout, the other estate just gets their road churned up and a bad patch repair job done on their roads and pavements to feed new facilities to the new estate, to add insult they just come now close the main road and spread tar chips down which are cracking and smashing a high number of windscreens!

    My town has very little planting of nice flowers, within the restricted walking zone during covid where I live there was no parkland to speak of, the local grass is covered with dog poo and unkempt (but then its always like that cut within a centimetre of its life no collecting of the cut grass so that goes into every crack and crevice in the local pavements and roads and left to overgrow , no facilities for the millions they get off the new estates in rent, the council estates get all the green space and often new parks that the children there don’t like to share but they don’t look after it so its left to go to rack and ruin, the only time you typically see new flowers is if there is a new estate to be sold nearby, then once sold they disappear.

    We’ve had hundreds, if not thousands of new houses in the past three years I see no benefits in our section of town but more difficult roads to get out onto (the old estates don’t get the purpose built roundabout that then causes a constant stream of traffic now). Our schools have bumped along the bottom of the school league table for 30 years. The % of social housing is increasing disproportionately to the surrounding towns so holding the town back the centre of which is still falling down so the money section 10… whatever isn’t being spent locally on anything worthwhile for new or old residents.

    I grew up on a Council Estate for the first quarter of my childhood, until my parents could save up a deposit for a house, in those days people took pride in their homes and estate, they didn’t litter – kept their own gardens with pride and competitions.

    I walk around now, some really lovely built social housing with lots of big gardens, car parking, much more space and play areas than the private estates but what a mess in vast swathes, a community punishment crew could spend a month cleaning up and there would still be rubbish in the verges, and in too many front gardens with assorted scrap yard vehicles and overgrowing weeds everywhere. This could all be sorted out for free but there is no will or organisation. I used to be very involved at local level but the Conservatives closed down the local meetings, made local involvement almost impossible, then lost the election and Labour took over the Borough and Council.

  23. Lester the Cynic
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Another Rooseveltian phrase springs to mind, We have nothing to fear but fear itself
    Seems remarkably apt for today’s circumstances?

  24. Peter Parsons
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Land Value Tax.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

      Applied to the Church, Councils, HM, Charities like really National Trust, all those with trusts drawing cheques Eg the 12th Duke of *** drawing cheques on the ‘7th Duke (deceased) miscellaneous account?
      Good idea!

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Applied to everything Lynn, and charged to the owner.

        One big benefit of taxing land – you can’t offshore it to Panama or the Cayman Islands.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          But the rich owners can offshore.
          Then sell up and move away.

          • hefner
            Posted August 20, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Are you really so …. ? If land ownership were to be linked to denominated persons (and not as it is allowed so often today, to trusts, off-shore companies, …) when the land is sold, some CGT could be applied as it is presently applied on the capital gain produced in house and investment sales by UK residents.
            In 2016 Private Eye published a report ‘Selling England by the Offshore Pound’ by Richard Brooks and Christian Eriksson. Impact of this, zero.
            To get to a fairer taxation, one would need a Parliament in which one party in particular would not be full of people gaming the system. (Hello, John, will you again censor this?).

            Obviously even if a nominative registry existed, the rich owners could move away, but after paying their tax. Really Edward2, is this sooooo difficult to understand?

  25. Anonymous
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    This isn’t about house building, it’s about tax.

    A socialist state guzzles a lot of tax whilst providing precious little in the way of services. It needs ever more inventive ways of raising tax and the latest will be a capital gains tax on homes when they are sold and a yearly land value tax on homes being lived in.

    House Building is the socialist UK’s equivalent of Tractor Stats.

    “But there is a housing crisis and this black swan can be ridden to meet the rejuvenation of the CV19 hit economy.”

    Well that’s a coincidence, because there has been a schools crisis, a hospitals crisis, a care crisis, a transport crisis, an energy crisis a water crisis, a policing crisis….

    Yet more vast estates locally with virtually nothing in the way of increased services and infrastructure. Police officers now subject to attacks – something we’ve never experienced before in this area, an unexpected influx in population of a different attitude to law and order after public services were gearing DOWN.

    O/T But has there been a secret pact between dealers, users, police and politicians in the use of cannabis that you haven’t told the general public about ? Virtually overnight the stench appeared everywhere and people are now smoking it openly. This started about a year ago.

    Except for them you are literally taxing the air that we breath (people who buy scarves to use as mandatory face coverings.)

    We were told that mass immigration was needed because our population levels were thrown into reverse, this reduction was through our instinctively green and sensible personal choices to limit the sizes of our families.

    We decided to do this of our own accord but successive governments thought that we were wrong and – through the mass immigration of peoples who believe in having large families, to produce sons – caused overcrowding and did so against poll after poll after poll and vote after vote after vote – eventually leading to Brexit itself.

    Having increased this land’s carbon footprint against the public will the Tory party gets busy busy busy building rabbit hutches where there used to be factories and farms for local employment.

    God knows what the new populations are going to do when all the building is done.

    As Lester says above – it was war that brought America out of depression.

    This disease has brought the worst and without wishing to sound callous it has not caused the labour shortage that is needed for a boom afterwards.

    I believe that the mismanagement of lockdown by this (and many other governments – including those we think have done well) will cause the kind of economic depression which leads to real hunger, extreme politics and eventually war.

  26. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Don’t make me laugh John. How about considering compensation for people who find they now have 600ft wind turbines close to their homes which keep them awake at night and disturb the peace during the day? Some have even found their water supplies contaminated from the construction but local councils and governments aren’t interested. Taxes on homes and the money we have to pay to just survive are enough now without any other kind of penalities. Our council has relinquished responsiblity for roads and green spaces on the new housing estates new us. Residents have to set up their own management for these things and pay for it. What exactly do we pay poll tax for now? We have no street lights, they have been turned off to save money so we walk in the road as residents park on the pavements and it’s so dark in the winter you can literally walk into one of them. Our bins are collected fortnightly and there is no roadside maintenance so the roads here flood big time as the ditches are full of rubbish. I think Boris has lost it and I think that the Conservatives won’t get the majority of seats they have now at the next election. I’m not talking about illegal immigrants this morning as I don’t want my blood pressure to rise but suffice to say Priti is useless.

  27. jerry
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    So yet more stealth taxes that will disproportional affect the lower paid – your party is going back to type, as it always does as soon as it has at least a safe working majority, no wonder the (true) left-wing calls it the “Nasty Party”…

    Just raise income taxes, thus tax is paid proportional to income.

    • jerry
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Infrastructure taxes get passed on to the end customers, they are never a tax on companies or speculators. Tax new-build by x% and the off-plan price will raise by x%. Of course the govt could always bring back price controls…

  28. Everhopeful
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Basically we need fewer people.
    NOT more houses.
    How crazy to build more houses when there are so many on the market.
    How crazy to overpopulate this country.
    How crazy to push,push,push the idiots who were fooled into voting Tory!
    But then..we just don’t know the half of it….
    What’s the plan?
    It doesn’t look good does it?

  29. bill brown
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    On another note we have now been hit by the worst recession of any major economy, with a 20,4% reduction.
    The biggest challenge is the 9.6 million on furlough till October and the loss of jobs in particular for the over 50’s.
    The question is, what is the best way forward for an economy in very deep recession?

    • Edward2
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      The Bank of England predicts a 9.5% contraction for the whole of 2020
      And a gdp rebound in 2021 of 9%

      Are you really blaming the government for trying to save lives by following the advice it received from its expert advisers?
      Which you thought wasn’t fast enough or strict enough.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

        YES! It has killed more than it saved!

      • hefner
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Edward2 in full ‘devil’s advocate’ flow.
        BTW if GDP was 100 at the beginning of 2020, at the end of 2021 it will still only be 97.55.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Yes but not 20% less which is the headline bill was promoting.

          • bill brown
            Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

            I was not answering your BoE figures but the Covid statement. thank you

          • hefner
            Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

            -20.4%was for Q2, that’s April-May-June.
            I never applied -20.4% to the whole of 2020, just pointed out that a drop of 9.5% followed by a rise by 9% would leave the country GDP lower by 2.45% by end of 2021. Nothing more, nothing less.

            Maybe you should take time to read properly what I write, and not assume that because I write after one of your comments I obviously agree with everything that had appeared before it. Are you really unable to make this type of difference?

      • bill brown
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink


        tall me how you read these blogs as you obvioulsly read them differently than what is actually written?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          So you have posted about Q2 GDP figures of a reduction of c20%.
          I replied quoting the Bank of England saying that over the whole of 2020 it is a lower figure and that they predicted a rebound next year.
          In past predictions the Bank has a record of being quite pessimistic.
          Is that OK for you bill?

      • bill brown
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        You are now guessing I never answered your question about whther it was strict or early or too late.

        Check your facts first

        • Edward2
          Posted August 13, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          I’m not guessing bill.
          I am quoting the Bank of England.

          • bill brown
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

            you are still getting it wrong I was talking about lock-down not growth figures

  30. glen cullen
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    At last someone being honest, this government doesn’t build houses it regulates and taxes the development of the risk takers who actually develop and build houses

  31. Pat
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    There are many comments here about reducing taxation and the size of the state. Indeed surveys have consistently shown this to be the view of most UK voters. However, it is unachievable whichever party is in power.
    Some of the UK’s elected representatives have such contempt for the electorate that ‘populism’ has become a slur. This view is shared by the many non-elected institutions which run the country.

    What we have is not a policy crisis, it is a crisis of democracy.

    Direct democracy anyone?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Who votes? All those who draw on te purse or a qualified franchise of those who pay?

  32. Cliff. Wokingham
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    We are all taxed more than enough. The state has never before helped itself to people’s money to the extent it does at the moment.
    Council tax continues to soar with band D properties attracting a tax of just south of £2000. This band represents rather ordinary properties in Wokingham and certainly not mansions. Business rates within the Borough are even more obscene.

    Our government needs to move away from the very socialist concept of expanding the state and throwing money at everything like a giddy aunt with a box of confetti at a wedding.
    Let’s reduce the size of the state by performing the bonfire of the quangos which I know our host worked on some years ago.
    Let’s ensure we get value for money for everything the state does in our name.
    Prudent households stop spending when they’re skint, the state needs to do the same.
    Let’s have an adult debate about just what we want the state to do for us and, more importantly, what it shouldn’t be doing.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      With the additional houses and static services in many areas council tax should be going down ! Is this part of a swindle or is it that new houses (not built for locals as promised) contain people who don’t pay council tax ? The crime stats certainly indicate so.

  33. Tim the Coder
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “The new levy proposed…”

    Be honest. The Gov is seeking increased bribes to grant planning permission.
    Only please, always to call it: “Planning Gain”

  34. mickc
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Ah yes! Development Land Tax…in another form. What could go wrong?

  35. graham1946
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    More tax – of course, why didn’t we think of that? You say it would be a tax to provide infrastructure, but you know as well as we do that it is not true. Governments don’t do predicated taxes – anything raised would just go into the monstrous pot to be used for any crackpot folly politicians can think of, like HS2. What is happening to all the extra council tax being raised on the new houses already up? I drove through my local market town yesterday to visit a garden centre I hadn’t been to for a year or so and the amount of new builds is astonishing. As well as the local council copping the thick end of 2 grand for each house, there are the water companies who do the same and provide not one extra litre of water – when the sun shines they tell us to use less. It’s already started, after the wettest of winters and spring, a few days of sunshine and talks of hose bans come out, whilst the rest of the country has floods. The who;e thing needs a re-think, not just jiggling with already failed systems, but no-one is big enough to think about it because the next election is already too close, so nothing ever gets done.

    • anon
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      IThe CT may be paid direct from Universal credit or other credit.

      So all working taxpayers are still be paying, higher taxes and wage compression including the above. Unwilling unemployed pay in other ways too. Please consider a UBI.

  36. Anthony Pollock
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Do you remember “Development Land Tax”? Higher taxes on land being paid by land owners will mean less land coming forward for building and so fewer houses. Higher taxes on developers should reduce the number of houses built. So a double whammy. However, residents will see less congestion as a result.

  37. Caterpillar
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I suggest making the tax high for sprawl and lower for vertical build, the latter allowing for services and infrastructure to be more efficiently provided.

  38. glen cullen
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John you ask the question in your last sentence ‘’ what do you think would be sensible by way of a tax on new developments?’’ – A sensible solution would be NOT to tax, this government doesn’t have to tax every element of our life

    • formula57
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Recognize that the granting of planning consent is in effect a public subsidy (often very material) to developers of land and it is not unreasonable therefore that the resulting uplift in land value should be taxed in some way, especially if funding is needed for public services made necessary from the development.

      Sir John’s proposal of a simple, clear, certain levy but variable in the face of market forces on values seems a good way to proceed.

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        don’t fall for the trap – we don’t need to tax everything

  39. Fred H
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The Section 106 was always wrong – fixed table of pricing for single/small build development, but ‘negotiated ‘ large builder schemes.
    Surprise surprise – the big schemes got a much lower levy, yet did little if anything about essential services for the estates.
    Example: any chance of that promised Winnersh Bypass school (on the flood plain) ever materialising?

  40. ian
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    It about time the gov went out and earned the people country some money instead of sitting back and working on the tax increase and the easiest one of all borrowing money.

  41. ian
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    As you can see this country is badly run by parliament that GDP went down by over 23% while in other countries it was 9% to 13% down.

  42. ian
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    No tax on affordable homes you tax the rest to death.

  43. Zorro
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Has GDP dropped 20% or did aI dream that….. #fiddlingwhileRomeburns


  44. Bill B.
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    The government will have to increase not just this tax, but any tax it can, to even begin to address the debts incurred by the lockdown damage.

    But today’s news is surely that we now have the worst recession in the entire G7, much as you were warning back in March, Sir John, were you not?

  45. Nigl
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I see Theresa May is objecting to a development in her constituency for all the reasons, traffic, density etc that causes us grief, especially given that she was a key member of a government that bullied local authorities to grant such applications.

    Ok for us to suffer but apparently not her. Nothing I guess to do with the complaints she has had needing to protect her votes and we have had other examples as well. Grant Shapps springs to mind.

    And politicians wonder why the public’s belief is close to zero.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      Hope to God all development in Maidstone is accelerated so that they find the gumption to rid us of this idiot woman!

  46. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The next budget will be critical for this Government. Any more taxes for struggling families heaped upon the unacceptable level of taxation we now suffer will break the proverbial camels back.
    Tax on my income, what’s left is taxed on purchases by way of Vat and duties, council tax paid from already taxed income, taxed to the enth degree.
    Enough I say, enough.

  47. NickC
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    JR, As others say – no more taxes, and simplify what we have.

    Halt all immigration for a decade, to reduce demand for housing. Tell big business to stop whinging about “can’t get the staff”.

    Scrap HS2, foreign aid, Boris bridge, green subsidies and preferences, PHE, impositions on local authorities to build more housing, etc.

    Make the cost of the restoration of brown field sites tax deductible (zero corporation tax) to encourage regeneration.

    • Andy
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      The biggest demands for housing are caused by increased longevity and more people living alone.

      A bunch of 14 Romanians sharing a terraced house has a negligible impact on housing. They take up one small house.

      Whereas 14 grannies – all rattling around alone in 2 rooms of the 4 bedroomed detached houses the bought in 1967 – have a big impact. 14 families of 4 – 56 people – could be sharing those homes and the grannies would be better off in more appropriate homes for pensioners anyway.

      But, as always, it is the Romanians you worry about.

      Housing is best tackled by tackling the grannies – and we all know who they are.

      And this actually works for their benefit too. Decent residential accommodation gives them company, access to better facilities, healthcare and social activities too. It is a win win to get old people out of big homes and in to retirement flats. Not the old fashioned ones with naff meals and big old fashioned chairs. But the new style ones which are a bit like holiday camps. That is a win win for all.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Yet 7 million extra people since 1997 cannot be forgotten.

        Old people are already housed.

        Newcomers are not.

  48. dixie
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    However clever you get, the buyers and other residents will get the dirty end of the stick and the developers and their enablers will prosper even more, as usual.

  49. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    God, it’s 17.54 and Ive just finished reading your diary John. How depressing it all is. I’m off for a drink. It’s very much needed but the bottle I have to buy gets cheaper as everything else gets more expensive. Dire times indeed. Your government has all but broken this country because they didn’t respond to Covid in a responsible way.

  50. David Brown
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR My suggestion for your consideration

    Replace CIL with (your words) PSIC Public Sector Infrastructure Costs. Make sure that developers contributions are ring fenced to the immediate area around the development but do NOT give any money to the LA from developments under any circumstances.

    Use the CIL calculation against a development so a financial figure is established however get the developer to carry out additional infrastructure works without any payment to the Local Authority within the vicinity of the development. Developers can often provide much better VFM than giving LA’s a pot of money to spend on Political projects, often LAs use their own staff and finance it from developers contributions. This is a serious waste of money Ive witnessed it.

    In the past Section 106 agreements part of the Town and Country Planning Act have been used by various Councils to fund some very strange projects in the past. I personally know of section 106 being used to fund statues as art in town centers. 106 money used to supplement revenue budgets to keep staff employed. The list goes on.

    The replacement CIL – Community Infrastructure Levy was published in 2016
    The CIL levy is a fixed charge (per square metre) on the development of new floor space.
    The big problem with CIL is that it enables Councils to be very creative on what they spend it on, and I know instances where CIL money has been used to fund community center’s a long way from the development.


  51. Addanc Monster
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    How about less public sector spending, small state. Simple,

  52. Javelin
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    There is a Dilbert cartoon where the manager realises profit=revenue-costs so beautiful then sacks all the staff to increase profits.

    This Government do the same with tax. If only we could increase tax inline with a fall in GDP all our problems would be solved.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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