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March 04, 2012

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Matthew Reynolds

I agree that we need action on tax reform.Also I would support the CBI by looking at their private roads plan to spur growth by building our way out of this recession.I would ask the CBI to draw up detailed plans that could be speedily implemented on the back of the planning reforms to get more train tracks,stations and roads built.We should be offering incentives to get pension funds to invest in these things and see if business & the rich with cash in the bank fancied a guaranteed long-term return.

I would phase in a land tax over six years and over that period phase out employers & self employed National Insurance.That would encourage growth by compelling with land to realise its economic value to pay the tax.It would encourage people to set up businesses and/or become self-employed to pay the tax or sell the land to those who would.This would be a carrot-stick approach to generate new jobs and prosperity by prompting more efficient use of land while making it cheaper to employ the people needed to do that.I would certainly rather that there where more self-employed enterprising types around to help make the economy more dynamic.

In terms of stamp duty just exempt the first £500,000 of all property deals from the tax with each subsequent £1 taxed at 0.5%.That would spur a property market bounce-back and a flatter tax is invariably harder to duck.It would take most people out of stamp duty leaving it as a tax on richer people and thus fairer.The threshold would rise by property prices or regular inflation whichever is bigger.That would stop fiscal drag hitting people by preventing an unjust stealth tax.But should asset prices overheat that stamp duty rate should rise to whatever is needed to stop such a bubble threatening economic stability as we saw in the UK in 1986-89 & in 2001-08.It could return to 0.5% once the danger had passed.

Boris is talking sense but we should be even bolder than he suggests.Growth needs to be fired up and radicalism is what the Doctor ordered.

A property market recovering,rapid infrastructure renovations and land use being more economic growth could surge.

Jeremy

Boris strikes an excellent cord here, making sure that London is his priority, but with solid ideas for the whole UK. Investing in infrastructure has always been top of Boris's agenda. He's investing £22 billion in infrastructure as Mayor of London, including £6 billion in the Tube and £15.9 billion in Crossrail. And on apprenticeships he's certainly practiced what he preaches. He's on target to deliver 100,000 apprenticeships by the end of 2012 and has already delivered more than half of those. Very glad to see him talking sense, as Matthew put it. I'll be voting for him 3rd May.

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