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Letter to the Editor
Australian Financial Review
June 18, 2015


The member for Eden-Monaro, Dr Hendy, suggests it is “crazy” to change negative gearing or capital gains tax arrangements and  instead we should accept as a “fact of life” that more Australians will become renters, not homeowners (“Renting will become more common in Sydney: Liberal MP“, AFR, June 16). This may be clever politics, but it acquiesces to a “dog in the manger” approach to the commonwealth.

Land values increase while the land owner sleeps, solely due to the presence, co-operation and work of the community. In truth, if governments continue to entrench fiscal arrangements that privilege the private collection of land values ahead of productive labour, they will cripple our economy. If governments continue to block the inalienable right of all people to use and enjoy land on equal terms, they will only further divide and ultimately destroy our society.

Justice requires the removal of all subsidies and all taxes, leaving only the collection of the unimproved value of land for public revenue. This would cause land presently held out of use to either be used productively or sold, massively increasing land supply and driving down land prices relative to wages. This is the freeway to full employment, well paid jobs and affordable housing for all Australians.

Ronald E Johnson
Association for Good Government, ACT Branch
Canberra, ACT

In the Hendy article, the Federal MP states ownership levels in Sydney may well halve to 33% as in other global cities such as New York, LA, Paris and Tokyo. This is an admission of an outdated taxation system unable to keep up with the incredible mobility of capital. We should not accept a neo-serfdom future as inevitable.