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Sajid Javid proposes to tax the uplift to land value generated by planning permission. This is not a new idea since Harold Wilson tried exactly the same wheeze fifty years ago. Here, knowing that this approach was entirely pointless, he appointed a retired civil servant to oversee the purchase of appropriate land parcels. At the end of several years only two acres had been purchased.
The fact is that Mr Javid’s taxing approach is not practical since there are bound to be endless wrangles over the relevant cost and deemed disposal value of land. So Mr Javid, who has hitherto struck me as sensible, is very probably merely engaged in political posing ahead of 12th December.
Where I think he is raising a worthwhile point is that there is a case for council tax to be raised for under use of space. However, this also is not easily framed legislation.
Paul Collier in this last weekend’s Spectator points out that HMG should borrow heavily at current rates of interest (negative after allowing for inflation). He has a point – although an idiot like Corbyn will take this view as a signal to engage in pointless spending. Governments must only borrow for worthwhile projects.
It is comical to note the FCA seeking to regulate wealth management fees and conduct. Here it comes into regulating the declaration of wisdom.
Of course, the FCA will defend themselves by pointing out that they have to do this since Brussels tells them to do so. Hmmm…
IQE (LON:IQE) unravels this morning and is now 50p. This remains a clear short.
Finally, a letter to the editor of The Times last week pointed out that the best method of checking whether a kilt conceals underpants is to consider whether there is dandruff on the wearer’s shoes. This has never occurred to me before. Eyes down.