The Proportional Property Tax (PPT) is the most important reform of the tax system to be proposed for decades. In my view its most significant virtue is the impact it will have in reducing divisions and inequalities between the regions of England, and generating development and jobs in northern and western regions. According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, the UK is more regionally divided than any other comparable advanced economy, with huge differences in productivity, income, unemployment, and health. England has some of the poorest regions in the whole of Europe, while London and the South East are among the richest.

England’s broken property tax system is part of the reason for this unacceptable situation. By taxing property in proportion to its value, the PPT will result in a tax cut for millions of households outside London, while demanding fairer contributions from the bankers, large landowners, and foreign investors in London and the South East who benefit most from rocketing land values in these areas. In this way, the PPT will help create a level playing field between the regions, ‘levelling-up’ the country and allowing the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ to grow and develop into a reality, rather than remaining just a political slogan.

The PPT will benefit the country in a number of other ways, perhaps most importantly by helping to solve the housing crisis, which is currently causing insecurity and misery for thousands of people across the country (including London and the South East). Levels of homelessness are rising, rents are sky high, and at the same time the number of people who own their own home is declining. By taxing empty properties and undeveloped vacant plots that have been granted planning permission, with an increased rate for second homes and (often empty) non-domiciled properties owned by wealthy foreign owners, the PPT will provide incentives for owners to rent or sell their properties and develop their building plots, putting more homes on the market.

As well as helping to solve the housing shortage and create a level playing field between the regions, the PPT will also be much easier and cheaper to collect than the Council Tax, making it an efficient as well as a fair tax.

Anyone who wants a fairer and more prosperous society in which everyone can earn a decent living and find a stable home for their family, should enthusiastically support this campaign.

By Dr. Gavin Kerr, Independent Researcher in political economy, author of The Property-Owning Democracy: Freedom and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century.