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A sense of fair play is an important part of our national identity. We can reflect on this with great pride. We are bound together by ties of mutual responsibility, social trust and most importantly a sense of fairness.

Fairness has long underpinned trust in our society. From the signing of the Magna Carta and the creation of the NHS, to defining the rules of many of the world’s major sports, British society is founded on principles that seek to uphold fairness and equal opportunities for all in education, work, health, justice, security and living standards.

This sense of fairness should not be confused with equality nor sainthood. It is about being reasonable and doing the right thing. 

However, the well-respected IPPR points out that this sense of fairness is interpreted too narrowly – as in the fair application of rules. Yes, this is important when playing football matches or board games. We believe that this sense of fairness should be expanded to include a sense of economic justice – “the fairness with which the economy generates prosperity and distributes its rewards”.

Our country’s two primary property taxes, Council Tax and Stamp Duty, have evolved into something neither reasonable nor right.  The deck is stacked in favour of the rich. In many cases today, the wealthiest are paying a lower effective rate of Council Tax than those who are merely well off, not to mention those who are struggling. Such outcomes go against our sense of fairness.

Meanwhile, across the country we are seeing rising levels of inequality – both regional and intergenerational. These divides have been exacerbated by the financial crisis of 2008 and there are further challenges ahead as we come to address the costs and the implications of the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The EU Referendum exposed these vast divides, particularly within England. The philosopher Sir Roger Scruton noted, “A conscious effort to direct resources northwards, and to provide for the people of the northern cities the education and career opportunities that currently exist to the south of them, would begin to heal one of the most painful divisions in our country”. 

The IMF highlights that economies with more equal distributions of income and wealth tend to have stronger and more stable paths of economic growth than those with greater inequality. A fairer economy will lead to a stronger economy for our great country.

In the run up to the 2019 General Election, the Conservative Party embraced this way of thinking and promised to “level up” the country. They won a clear mandate to do just that. Let’s help them deliver on their promise by presenting them with our vision for a fairer property tax.

We are fortunate to live in a liberal democracy, but that freedom comes with responsibility. Let’s use this responsibility. Let’s demand a fairer share for all. 

I encourage you to watch our explanatory video, sign the petition and share this vision with your friends and family. Let’s do the right thing.

Thank you,

Andrew Dixon

Founder, Fairer Share Campaign