Scrap council tax – wealthy homeowners must pay more| Larry Elliott

The time has come for a land value tax to redistribute wealth and help fix our broken housing market

The government is short of money. The Treasury is scrabbling around looking for ways to fund Theresa May’s pledge to spend an extra £20bn a year on the NHS. Pressures on the public finances are bound to continue increasing because the population is ageing and older people need more health and social care. The way to square the circle is obvious. Philip Hammond should use his autumn budget to announce the abolition of council tax and its replacement with a fairer system of property taxation. That means a land value tax, an idea whose time has come.

Council tax is 25 years old this year, even though it was a quick-fix solution to the mess the Conservative party found itself in as a result of Margaret Thatcher’s determination to replace domestic rates with the poll tax.

Related: Could we build a better future on a land value tax?

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