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Report of C21 Mini Meet-up held at the School of Economic Science 6.30pm Friday 27 November 2009 By Dave Wetzel

Francis S.
1102154
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 160
The facilitator for this meet-up was Dave Wetzel, the first Vice-Chair of Transport for London (2000-2008) and former Chair of the Greater London Council’s Transport Committee and Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow.

Dave is Chair of the Professional Land Reform Group, President of the Labour Land Campaign and CEO of Transforming Communities.

The meeting took the form of Dave Wetzel introducing thoughts and ideas around land issues that stimulated discussion from participants. Dave used a couple of stories to illustrate that natural resources (including land – the surface of our planet) are provided as a free gift of nature for all to enjoy; the injustice that monopoly landowners cause by holding land out of use unless we pay them rent for the use of land; how the whole of society creates land wealth that could either go to landowners (as happens in the UK and most of the world at present) or which could be collected and used for the public purse and that an annual Land Value Tax (LVT) is one way to collect part of land wealth.

Introduction

Dave described how man-made wealth is created by utilising the three factors of production and the economic return to each:
• Labour (including physical, mental and entrepreneurship), the return is wages paid to the person providing their labour;
• Capital, the return is profit or interest that goes to the investor who risks their savings;
• Land and all other natural resources, the return is economic rent that goes to the landowner who does nothing except claim ownership to the land/natural resource which nature provides for free.

Some points from the discussion

1. There needs to be some form of governance over use of land and out other natural resources
2. There is an abuse of ownership of land – property speculators hold land out of use; destroy natural beauty and local environments with derelict buildings, hoardings etc; encourage urban sprawl which in turn increases pollution and road accidents.
3. Private ownership of land is the law of society and therefore we can’t do anything about that. (This was disputed).
4. Transport for London ‘wastes’ money on its inefficient services. Public transport in London is bad and needs to be improved. (This point was made at least 3 times by the same participant – and although probably true - was not strictly relevant to the subject of land and poverty).
5. Land wealth should be shared by all. (Not just given virtually tax-free to landowners).

You can see the full discussion here ......

See www.LabourLand.org­
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