TAX evasion is a major national sport, and tax avoidance is one of our most lucrative industries. One reason for this is that our present taxation system has developed with little more principle than getting as many feathers as possible from the taxpayer goose for the minimum number of squawks. Everybody agrees that the system is riddled with anomalies and absurdities, and is a major drag on production, and many people are eager to dodge it whenever they can. Yet for a great many years nobody has attempted a serious review.
A tax on land values, which your correspondent Henry Law proposes (Letters, 9 October), cannot hinder production because the quantity of land cannot be altered. It cannot be avoided or evaded because land cannot be hidden. It is based on the very simple principle that land has not been created by man, and it is a good deal more sensible to tax people on the basis of benefit which they receive for no effort than to tax them on the basis of their useful productive activity.