I’m Ian Hopton, the author of the site and a longtime advocate of LVT. The ideas and propositions expressed in the explanations are entirely my own, and may not necessarily be shared by the individuals and organisations referred to through the various links.
I first came across LVT whilst studying at the School of Economic Science in London in the 1970s, and remember being struck immediately by the logic and moral intelligence of the argument that lay behind it.
I completed the three year economics course and subsequently signed up with the Liberals, who at that time were the only political party advocating LVT (it was still part of their policy for local taxation). With the advent of the SDP/Alliance and then the Liberal Democrats, LVT seemed to disappear from the Liberal agenda, except amongst the loyal believers who gathered under the banner of the ALTER group. ALTER eventually prevailed upon the Lib-Dems. to include LVT in their 2015 election manifesto.
I’m also a supporter of the Labour Land Campaign, who are very active and who enjoy widespread support amongst many Labour MPs. It’s heartening to know that there is considerable co-operation across party lines between individuals who support LVT. The Green Party, the Co-operative party and the Young People’s Party all have LVT written into their manifestos. I admire Caroline Lucas’ courageous attempt in 2012, to have LVT debated in Parliament (1). It’s encouraging to note also that there are several Conservative supporters, and so it’s not unreasonable to imagine cross-party support for LVT as part of a movement towards basic reform of the tax system.
My career includes ten years as a merchant seaman, followed by twenty five years in architectural practice mainly in London. Since 1990 I have worked as an artist and printmaker, based in France, but have kept in contact with LVT colleagues in England. I’ve always maintained a close interest in politics and economics and over the whole period it has become increasingly apparent that Britain, and in fact the whole western economic capitalist system, is in need of fundamental reform, not least in the way we impose and collect taxes. Any such reform would require the support of the electorate, and this will only be forthcoming if they know what they are voting for. I hope this site will help some way towards that knowledge.
There is a growing public awareness of the gross injustices and inequalities within society which appear to be getting worse rather than better, despite all the good intentions of successive governments. This awareness can lead either to cynicism and despair or to a determination to understand and remedy the causes.
Ian Hopton, La Fontbelle, Lauroux, 34700 Lodève, France
Tel. (0033) 4 67 44 19 29