Following the publication of our report A Land Value Tax for Northern Ireland (1), Dr Ronan Lyons, myself and the Chief Executive of NICVA, Seamus McAlaevey were delighted to have been asked to give evidence to the Finance and Personnel Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 22 October 2014.

The evidence session covers many questions relating to LVT and land taxation more widely. It begins at 9 minutes and ends at 1:01:30.


(1) This report was commissioned by NICVA’s Centre for Economic Empowerment. A copy of the report can be downloaded from NICVA website (together with infographic) or from my own page of LVT resources here.


  1. You are becoming part of the establishment, Andy!


  2. It certainly demonstrate that any system of taxation needs to be very carefully thought out because it’s all to easy to get it wrong then have to spend ages tinkering about trying to get it right.


  3. These MLAs recognised the problem of excessive house prices but are not going to spend their political treasure on a tax which could cause collateral damage amongst their constituents such as farmers. The most interesting nugget in the session was Ronan Lyons saying the problem begins with a lack of supply of housing and is fanned into flame by excess of credit. The MLAs looked far more sympathetic to tackling the issue of supply – i.e. reforming the planning system.


    • Planning permission is always important, and relatively easy to change but land taxes properly introduced would fully revitalize the farming industry as it incentivizes best use of land (ie totally dependent on it’s planning permission) and therefor does not penalize any sensible development within that parameter.
      Provided it’s met with equal or greater reductions in other taxes, especially property taxes (which land tax really isn’t) this can only be good for farmers who wish to be productive farmers and not merely land speculators.


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