Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dear Zubeida Jaffer,

I am interested in your good column "Disaffected voters….." in today's Cape Times. This is because there is one other single "burning" issue which will qualify for inclusion in any burgeoning new party manifesto. It is to address the land question in a fresh and simple way so as to finally put an end to the disgraceful levels of poverty and unemployment which rack this country. Here is how the South African Constitutional Property Rights Foundation [SACPRIF] describes how the tax system has to be changed:-

A New Free-Land Tax Haven: South Africa's Double Dividend

When an apple fell on Sir Isaac Newton's head he founded the law of gravity, an algebraic formula which describes the force with which objects hit the ground.

This law impacts not only on all things that fly through the air but to ageing body parts, sport, and industry and to all things bright and beautiful in between.

There are also natural laws of human behaviour which are governed by algebraic formulae. For instance the law which defines the best conditions for creating new jobs is, ironically, to stop taxing work, profits, interest or value added tax because they raise the cost of employment, capital and trade. They destroy jobs.

A further negative of these personal taxes is that they generate high unused land prices which are unaffordable to most. It is trite to say that the poor must have land to survive if they have no job. Yet in SA today the average price of an urban plot is, incredibly, R400 000 and for a rural small–holding R750 000.

So the best way to create jobs, either in the towns or country, is to cancel all taxes on work, savings and trade and replace them with a single land tax. This is the natural law of job creation. It is an orthodox fiscal intervention and endorsed by Nobel Laureates in economics

A free-land and tax-haven can be South Africa's double dividend.

Details of how one can support this are available on our website in the booklet "A Creative Solution to Unemployment and Poverty."

Regards, Peter Meakin

Registered Professional Valuer

Chairman SACPRIF Management Committee