Letters to the Editor – The Advertiser 16/02/15

‘Back to the Future’ for SA Labor, The Advertiser

It was interesting to read in Wednesday’s Advertiser (11/02/15) that SA Labor is seeking to broaden the scope of the land tax. Drawing on Henry George’s 1879 tract, Progress and Poverty, certain members of the South Australian labour movement in the late 19th century believed that by introducing an expansive land tax – charging higher rates for undeveloped land – property owners would have no recourse but to make productive use of it. Those in favour argued it would increase investment, and inturn employment, benefiting an economy hit hard by the fluctuations of agricultural output. The land tax was most vehemently supported by a host of ‘democratic societies’, who would successfully lobby for its inclusion on the South Australian United Labor Party’s policy platform throughout the 1890s, and the early years of Federation. Taking into account the current economic conditions of SA, one looks forward to the commentary on the modus operandi of this particular initiative.

Published 16/2/15 as ‘Back to Future’


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