Sir, – In response to the letter from James Taylor (The SF January 19), my statement about the invincibility of the economic case for Land Value Taxation was taken from the Mirlees Review of the UK tax system by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in 2011. Sir James Mirlees was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics and was a member of Scotland’s Council of Economic Advisors.

In more than 40 years of studying LVT, I have never seen it described as ‘a system of rates applied by bureaucrats targeted mostly on productive assets’. This is far removed from the true definition of LVT. I would like to know what evidence Mr Taylor has for his claim that ‘uncultivated land becomes a wilderness and productive employment disappears’ when LVT is introduced.

As an advocate of LVT for many years, I am sure our farm business would benefit from LVT. It has 650 acres of owner-occupied land and does not depend on subsidy income support.

I have calculated that the business would be more productive and profitable following the abolition of taxes on employment and trade and their replacement with an annual charge based on the rental value of the land.

The market price of our farm would fall with LVT but that would be irrelevant because we do not want to sell it. Reduction in the price of all farm land would benefit those young people who would like to make a start in farming but who can not afford to do so. The current price of land is almost five times the amount which can be justified by product prices and the costs of production.

Duncan Pickard

Straiton Farm,