The Additional Benefits of a Rent-Funded Universal Income

A rent-funded Unconditional Income, such as that provided by the making of voluntary ground rent contributions, is a perfect match, not only because it does not require any orthodox taxation, but also:

  • The primary purpose of making voluntary ground rent contributions is to make land available for people to use rather than for it to be treated as an under-used investment asset. It necessarily generates an income stream to be used for the common good, and an obvious way of using it is to share it out equally as a Universal Income;
  • It changes the nature of the boundaries of land from a one-sided ‘My land, keep out’ contract to a ‘This is the edge of the land I’m using for myself, my family, farming or business. In exchange for your recognition and respecting of this boundary, I am committing to using it responsibly and to paying the community a market-derived ongoing rent / due for its use.’;
  • It acknowledges that in going about our productive daily lives, everybody is jointly making their immediate neighbourhoods (and, through our global economic inter-connections, neighbourhoods in distant lands, particularly the centres of the world’s biggest cities) more attractive places to live and to run our businesses. Land value expressed as rent can therefore be said to be a by-product of the way in which we all live. So would it not makes sense if we were to all benefit from the value we created?
  • It is a means for landowners to directly compensate others for excluding them from use of the land that we claim as our own (that none of us made);
  • It means that contributing voluntary ground rent can contribute through providing an Unconditional Income to improvements in employment and self-employment opportunities for some people, and to improving the quality of life of some that may be struggling, even before it can have an impact on the availability of land (and the consequent improved employment opportunities);
  • One of the reasons that orthodox benefits systems are both inadequate and resented by many people is that they are currently funded from taxes on income. If instead, an Unconditional Income were to be funded from the payment of voluntary ground rent, there might be greater acceptance that receiving an Unconditional Income is a right, not charity.