Scrap Benefits and pay every adult, working, non working or retired, an unconditional basic income of £15,000 a year? Discuss

(332 Posts)
CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 15:35:15

Hi

Ok Mumsnet, what do you think of this?

Pay every adult in the uk £15,000 a year, with no conditions attached, so that every adult is free to use their time to do stuff, just for the love of it.

This basic income would cover basic needs for food and shelter, if people wanted to earn more money they could go and work for someone else or start a business of their own

This would abolish poverty in one fell swoop.

Wheres the money coming from to pay for it?

well apart from scrapping all "state benefits", we could also scrap income tax and fund it all by taxing money every time its spent.

ie Government gives me £5. I pass that £5 round a group of 10 friends. By the time the £5 comes back to me, it has been "spent" 10 times. Creating a turnover of £50. If the government taxes that spending at 20%, it raises £10 in tax. Making a profit of £5.

Thoughts?

If you recieved £15,000 a year unconditionally, what would you do just for the love of it?

redlac Wed 04-Jul-12 15:36:18

nice advert for your own blog hmm

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 15:38:14

fair point. i am really interested in peoples opinions though. maybe i should delete this post and post again without the link?

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 04-Jul-12 15:44:17

Wasn't this the aim of the communist governments? It didn't work, greed and corruption led to its downfall.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 15:48:33

no, as far as i understand communism is about everyone getting the same and no more. with the basic income people are free to earn as much extra as they want. in fact if you give everyone a basic income to cover their basic needs, then you can let a true free market economy do the rest. so its the opposite of communism.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 04-Jul-12 15:52:06

It's human nature to want more. Most people will never be happy with £15k, so will earn more/obtain more via different means. This would, in itself, create an imbalance as some sectors of society will be far better off than others. As the balance falls in favour of those who earn more, those who earn 15K will become resentful and demoralised.

tiredemma Wed 04-Jul-12 15:52:16

I actually enjoy working, so apart from not being able to afford to live on 15k pa, I would also be bored shitless.

mollymole Wed 04-Jul-12 15:52:56

what a load of bollocks !!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 04-Jul-12 15:56:15

I thought Frank Field had been talking about this one for quite some time. A 'National Wage' or something like that? Those that have jobs and for whom the £15k is effectively spare would be expected to give to others less fortunate than themselves. Those that piss their £15k up the proverbial wall would have to ask others to help them out rather than the state. It all hinges, of course, on personal responsibility and a degree of public-spiritedness that is currently at odds with a society where charitable giving is comparatively rare. I'd also be concerned that it would promote idleness... one of Beveridge's five giants on the road of reconstruction.

What would I do with an extra £15k a year?.... To paraphrase George Best it'd go on fast cars and booze. The rest I'd just fritter away.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 15:58:02

but the idea is that anyone could go out and earn more to suppliment their £15,000. so @tiredema you could go out and work, and therefore nobody is tied to just having £15k so doesnt have to become resentful or demoralised

question for you tiredemma, if i gave you £15k a year unconditionally, what work would you do just for the love of it?

wigglybeezer Wed 04-Jul-12 15:58:27

I thought this was Green party policy for a while.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 15:58:31

why bollocks moley?

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 15:59:08

it is green party policy

mollymole Wed 04-Jul-12 16:00:50

why should anyone be given money for not working if they are able to work

akaemmafrost Wed 04-Jul-12 16:01:51

Hmm I think my dog could come up with a better idea than this, hold on I'll ask him......

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:02:10

idleness?

1. would you work? tiredemma has already said yes
2. it covers basic needs, so fast cars are out, not much left after rent and food, so for fast cars and booze, youd have to suppliment your income by finding paid work
3. define work?

Ryoko Wed 04-Jul-12 16:03:32

Well comrade under the red flag everyone is equal (tho some more then others) and paid by the state as well as given a basic ration, there is no unemployment as such as all are employed by the state.

Pretty much the same thing you are implying.

Besides your idea is stupid based on the following.
Greed is rampant in this country, rent prices, utilities prices will rise to take into account the massive increase in handouts given by the government, equally wages will drop like stone if the state hands everyone 15k a year. As the current system is run to benefit business rather then the individual, plenty of people right now who work full-time and get HB and other benefits to top them up so they can actually afford to live.

This country is all ready half communist subsidising the working class with there own money, in a never ending cycle of taxation and handouts just to please big business so they can pay as little as possible and trouser the rest for use in their off shore tax haven, what you propose will just make the whole thing worse.

EmilieFloge Wed 04-Jul-12 16:04:20

I'm rubbish on politics but I have been knocking this one around in my head for a few weeks now...I thought it was my idea grin

I love it...I would be happy on that, knowing I was safe from poverty, and could work without the chaos you get when you try and work on benefits.

There are jobs I would love to do but can't afford to atm.
Bring it on.

I do wonder how it would affect prices though...I mean if things went up a lot, (not sure why they would) then those on the basic thing would maybe struggle to compete with those who were earning more...it could be cyclical.

doggiemumma Wed 04-Jul-12 16:04:23

So thats £15, EACH adult in the house? So thts £30K for us then? Yeah, thanks - i'll take it. What would i do for the love of it, what i do now, i work in science for nothing because i can't get a paid job. Alot of people who received £30K for doing fuck all would do just that! My DP doesn't earn anywhere near £30k we would be living in the lap of luxury with that - and yes, we have a mortgage (quite a big one that we struggle to pay actually).

If you upped to tax on spending you would strangle the economy, and i know nuthing about economics and its pretty obvious from where i am sitting

doggiemumma Wed 04-Jul-12 16:06:26

£15K obviously, not just £15, but no i dont like it, why should people receive this amount of money to do nothing? also it would devalue money so they may as well get £1.50 for all it will be worth

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:06:59

appreciate the feedback, but rather hear the constructive critisism akaemmafrost

mollymole, depends how you define work? but also an economy only works when people spend money, if people dont spend money, the whole thing breaks down. givin people money to spend creates demand for things, work is then created to make the things to fill that demand. so giving people "free money" creates work, and is therefore valuable in itself, if people want more than a basic living, then they would go out and work, so its hardly giving people money for nothing

Yes please, I'd be bloody rich! I work and I'm on less than 10K. Nice idea OP smile

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:08:58

ryoko

the £15k is index linked to inflation.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:10:20

LOL 20 posts before the first bit of positive feedback. thank you todaysagoodday, youre a star. great name too ;-)

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:11:53

oops sorry emilliefloge the replies coming so thick and fast i didnt see your positive feedback. great thats 2 people, and the ideas been around for quite a while. its actually green party policy

rimmerfleadick Wed 04-Jul-12 16:12:58

So how is this funded by scrapping income ta, really.
So are you saying we would have 40% VAT.

How would a goverment fund public spending if there is a shortfall in your spend tax?. How whould such a system effect the value of the pound money markets?.

Do people in full time education get this money too.
What about people who allready get benefits greater than £15k

Ryoko Wed 04-Jul-12 16:15:18

Your still giving people money for nothing, by giving everyone money for nothing instead of a few you open the flood gates for increases in the prices of utilities and services etc.

Look at house prices do you really think they would have reached the stupidity that it has if it wasn't for mortgages? no of course not, everyones greedy they will charge as much as they can, thus prices of things will all go up to swallow your 15k while the NMW drops to next to nothing, after a few busineses lobby government.

Or workfare will be extended and there will be no NMW jobs only a national service style tax of working x amount of time a year in jobs currently done by public sector workers (thats sounds pretty soviet too).

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:16:05

hi doggiemumma, no it wouldnt strangle economy, spending money creates turnover, creates effectively new money, and it would be a very sall percentage in tax.

so for another link but heres one to explain the tax. its not my site by the way, so its not self promotion again ;-)

www.apttax.com/

leelteloo Wed 04-Jul-12 16:16:21

You want positive feedback the same way you want 15k for nothing. Both totally unreasonable!

ReallyTired Wed 04-Jul-12 16:16:51

Why would anyone want to clean a toilet or some other lowly paid shitty job if they are automatically given 15K. Inflation would go mad and 15K would become worthless.

EmilieFloge Wed 04-Jul-12 16:17:38

I get benefits, think I get a bit over that including HB and I would PREFER this because it would mean I was free to work without worrying about the red tape. I could work around school hours and holidays and not be penalised.

I could do LOADS of different jobs and not have to worry about declaring things, HB being stopped by mistake because there's a mix up over my hours, having to report to people all the time. etc etc

I would not give a toss about the drop in income. The fact it delivered so much freedom to work would be fantastic.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Wed 04-Jul-12 16:17:53

This is also known as the Citizen's Income

ReallyTired Wed 04-Jul-12 16:19:57

I thought the present govenants wants to set up a univesal income which is 10K rather than 15K. However those who are able bodied without caring responsiblies wouldn't be able to sit on their arse.

Surely what is needed is a way of tracking people's income better so there aren't nightmares about housing benefit being cancelled or over paying child tax credits.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:20:30

rimmer....vat only covers a small amount of transactions and goods. the automated payment transaction tax covers ALL transactions. evey time money is spent.

yes every adult, working, unemployed, retired, student, all get the basic income payment

all other state benefits are scrapped

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:21:30

ryoko its index linked to inflation

MrsCog Wed 04-Jul-12 16:21:47

Ryoko sums my concerns better than I can.

I think you have a fair point in proposing some kind of 'standard benefit' as the system is so complicated at the moment that it costs far too much to run. I would propose something similar but a 2 tier system - a higher rate for people who can't work such as carers, disabled etc. and then a lower rate for people who need help and for pensioners (who if they've worked their whole life should have savings/pension etc. to help subsidise their income). People in work shouldn't need anything, but you could keep child benefit - maybe even increase it to help with childcare costs but remove the childcare portion of tax credits.

Even so, this is still probably majorly flawed!

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:22:44

really tired..........cleaning toilets would then have to become a really wellpaid job to attract the staff

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:23:29

leetleloo............what would you do if i gave you the money every year?

MrsCog Wed 04-Jul-12 16:23:32

And yes - the impact on inflation would be horrendous. As an example look how much student rents have increased since students got loans of 3-4k per annum to spend on living costs.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:24:39

emmilleflogge you would be free to earn money from work too, so you may end p even better off

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:27:49

rampant inflation doesnt seem to have happened with all the "quantative easing" and "bank bailouts" weve had recently, and all they are doing is creating money out of nothing and putting into the economy, so why would people having £15,000 to pay their rent and food bills for a year do it?

With an extra 15k a year, I'd pay people to iron my clothes and clean my house. I'd also eat out more and use taxis more. I'd carry on working in my relatively well-paid, enjoyable job but the money would give me more leisure time.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:29:15

example the greek bailout cost £250 billion. for £100billion LESS they could have paid every greek adult a basic income of £15,000

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:30:16

thank you aentprovocateur

MrsCog Wed 04-Jul-12 16:30:23

QE is slightly different as it doesn't put money directly in to the pockets of consumers. If everyone had 15K utility companies etc. would know they had room to increase prices as people had more spare cash.

EmilieFloge Wed 04-Jul-12 16:31:00

I'm not worried about earning more. I can't even do voluntary work without filling in forms and ringing up to check and writing letters about whether it's allowed or not.

It's awful. The thing I like most about the idea though is that it might just cut down on the amount of fraud - if people know they will have enough to live on, in a basic sense, and can't claim anything extra, there would be no point doing the things people tend to get upset about - for instance people not declaring work, or having zillions of children just to get a council house, or any other typical DM favourites.

I'm sure something else would happen instead though. No system is going to work perfectly. I'm not convinced on the 20% tax thing either but then again I am no good at these things.

Taking away the stigma from benefits would be a good thing too imo.

rimmerfleadick Wed 04-Jul-12 16:33:17

Mrs Cog

Or companies offer lower salaries.

merrymouse Wed 04-Jul-12 16:34:22

Move to somewhere beautiful where housing is cheap. On the other hand I think lots of people would have the same idea so it might not stay cheap.

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 16:35:32

If the government give you a fiver and it is taxed at 20% every time it changes hands between you and your friends, you aren't going to get a fiver back are you? You seem to be under the mistaken impression money materialises from nowhere, like the labour party and my five year old.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:35:46

where does QE put the cash then?

people would hardly have more cash, after paying rent and food bills and its index linked to inflation.

really enjoying this idscussion, but have to get back to work, hopefully catch up on the thread later tonight. wasnt expecting so many responses so soon

learned alot though, especially the main objections so cheers ;)

It would just cause inflation.

It would be better if everybody got a basic income but had to work to get it, in the community, and they felt they had earned their money, rather than just being given it.

Enough people already think they are entitled to something for nothing in this country. It would only make that worse.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:36:57

emmile you make some very very good points thanks

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 16:37:55

QE causes inflation. The declared rate of inflation is massaged by not including lots and lots of things in it. If you think giving everyone 15k won't devalue the currency and cause hyper inflation, well. Words fail me really.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:38:09

overmydeadbody.

why would "free money" cause rampant inflation whereas working for a basic income wouldnt?

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Wed 04-Jul-12 16:39:07

Sounds great !

If it is green party policy then that's one more reason to vote for them in my book.

I'd still work with children and families to earn more. Might even set up my own business if it wasn't all so incredibly complicated !

Tax credits seem very complicated/ never quite seem to cope with my ever changing work situation (especially over last year) Will have to give them an estimate of how much I've earned this year as I've had 3 jobs. Gets complicated for me and them.

In Qatar the government does something similar to this, but only for Qatari nationals, every Qatari national has a job and a wage paid by the government that is very very substantial.

But that's what the richest country in the world can afford to do with a population of less that 300,000

EmilieFloge Wed 04-Jul-12 16:44:32

What if just housing was free...if everyone could get a council house...I don't know. Or if it was affordable for the majority rather than just those who already receive benefits - people who work above the line should be able to get cheap enough housing too.

That would transform a lot of lives and take away a lot of resentment imo. I feel guilty for getting HB when others have to struggle to pay a mortgage. Really guilty.

AmberLeaf Wed 04-Jul-12 16:46:34

What about people who are carers for a disabled child and so can't due to caring responsibilities do the 'extra' work to increase their income?

I'm assuming your scrapping of benefits includes those paid to help with the higher costs of living with a disability?

So you will have groups of people who never have the opportunity to earn more/live more comfortably.

As a single parent of 3 with one disabled child who's care needs prevent me from working I'd be worse off under your proposal.

I can see why it could work for some.

The Qatari government don't just give their employees enough to cover basic living costs, they give them enough to live very well indeed. Of course they ship in cheap labour from India and Asia to do all the dirty work and manual labour in the country.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:47:51

chubfuddler

VAT works in the same way.

yes money is created out of nothing. thats what "quantative easing" is, thats where the "bank bailout" money comes from, thats how banks create money using "fractional reserve lending"

think about his.

if i could get all the money currently in the world, every single penny and put it in your bank account, and you then lend all that money back to me at an interest rate of 10%. then ask me for the money back. i can give you all the money you lend me, but where do i get the money to pay you the 10% interest you charge?

the money you gave me is all the money there is so i cant pay the interest.

thats what banks do when they lend money at interest, they are asking for money to be paid back that doesnt exist. to remedy this problem they then create it from nothing, and lend it to the debtor, so the debtor can to the interest. they obviously lend that money at interest too.

its genius, and we all fall for it, you gotta hand it to them really ;-)

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 16:49:41

chubfudder, so what would happen if we created jobs for everyone and paid them minimum of £15k a year? rampant inflation?

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 16:55:49

I actually don't understand a word you are saying. And believe me that's not because I am stupid.

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 16:56:25

"vat works in the same way"

No it doesn't.

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 16:57:27

You know that whole creating money from nothing nonsense you're banging on about? That's inflation. Right there.

merrymouse Wed 04-Jul-12 17:17:50

Nope, I agree, vat does not work like that. Money is generated by supplying a service or making something out of raw materials that is of greater value than the raw materials and then trading.

merrymouse Wed 04-Jul-12 17:18:56

Passing a fiver around just makes it a bit crumpled and grubby.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 04-Jul-12 17:31:55

I would be broadly supportive of such a system but think that £15k is far too much. Moving away from 'magic money tree' economics, where no taxes need to rise in order to pay for things, what do the numbers show?

Well 15000 multiplied by the number of over 18's in the UK (approx. 50 million) gives us...

750 BILLION pounds.

To put that into perspective, we currently spend around £225 billion on welfare and housing benefits.

So, to pay a 'national allowance' of £15k per year, the chancellor will have to up taxes by half a trillion quid or so! That just isn't going to happen any time soon.

HOWEVER

How about a National Allowance of around £5k payable to everyone (more for the disabled, obviously), total scrapping of all other benefits / housing allowances etc., and a free market solution whereby the allowance can be borrowed against (up to a certain threshold - say 300%) to get people through difficult times such as short term unemployment, or to help start up a business or pay for university fees etc. When not needed, the money could be put towards purchasing further pension provision or just taken as cash and spent.

This would be cost neutral, solve the pension’s crisis, give everyone a handy line of credit, boost the economy, give an incentive for the unemployed get back into work and even help out the banks.

What's not to like???

somebloke123 Wed 04-Jul-12 18:03:33

It's called Citizens' Basic Income isn't it?

I think it has much to be said for it but I can't see how it could be anything like £15000 pa. £6000 perhaps, £7500 max.

Then abolish the old age pension (they get the CBI same as everyone else so it's the same or higher income under a different name.) Also abolish the minimum wage. Massively restrict other benefits.

On top of the CBI people can earn what they want at a standard flat rate of, say 25%.

It has the virtue of massive simplicity. Also it abolishes the poverty trap since it is never not in someone's financial interest to work, as it is now, where some people face effective marginal tax rates of over 90% if they get a job as they lose in benefits almost as fast as they earn extra.

The genuinely sick or inform would of course get additional support.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 20:45:23

Chubfuddler & merrymouse. VAT is a tax on sales. Money is created by banks lending it at interest into society and is created by lending depositors money to debtors. It'd called "fractional reserve lending"

Take the Mic of my "pass the £5 note" example by all means, but you haven't explained why it doesn't work. Spending creates turnover, tax the turnover. VAT is a tax on turnover of a small amount if goods and raises almost £100 billion in tax already. I'm proposing widely increasing the amount of sales that can be taxed, therefore reducing the tax in % terms and increasing actual revenue.

All explained here

www.apttax.com/

Mr judgypants where did we find the £350 billion we've recently bailed out the banks with, and "quantitatively eased" into the economy?

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 20:52:53

It is so obvious why it doesn't work I'm amazed it needs spelling out.

Your fiver is passed to me. I pay 20% on it. So I have four quid. I pass on four quid. The recipient pays 80p. They have three pound twenty. They pass it on. The recipient pays 64p. Need I go on?

merrymouse Wed 04-Jul-12 21:21:36

corrupt bastard, VAT is a tax on 'added value' borne by the final, non VAT registered, consumer.

1) VAT registered wood cutter grows tree and sells wood at £10 and charges 20% VAT so £12
2) VAT registered table maker buys wood at £12, claims back VAT £2, makes table and sells to shop for £20 + VAT of £4.
3) VAT registered shop buys table for £24 and claims back VAT of £4.
4) Customer buys table for £40 + VAT of £8.

HMRC only receive any money if somebody adds value, not if they simply pass money around. If they all just charged each other £10, HMRC wouldn't make any more than the original £2.

merrymouse Wed 04-Jul-12 21:40:27

And...

Money isn't created by banks, except in the sense that the royal mint makes money. Money represents a communal way of measuring the value of goods and services.

Banks are businesses that make money by providing a service that people require - the market decides the value of the things that people spend money on, not the banks.

Obviously banks can make decisions that effect exchange rates and interest rates. However, they can't create a value that isn't there. (They might attempt to do this and succeed for a little while, but generally this all ends in tears).

merrymouse Wed 04-Jul-12 21:58:57

To explain the inflation thing...

All the money in the world is £10 and there are 10 pineapples which are worth all the money in the world, so each pineapple costs £1.

You, lend me £10 to buy all the pineapples and charge me £2 interest.

The £2 doesn't exist!

But great, you have just created 2 £1 coins and you lend them to me - fabulous!

Problem.

The pineapples are still worth all the money in the world, so they are now worth £1.20 each. I now need the £12 just to the buy the pineapples, and don't have any money to pay you back your interest.

Now, I could say to the pineapple seller "I can't afford to pay you £12, but I am the only person who wants your pineapples, so if you want the money now, I'm going to have to pay £10".

However, this deal hasn't 'created more money', it has reduced the value of the pineapples, so that the middle man (the banker) can be paid his £2 and take his cut in return for speeding up the flow of money through the economy.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 22:23:45

Chubfuddler. See merrymouse explanation of VAT. Selling a table for £40 raises £8 in tax. Leaving table seller with £32 if he buys something as end VAT user he pays the VAT on that meaning the new seller recieved something like £26. You see where I'm heading here? Under VAT the money should also "disappear' but it doesn't does it. So why would it with a full sales tax?

Merrymouse do you understand what fractional reserve lending is and how it works?

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking

Finally. I am giving you my answers to your questions, so would you answer one for me. If I gave both of you £15k basic income, index linked to inflation every year for life. What would you do with your time?

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 22:27:34

I understand merry mouse perfectly. It's your nonsense about passing a fiver round I don't get.

crypes Wed 04-Jul-12 22:34:14

If it is the 15K is free money than surely it would become worthless, this causes inflation. Every shop, every bank, knows we all have a free 15k so they price up their goods and services accordingly.

merrymouse Wed 04-Jul-12 22:34:35

The table seller doesn't pay any VAT, he passes it on to the end consumer. VAT registered businesses collect VAT but don't suffer it themselves. The table seller gets £48, keeps £40 for himself and passes on £8 to HMRC.

Each part of the chain passes VAT onto the next person. The amount of VAT only increases as they each add value to the product. Finally, the end consumer pays £8. However , if everybody was just passing the goods on at cost, the end consumer would only be charged £2, and this would be the only VAT received by HMRC.

Redbindy Wed 04-Jul-12 22:35:27

It's inflationary and a ponzi scheme that makes barclays look honest. You may as well promote women empowering women as your financial model.

AmberLeaf Wed 04-Jul-12 22:35:57

If I gave you £15k basic income, index linked to inflation every year for life. What would you do with your time

Same as I do now.

Any chance you could answer my questions in my first post?

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 22:40:07

It's as n

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 22:45:30

It's as inflationary as QE or bank bailouts. It's as inflationary as paying everyone £15,000 to do a 40 hour week.

The basic income is index linked to inflation.

At some point an item is sold for £48 and only £40 of that goes to the seller. The rest goes in tax. Therefore it is a tax on "sales" just not EVERY sale. Only difference, is if it was EVERY sale it would raise more in tax revenue.

The money doesn't disappear under VAT so it wouldn't with a tax on EVERY sale either. Plus the tax revenue is put straight back into the system by giving it to people as a basic income to spend.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 22:47:17

There are not only 10 pineapples either. New Pineapple crops grow every year.

CorruptBstard Wed 04-Jul-12 22:51:55

Hi amberleaf, still thinking about your question. I did answer to say nobody should be worse off, not sure how to make sure this happens though. You've still got me stumped, for now

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 22:51:56

I don't earn 15k for a 40 hour week. And QE and bank bailouts are inflationary. Glad you agree about that.

MoreBeta Wed 04-Jul-12 22:55:20

This idea has been around for quite some time - it is called a 'Universal Credit'.

It is a good idea because everyone gets it whether rich or poor and it is simple to administer like Child Benefit and hence widely supported.

Making it Universal means you could scrap all other benefits completely and also all tax allowances. It would massively simplify the tax and benefit system. Interestingly it also allows us to introduce a Flat Tax system as well because once you get a Universal Benefit then everyone is free to work or not and if they do work they pay the same marginal rate of tax but obviously people on lower wages pay a lower average rate of tax once the Univeral Benefit is taken into account.

There would be an incentive to work yet no resentment of people who could not work or who chose not to work.

We should have introduced a Universal Benefit years ago and it would help us get out of the current recession/depression.

freestallFrank Wed 04-Jul-12 23:02:30

great idea.

my yearly heating bill is £35, well due to a gas price rise its now £45/50. it'll be cheaper costing £0 when our bio fuel willow starts growing well. My place is owned outright, so I have no house/land costs. electricity is 4 batteries every 10 or more years and two replacement bearings for the windmill. If I didn't run a motor tricycle and didn't run a telephone and laptop, because I was richer by having my loved ones and more community in the vicinity then my living costs would be much lower than the average £80/week they are now, and I live very very well on £80 per week. and I know I'm very very rich. on a world scale.

and on that I'm probably much richer than a lot here because I don't have a land lord to work for nor a fancy car to work for nor fancy holidays to work for, nor the latest brand and fad to work for.

and living on 7 acres of orchard country , hill ,woodland, stream I'm already in paradise.

So your £15000 per year or £300 per week is amazing, I could save £220 of it every week and put it into our coops land account . the land account is a savings account to purchase land for other coops who wish to have the money to purchase land outright to reduce to Moneyless living.

Work wise, yes I'd love to earn lots and lots more at a job I liked, preferably self employed as now and also put that money into the land account too. I would carry on doing what I'm doing, working on free projects.

when does a person say they have enough.?

years ago I'd look at my pay packet and say to myself, now what do I need this for?

I would say the only things I need are the 4 physical needs, and my community, and medicine. Most other things just aren't very important.

community includes community regulation, which is governance, community sharing, looking after the elderly, the children, of all of the community work.

On a country level I think most people would find they were happy on £ 15000 and not bother looking for any more paid work. They would be free then to do interesting work, work of the community, and work of the family.

when we put our spoon to the breakfast cereal and put that cereal into our mouths, that's real work.

if we have land, and we are hungry and we go out and pick a cauliflower apple or potato we've grown and cook it on a stove we've made in shelter we've built on plates we've made,

that is exactly the same as the work of eating that breakfast cereal. outside the body or the work the body does automatically inside the body, no matter, it is all work. whether you get paid for it or not.

freestallFrank Wed 04-Jul-12 23:02:30

great idea.

my yearly heating bill is £35, well due to a gas price rise its now £45/50. it'll be cheaper costing £0 when our bio fuel willow starts growing well. My place is owned outright, so I have no house/land costs. electricity is 4 batteries every 10 or more years and two replacement bearings for the windmill. If I didn't run a motor tricycle and didn't run a telephone and laptop, because I was richer by having my loved ones and more community in the vicinity then my living costs would be much lower than the average £80/week they are now, and I live very very well on £80 per week. and I know I'm very very rich. on a world scale.

and on that I'm probably much richer than a lot here because I don't have a land lord to work for nor a fancy car to work for nor fancy holidays to work for, nor the latest brand and fad to work for.

and living on 7 acres of orchard country , hill ,woodland, stream I'm already in paradise.

So your £15000 per year or £300 per week is amazing, I could save £220 of it every week and put it into our coops land account . the land account is a savings account to purchase land for other coops who wish to have the money to purchase land outright to reduce to Moneyless living.

Work wise, yes I'd love to earn lots and lots more at a job I liked, preferably self employed as now and also put that money into the land account too. I would carry on doing what I'm doing, working on free projects.

when does a person say they have enough.?

years ago I'd look at my pay packet and say to myself, now what do I need this for?

I would say the only things I need are the 4 physical needs, and my community, and medicine. Most other things just aren't very important.

community includes community regulation, which is governance, community sharing, looking after the elderly, the children, of all of the community work.

On a country level I think most people would find they were happy on £ 15000 and not bother looking for any more paid work. They would be free then to do interesting work, work of the community, and work of the family.

when we put our spoon to the breakfast cereal and put that cereal into our mouths, that's real work.

if we have land, and we are hungry and we go out and pick a cauliflower apple or potato we've grown and cook it on a stove we've made in shelter we've built on plates we've made,

that is exactly the same as the work of eating that breakfast cereal. outside the body or the work the body does automatically inside the body, no matter, it is all work. whether you get paid for it or not.

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 23:07:53

I grow my own cauliflower. And I earn quite a lot of money too. It's not an either/or.

freestallFrank Wed 04-Jul-12 23:26:04

the point is the earth owes you a living.

you are an animal of the earth.

you were not born to have to pay an admission fee. a permanent ongoing admission fee.

you were not born to be a commodity with a price tag.labour tag.

you were born to live here and consume the earth without having to pay for it, where are you expected to live as an animal with a full life?

outer space.!

do monetized humans object to primitive humans living on the earth without paying.?

our bodies are made of the earth.

we are the earth.

we do only one worthwhile job in return for the energy we get from the sun the food and water and air that we get from the earth.

that one worthwhile job we do , and all of us do it,

is our job. when we in to the loo.

we are earth makers.

we fertilize the earth.

the most stupidest job done on the earth.

is to sluice all that goodness out to enhance the life in the sea.

while we are denied common land Earth from which to live

we have a right to fair monetary compensation

for doing our only useful Job.

The Job.

Chubfuddler Wed 04-Jul-12 23:36:32

Come in number five, your time is up.

Margerykemp Wed 04-Jul-12 23:49:35

I think it's a great idea. It works for students so why not for the rest of us. Employers would live it cos they would have an 'as and when required' workforce. It would boost spending in the economy because poor people with cash spend it. Education could be valued for its own sake. Millions would be saved on the admin of benefits and tax. Disabled people would get a decent standard of living. It would give women more economic power in their relationships. It would reduce domestic abuse. Parents could take longer parental leave. Everyone would feel valued and I'd imagine people would contribute to their communities more.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 00:01:38

CorruptBstard I ran through the figures for how much this idea would cost and came to a conservative estimate of an additional half a trillion quid over and above what the welfare state already costs. This would have to be found this year, next year, the year after and so on. You retorted with "where did we find the £350 billion we've recently bailed out the banks with, and "quantitatively eased" into the economy?"

I hope I don't have to explain the difference between finding the money for a once-in-a-century event and annual expenditure!

It has also been asked what we would choose to do for work if the government gave everyone £15k per annum. Well once we've all joined freestallFrank on his farming collective, or established our community based organic basket weaving groups, there will be sod all money left in our economy, or anyone arsed enough to go to work, to pay the taxes, to keep the lights on, the water running or our hospitals open, let alone any of the more complex yet necessary jobs we do to keep civilisation ticking over with any degree of modernity.

I did warn at the top of my last post that we were sailing perilously close to the 'magic money tree' approach to economics - this thread has well and truly hit that tree, felled it with a chainsaw and chopped it up into match wood.

freestallFrank Thu 05-Jul-12 00:51:08

There are two economies existing in the world. The larger of the two is the gift economy.

This is the free economy, the economy that is not paid for.

But nevertheless in monetary terms were the work in the gift economy to be paid for, it would be the larger economy of the two.

The beaches , the mountains, the home work and home life and many other benefits that we all have access to are run by gift economy. There is no entrance fee to be paid. And because there is no entrance fee none are excluded.

I put it to you that one of the largest and richest entities in the world is run on Gift Economy lines.

They are the worlds religions. Paid for on donation. No one is excluded.

the richer pay what they do and the poorer pay what they do, and the ones who have nothing, pay nothing, yet it works.
and entrance fees to museums can work this way too.

On our free stall we didn't magic £12000 from thin air. It came from people giving. yet everything on the stall is always free.

The money economy excludes people. That's what monetizing something does. That's what they did to Londons roads they started charging to use them and so now only the richer use them. That's what they did to water in India, they started to charge for it, so now the richer can afford to waste it leaving less and none for the poorer while at the same time falsely reporting that there will be water shortages, when all the time it is the monetization of water.

That's what has happened to land. That's why most live now in cities and towns.

When it is applied to lifes needs and money is the only way those lifes needs can be accessed then people are excluded and they starve, which is what we see in the world.

So the gift economy then can be seen as a very important serious and vital thing.

as far as I am concerned only for basic needs.

exchange away and use money for your cars and every other lesser thing.

it is not important if those things are scarce.

a basic income is a basic right . while the source of our life which is the land is denied us, then income to access our needs is fair compensation.

freestallFrank Thu 05-Jul-12 00:51:44

There are two economies existing in the world. The larger of the two is the gift economy.

This is the free economy, the economy that is not paid for.

But nevertheless in monetary terms were the work in the gift economy to be paid for, it would be the larger economy of the two.

The beaches , the mountains, the home work and home life and many other benefits that we all have access to are run by gift economy. There is no entrance fee to be paid. And because there is no entrance fee none are excluded.

I put it to you that one of the largest and richest entities in the world is run on Gift Economy lines.

They are the worlds religions. Paid for on donation. No one is excluded.

the richer pay what they do and the poorer pay what they do, and the ones who have nothing, pay nothing, yet it works.
and entrance fees to museums can work this way too.

On our free stall we didn't magic £12000 from thin air. It came from people giving. yet everything on the stall is always free.

The money economy excludes people. That's what monetizing something does. That's what they did to Londons roads they started charging to use them and so now only the richer use them. That's what they did to water in India, they started to charge for it, so now the richer can afford to waste it leaving less and none for the poorer while at the same time falsely reporting that there will be water shortages, when all the time it is the monetization of water.

That's what has happened to land. That's why most live now in cities and towns.

When it is applied to lifes needs and money is the only way those lifes needs can be accessed then people are excluded and they starve, which is what we see in the world.

So the gift economy then can be seen as a very important serious and vital thing.

as far as I am concerned only for basic needs.

exchange away and use money for your cars and every other lesser thing.

it is not important if those things are scarce.

a basic income is a basic right . while the source of our life which is the land is denied us, then income to access our needs is fair compensation.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 01:06:40

Good luck bartering for a hip replacement in a world without money.

Good luck bartering with HMRC.

Good luck finding and refining your own oil.

Good luck if your crops fail.

Without money, and the protection that our taxes buy for you (Police, judiciary and an army to fend off the barbarians), you'd be screwed. Yes, your way of life works for the time being, but if we all decided to live like that, we'd be back to where we were in 410 AD within a few generations.

freestallFrank Thu 05-Jul-12 01:17:27

MrJudgeyPants,

you said

'but if we all
decided to live like
that, we'd be back to
where we were in
410 AD within a few
generations.'

you obviously don't realise that most people pay for what can be free.

you obviously don't realise our homes are left naked with little insulation/ clothing in the winter while we switch on the power station.

but I'm not pressing for people to live as you described.

I want diversity of economics .

Not as now a monoculture of money.

So there is no threat. On the contrary. It would be a greater choice.

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 06:30:22

if it was EVERY sale it would raise more in tax revenue.

Which is fine, but then you would have the situation as described by Chubfuddler where each person has less money to pass on as more and more money is passed on to HMRC. However, you might as well just pass the money around a few times and then give a fiver to HMRC. I suppose in your system they then give it back to the first person?

There are not only 10 pineapples either. New Pineapple crops grow every year.

Which is great - as long as people value pineapples the pineapple trade will grow. However, printing more money just inflates the price of each pineapple, however many you have.

As I said before, money is just a way of simplifying the trade of goods and services in an economy (of which banking is one). You can't create wealth just by printing money.

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 06:56:19

If I gave both of you £15k basic income, index linked to inflation every year for life. What would you do with your time?

Actually, I told you way back - I'd go and live somewhere really cheap but beautiful and surf all day.

However...

For me this is a great idea as I live somewhere where currently £15K doesn't support living costs. I'd love to live somewhere cheaper, but have to live where the work is. However, what does the government do when I take my labour out of the workforce? I'm living simply now, using freestallFrank's gift economy to trade with my chums. I don't have much money, but I don't have to earn it and I don't have to spend it. I'm certainly not giving much of it back to you.

You might have a bit of a problem when I claim my NHS hip replacement though. Amberleaf might be a bit fed up because she is still having to be a carer so can't go surfing and £15K doesn't really cover her costs.

My landlord has put my rent up because now everybody wants to come surfing with their free £15K. However, thats fine because your index linking my £15K to inflation - fabulous! Not quite sure where your going to get the money from to do that.

Anyway, I'm not really questioning whether giving everybody a fixed minimum income would work. Just pointing out that fundamentally we have be to making things and providing services to grow the economy, not printing more money.

It's generally agreed that we then give according to ability and provide according to need, so that we all have a basic standard of living.

KatyMac Thu 05-Jul-12 07:10:36

At the moment a lot of the problems are about;
"I work really hard & they get their house for free/very cheap"
"I can't afford another child (right now) & they keep having babies (paid for by tax payers)"
"Why do I work this hard & they get (all that money) for doing nothing"

If we all had say £200 a week adults & £100 a week per child and then taxed earned income at 50% there would be none of that "they have more than me & yet I work"

All benefits except carers allowance and DLA would be scrapped; ad the money saved in wages and actual benefits would pay the bill

I really think this would work

CorruptBstard Thu 05-Jul-12 07:20:15

The current average wage in UK is £26,000.

If landlords and utility companies know we have this amount of money to spend why don't they increase their prices to take it off us?

Why would giving a basic income of £15,000 which is £11,000 less than the average wage, mean these landlords and utility companies would increase their prices and therefore cause inflation?

CorruptBstard Thu 05-Jul-12 07:21:57

Katymac. Top post ;-)

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 07:28:15

Not every landlord, just the landlords who charge rock bottom prices because currently their houses are in places where there are no jobs.

What I am questioning is the idea that the government could give everybody a guaranteed sum of money that would cover their basic living costs so work would be optional.

A massive advantage of your plan would be that you would reduce the cost of housing in the South East because there wouldn't be any advantage to living there any more.

It's just the 'optional working for all' thing that I can't get my head around. Even in freefall's moneyless economy people are working.

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 07:59:48

And of course the magic money theory, that's a bit of a stumbling block for me too.

I think you are confusing the minimum reserve which enables banks to lend other people's money, thus providing a service which enables other people to trade goods and services, thus growing the economy, with banks being able to create money magically.

Of course banks can manipulate exchange rates, interest rates and inflation to an extent. However, when they just print more money you get people trading a wheelbarrow of cash for a loaf of bread. You can't fundamentally change the value of the goods and services that are being exchanged. The value of these is governed by supply and demand.

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 08:04:54

'you were born to live here and consume the earth without having to pay for it'

But they tell us that we are using up the earth's resources and they want us to pay for it. They want us to 'cut back', they want us to be 'sustainable'. They want to meter water, so that we pay for every drop of that resource.

'It's inflationary and a ponzi scheme that makes barclays look honest.'
According to the OP, it has something to do with Green party polcy.

'I thought Frank Field had been talking about this one for quite some time. A 'National Wage' or something like that? Those that have jobs and for whom the £15k is effectively spare would be expected to give to others less fortunate than themselves. Those that piss their £15k up the proverbial wall would have to ask others to help them out rather than the state. It all hinges, of course, on personal responsibility and a degree of public-spiritedness that is currently at odds with a society where charitable giving is comparatively rare. I'd also be concerned that it would promote idleness... one of Beveridge's five giants on the road of reconstruction.'

'Those that piss their £15k up the proverbial wall would have to ask others to help them out rather than the state'

So if someone invested their money in their business which collapses, or bought a bank product, which they later found had been mis-sold, would they then have to pass a begging bowl round to their friends and neighbours?

What about wheelchair users whose wheelchairs cost between £10,000 - £12,000?

niceguy2 Thu 05-Jul-12 08:09:29

Well said judgey. All this is, is a theory based upon a magic money tree. All paid for by that mystical person Mr "someone else".

It would only work in a fantasy world where humans are not fallible individuals whom given the choice would choose to be lazy.

If/when that world exists I will support it. Until then I'd best get ready for work.

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 08:17:00

Do the Greens support 'universal credit'?

It sounds nice, they sell it with teh word 'universal', so that we all think we get something. But some who need more than their cap, will be limited and teh rest will be bought off by the 'universal' aspect, so they won't support the more needy.

How much will this save the state? Is this a means of 'cutting back' state expenditure in total, atr the expense of the needy? Is this part of their 'sustainability' agenda? Is there a 'carbon footprint' for every human being that they have calculated in their ivory towers? Is there a capped limit to every human being's benefits that they have calculated in their ivory towers? Is there no cap for their bonuses or their pensions or their bail outs but a cap for every member of the public after which they will have to rely on the Big Society?

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 08:31:52

''Those that piss their £15k up the proverbial wall would have to ask others to help them out rather than the state'

Why do they want that for the public, but not the banks? Aren't we all in this together?

Why don't they see how far the banks would get if they asked the Big Society for help? I wonder how many of the public will lend them a hand and offer to bail them out?

There is one rule for them and 'universal credit' for us.

MoreBeta Thu 05-Jul-12 08:35:05

To make this Universal Benefit scheme really work well, we would also need to get rid of minimum wage but the labour market woudl become more economically efficient.

The reason why we would no longer need a minimum wage is simply that everyone would have enough money to have a very basic standard of living and would only work if employers made it worthwhile working. The labour market would become much more flexible and the power of employees and employers would be more evenly balanced. The real value of work would be much more transparent. Low paid work would no longer subsidised by Govt paying tax credits or forced labour under workfare schemes. Paradoxically, overall pay levels might actually rise.

Those without work would have to move out of expensive areas to find cheaper housing or find work in that expensive area. The housing market would therefore also become more efficient. Retirees would move to smaller cheaper houses.

By my calculation, the actual level of the Universal Benefit would need to be £10k and untaxed which would be equivalent to about £15k additional gross pay for the average worker.

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 08:46:36

It's as inflationary as QE or bank bailouts

Leaving aside whether or not QE or bank bailouts are inflationary, a key difference is that governments have these policies to jump start economies by providing funds to trade in goods and services that don't yet exist.

If nobody goes on to provide these goods and services, you definitely get inflation.

Governments do not have QE or bank bailout policies to provide a basic wage to people so that they don't have to work (and never provide the goods and services).

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 08:58:13

Beveridge's Children

Beveridge was a progressive.

'The aim of his committee’s discussions—which also looked at housing rents, and why working-class women spent more than men on clothing—was to set benefits at “subsistence” level: preventing squalor without promoting idleness. Once more, coercion loomed. Beveridge wanted compulsory “training camps” for malingerers.'

'Last month George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, unveiled a cap on the benefits that any one family can receive, tied to the median net income of a working household. The British sense of “fair play” would not tolerate people opting for welfare as a “lifestyle choice”, Mr Osborne said. Mr Duncan Smith has vowed tougher sanctions for benefit claimants who refuse work, up to and including the loss of some benefits for three years.'

There will be no 'universal' idleness. Eventually the 'universal' benefit will probably be linked to contribution and work. 'Beveridge wanted compulsory “training camps” for malingerers.'

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 09:01:06

A large number of Labour MPs opposed Beveridge's plans and even the National Health Service in the early days. Ernest Bevin was against the Beveridge plan.

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 09:03:57

What will happen to the millions of unemployed and idle who will be consuming green resources and not offsetting their 'carbon footprint' by paying 'carbon credits' earned through work? What would Beveridge, the progressive, think about that?

MoreBeta Thu 05-Jul-12 10:46:13

I have been doing some academic research on the question of cost of living over the 20th Century.

It is interesting to see how the modern 2012 debate about poverty and benefits and living wage and inflation and 'benefits malingerers' is exactly the same language as was used in 1912.

In the early years of the 20th century the focus was very much on what the minimum level of male working class wages needed to be sustain a good basic standard of living for a working class family. Middle class spending patterns were not considered at all.

The working class cost of living was not used to set subsistence level wages and it did not assume the wife went out to work. It was a male wage level that sustained life at an acceptable level for a family with the man going out to work but with the familoy having few luxuries. Indeed, there was a famous house-to-house survey done across the UK to study what working class families actually consumed and a basic 'basket' of goods was worked out that was used to calculate the cost of living. That basic basket of goods did not change until after WWII.

There was no notion of relative poverty in those early days of the 20th century days and even social reformers like Rowntree were definitley focussed on absolute poverty. The debate about relative poverty only came in after WWII and that influenced the level of old age pension and benefits. It is this increasing use of 'relative' measures of poverty that pushed up benefits relative to actual wages over the last 50 years and now that has reached a breaking point.

In effect setting the level of Universal Benefit would be a decision about what basic level of income we need people to earn to sustain life at a basic level and woudl implicitly assume that if people want anything beyond that level then they have to earn it.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 10:56:50

MoreBeta That would certainly set an interesting starting point - out of interest, do you have any idea what the basket of goods contained, and how much it would cost to buy in 2012?

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 10:59:22

But a subsistence level of living in 1912 meant no toilets, no inside tap, cooking over a fire and the eldest child starting work at 12, possibly leaving the house to go into service. You grew your own food in the countryside and were malnourished in the city. You wrapped your children in newspaper in the autumn and unwrapped them in the spring.

Surely you have to take into account rises in general standards of living?

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 11:49:19

merrymouse I agree with you but most people on this board seem to dispute the fact that the poorest have gotten a lot richer over the last 100 years!

"It was a male wage level that sustained life at an acceptable level for a family with the man going out to work but with the familoy having few luxuries."

This bloke would have been expected to work around 60 hours a week in a factory (by the fact that he had a job, he couldn't have been amongst the most impoverished of that era) - I am curious to know what was considered an acceptable return for that work 100 years ago and would love to compare it to the expectations of someone surviving on the likes of JSA today.

MoreBeta Thu 05-Jul-12 12:58:15

MrJudgeyPants - the basic basket of goods was done in 1904 and again in 1918 by the UK Govt.

I have copied this sumamry table of General Average Weekly Expenditure for a Standard Working Class Family in 1914 (in old shillings and pennies.

Food 24s 11d
Sundries 1s 2d
Fuel and light 2s 4d
Rent 6s 7d
Fares 0s 10d
Insurance 3s 0d
Clothing 5s 6d

TOTAL 44s 4 d

By comparison an average print worker (including young unmarried men) was 42s 7d and that was for a 50 hour week. An older skilled and likley married man would have earned more than the average obviously.

Paradoxically, despite The Great Depression, by the mid 1930s deflation in food and other prices but not in wages meants many men who actually still had a job were a lot better off in real terms and poverty among working class families that actually had a male wage earner in work was much lower than in earlier years.

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 13:10:22

'But a subsistence level of living in 1912 meant no toilets, no inside tap, cooking'

Yes, but Beveridge didn't decide it should mean no toilets, no inside tap water", he decided it should be a "subsistence" level, and the reason he did that is because he wanted to encourage them to work. That is the philosophy behind "subsistence". Then it was "subsistence", now it is "sustainability". Plus ca change.

'most people on this board seem to dispute the fact that the poorest have gotten a lot richer over the last 100 years'

Of course the poor have got better off over the past 100 years and we also have the vote now. That is as it should be. That is real progress and real social justice. But the battle for social justice isn't over, the battle against the "subsistence" philosophy for some has not ended. People still die in hospital wards of dehydration and Bob Diamond's bonus is equivalent to the entire budget of homeless charity Shelter, according to John Mann, Labour MP.

claig Thu 05-Jul-12 13:19:29

£15,000 for everyone and universal credit.
I don't know if this £15,000 for everyone is really Green policy.

But, beware of Greens bearing gifts. They giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other.

MoreBeta Thu 05-Jul-12 13:49:38

By thw way, inflating 44s 4d per week up to current levels would be equivalent to about £210 per week in 2012 money.

That equates to about £11,00 per year. As people on low pay paid paid little or no income tax in those days but paid emplyment insurance (like NI), it would be quite similar to the minimum wage level we see today.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 14:15:57

Thanks MoreBeta. I've run the number you gave (44s 4d) through various online inflation calculators and get a modern day value of between £170 and £210 per week - so I can only assume that the calculators don't work very well!

It's also worth noting that these figures will be after tax, but won't take into account VAT. Trying to figure out what items attract VAT today will be a nightmare to try and work out given the distance in time, but as a rough 'back-of-an-envelope' guestimate, the average living costs in 1914 would equate to requiring an annual salary of between approximately £9,300 and £12,500.

Now, that's interesting because today, working a 40 hour week on minimum wage pays £12,646. Take income tax and NI off that and you get £10,962, which is pretty much smack bang in the middle of the estimate above.

Factor in that the poor bugger in 1914 was working at least an extra 10 hours a week, and that he'd have been an AVERAGE earner, rather than at the lower end of the earnings spectrum and it's obvious at a glance that we are all much, much richer than our forefathers. Hopefully, we can put to bed this ridiculous assertion, often repeated on these boards that we are no richer than in the past.

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 14:16:56

I expect many people thought it was perfectly normal not to have a loo in 1912 and didn't expect anything different. My point is that because of changes in society the subsistence level has changed.

We don't all need iPhones but we do all need plumbing. There are countries where true slums exist next to modern cities - how do we prevent this happening in the UK if acceptable standards of living for the poor aren't linked to those of the more well off?

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 14:17:02

Sorry MoreBeta must have cross posted - good to see our maths hang together though!!!

CorruptBstard Thu 05-Jul-12 15:51:11

Quantative Easing now stands at £375 billion. Enough to pay half the country £15,000 in unconditional basic income. m.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18724010

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 16:18:13

CorruptBstard As I said last night "I hope I don't have to explain the difference between finding the money for a once-in-a-century event and annual expenditure!"

Please tell me you understand the point I made above about the difference between, hopefully, an exceptional set of payments caused by exceptional circumstances and run of the mill government spending. Please give me some hope that this thread isn't going to descend into a farce. Please give me some hope that you still aren't wedded to the magic money tree school of economics.

Please.

niceguy2 Thu 05-Jul-12 16:31:29

Let's use your figures for now. To pay everyone your notional £15k of income per year it would mean the government having to raise £750billion per year in taxes just to fund this. That does not include any goods/services it must buy elsewhere (eg. drugs, defence hardware, books, paper etc. etc.)

So given our total tax income at the moment is about £430 billion, where will the government be able to get another £750 billion from? Even if you doubled every single tax we have and somehow not lose a penny in tax avoidance or mass emmigration, you are still not even close to raising over a trillion pounds which you would need to fund your idea.

Let's be honest, it's just bollocks really isn't it?

MoreBeta Thu 05-Jul-12 16:46:21

niceguy - if it was just £10k and we removed all tax allowances, raised a flat income and capital gains tax of 35% on individuals and firms and scrapped all benefits except free NHS and education that surely does the job?

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Thu 05-Jul-12 16:47:36

corruptbastard - QE involves buying low risk assets. we havent given away the money to the banks, we have put more cash in the system and bought their assests.

its not the same as giving away money to individuals.

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Thu 05-Jul-12 16:56:39

more beta - so would you tax company profits at 35%, then dividends at 35%?

so i pay 70% tax. no thank you!

MoreBeta Thu 05-Jul-12 18:17:29

Tilly - no profits would not be taxed twice. Just ensure they at least get taxed once which is not always the case now.

I would get rid of all the Film Schemes and other special investment schemes that people on an ordinary income cannot access and ar enothing to do with people building their own businesses.

niceguy2 Thu 05-Jul-12 18:55:25

It wouldn't even come close MoreBeta.

CorruptBstard Thu 05-Jul-12 19:28:50

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CorruptBstard Thu 05-Jul-12 19:29:11

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Chubfuddler Thu 05-Jul-12 20:08:10

Mnhq has copyright on posts here. You've lifted my post, and wilfully misinterpreted it. I suggest you remove it.

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 21:26:33

Your still not really understanding basic taxation are you CorruptBstard.

Full marks for effort and rather blatant attempt to build your blog, but I don't think Robert Peston has much to worry about.

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Jul-12 21:26:37

CorruptBstard

fair point. i am really interested in peoples opinions though. maybe i should delete this post and post again without the link?

We don't often do this but we will remove the link to your blog for your OP as we really don't like removing the OP of a thread. We have also deleted the other posts which contained links to your blog - as we don't allow this.
Thanks
MNHQ

merrymouse Thu 05-Jul-12 21:27:30

You're

CorruptBstard Thu 05-Jul-12 23:55:48

Mnha. No worries, interesting experience this has been. Thanks

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 00:00:09

So many responses, both critical and positive, and I’m trying my best to respond to all of them, but the 2 main critisisms that seem to be repeatedly posted are
1. VAT does not work in the same way as a Sales Tax would
2. Giving People an Unconditional Basic Income would cause Rampant Inflation
Here are my responses to these Critisisms
1. VAT is a tax that is charged on the “Sales Price” of a limited amount of products. If you are not VAT registered, then you cannot reclaim the VAT you pay on any product that you buy. Therefore the VAT you pay on that product you buy (i.e the SALE that has been made) is collected as TAX. Therefore VAT is a SALES TAX.
The reason VAT has been mentioned is that someone suggested that collecting tax on all sales would make the money eventually disappear out of the system. ie pay £5 for something, £1 goes in tax, leaving £4 to the seller. The seller then spends £4 on something, £0.80 goes in tax, leaving the new seller with £3.20. After 2 transactions, £5 has diminished to £3.20 because £1.80 has been taken by the tax man.
However, this is how VAT already works at the moment, and the money does not dissapear, so why would it with a full sales tax?
Also, under my proposal, the money collected by the Sales Tax, is put back into peoples pockets as Basic Income, giving them new money to spend, to replace the money being taken out of the system, by the tax man.
2. “Quantative Easing”, which is printing money from thin air and putting it into the system, has not caused Rampant Inflation. “Bailing Out The Banks” which is also  printing money from thin air and putting it into the system, has not caused Rampant Inflation.
So far both these measures have “Cost” £350 Billion. Paying every adult an Unconditional Basic Income of £15,000 would “Cost” £750 Billion. Ok this is double as much, but hardly a Rampant Increase.
Also, someone said, Landlords and Utility companies would know people had this income and would increase their prices to get this money off people.
The national average wage is £26,000. The Basic Income I am proposing is only £15,000. Its way less than the national average as it already exists. Why arent they already increasing prices to get our £26,000 off us?
Finally, the Unconditional Basic Income is Index Linked to Inflation. Free Market Equilibrium would prevail eventually anyway.

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 00:08:43

Except to say that the £350 billion quantative easing has happened relatively gradually since 2008. You are talking about pritning more than double that amount each and every year.

Furthermore, we have had higher than expected inflation - as much as 5% per annum in a time of financial contraction. The big fear at the time was of deflation and QE has certainly been succesful in preventing that. Under normal economic conditions, i.e. without a deflationary threat, inflation would be rampant.

This will have an effect on the value of money.

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 00:23:32

FAO: AMBERLEAF. I put your question to the basic income community and this is the best reply I got. It's from someone else, not me, but I agree with everything she says.

I think that it is underestimated the transformative impact of a universal livable income, it is a transition to a more community minded society because it would allow us to redefine work to something like  "only that work will be called productive that really produces, maintains and enhances life" (Mies and Bennholdt-Thomsen in The Subsistence Perspective). So all the unnecessary and wasteful jobs for jobs sake would no longer be using up all our time and resources and that time and resources could be used instead on necessary things, like improving life for people with disabilities for example.

Given that the number 1 impact on health is poverty (The Spirit Level and Richard Wilkinson's other books go into social determinants of health at length) and given that the biggest public expense currently is health, then a basic income could be thought of firstly as a health initiative. 

And by doing away with other benefits and rolling them into a basic income, does not mean we are doing away with health services. What she needs is extra help because someone in her family has a health concern, they have a disability, this would be a health service and there would be vastly more resources for health services since public health in general would improve under a universal income. 

The Manitoba Mincome data from the experiment where a whole town got a guaranteed income for 3 years showed fewer hospital visits and more teens staying in school instead of leaving school for work, so since public health in general will improve, that means resources can be put towards other essential health concerns.

I became an advocate of guaranteed income when I was a single mother of 3 on a very low income. My best friend had 3 boys and the oldest had cerebral palsy and she was low income too. She did have a caregiver come and help him a few times a week paid by the government under a health program. She did need extra help, but the main thing that both of us noticed in our sleep-deprived state of permanent exhaustion, was that our friends and family were not available to help us because they all were too busy working. And when you would try to use some kind of moral pressure to try to get more help, any mention of work would trump any peer pressure or moral pressure. 'well I can't help you tomorrow because I'm working" means you give up and don't bother asking them for help.

Currently the job trumps everything. In families who need eldercare, it is often the sibling with the fewest paid work obligations who is expected to do the most unpaid family care. With more people having more time, then more people can share in doing the care work and community volunteer work. 

I just wrote an article where I wrote about my friend and her son now that he is a young adult with a disability and he is so isolated because no one has any time to spend with him.... because they are all working. Here is the article: Time to Change to World

www.livableincome.org/atimetochange.htm

For a short time in BC in the 90s they had changed the welfare rules so that single mothers on welfare didn't have to look for work until their youngest was 12 years old. And single mother volunteers flooded into all kinds of community initiatives and started all kinds of programs. 

I think people, especially parents, would quickly organize things when needs emerge. That's my argument in the Time To Change article, that we would have time to organize and respond to things.. and that is where the main transformation of society would come from: time.

Time freed from useless make-work jobs that make everyone miserable, could be put towards those things that improve and enhance life. 

What many people need to make their lives easier is other people's time. People would need care and provide unpaid care, currently get isolated by the commodifcation of time in the market system. All that would change when we get a universal income. 

Hope this helps. Most of it is in the Time article, and you can also go to the Health section of the website too: http://www.livableincome.org/health.htm

and for the Manitoba Mincome data see the report: The Town With No Poverty http://www.livableincome.org/reports.htm

Hope this helps in your great Transformation work you are doing!

Cynthia

goodasgold Fri 06-Jul-12 00:47:39

My dh earns a silly amount. If you gave us an extra 30k that would be wrong and we would not spend more, it would go to our dcs future, college or property owning, maybe a fancy wedding. Maybe one each dd1 could go to college, dd2 could have a nice wedding, we could buy ds a flat.

Stupid idea. Count me out. Look after the people that really need it.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 02:36:14

I'm going to read this properly tomorrow. It's interesting.

Has anyone except carer mentioned people who can't work? I haven't seen a decent reply to her but will read again more thoroughly. I'm on ESA. I have a long-term illness. My benefits come to just under £15k net - so no difference for me on the face of it, but things would go up because of your universal tax. Inflation linking wouldn't help because you couldn't do it quick enough - I already have to go without basics when a price increases.

A sick person with children, or one with medical expenses, needs a heck of a lot more than I do to live. You would be forcing them into horrendous poverty, even faster than our current idiots are doing.

Plus: I'm convinced a sudden influx of currency would cause runaway inflation. I've lived in an economy with that. It's very difficult - you have to spend all your money on pay day because it will buy much less by the end of the month!

While I think this idea is a bad one, I do believe in demand stimulation and feel that a way must be found to compensate people for not working. With the means of capital generation being concentrated in ever-fewer hands (and moving out of the country), we've got to accept that jobs for all is a thing of the past and look at fresh ways to keep everybody healthy, with cash circulating faster. A more fluid consumer economy will prompt more ground-level initiatives as there will be more customers for them. This should seed a new cycle of growth.

So: Nice line of development, but crap idea as proposed!

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 07:22:11

FAO GARLICBUTT. I recommend reading this post first. It answers the "people who can't work" question.

FAO: AMBERLEAF. I put your question to the basic income community and this is the best reply I got. It's from someone else, not me, but I agree with everything she says.

I think that it is underestimated the transformative impact of a universal livable income, it is a transition to a more community minded society because it would allow us to redefine work to something like  "only that work will be called productive that really produces, maintains and enhances life" (Mies and Bennholdt-Thomsen in The Subsistence Perspective). So all the unnecessary and wasteful jobs for jobs sake would no longer be using up all our time and resources and that time and resources could be used instead on necessary things, like improving life for people with disabilities for example.

Given that the number 1 impact on health is poverty (The Spirit Level and Richard Wilkinson's other books go into social determinants of health at length) and given that the biggest public expense currently is health, then a basic income could be thought of firstly as a health initiative. 

And by doing away with other benefits and rolling them into a basic income, does not mean we are doing away with health services. What she needs is extra help because someone in her family has a health concern, they have a disability, this would be a health service and there would be vastly more resources for health services since public health in general would improve under a universal income. 

The Manitoba Mincome data from the experiment where a whole town got a guaranteed income for 3 years showed fewer hospital visits and more teens staying in school instead of leaving school for work, so since public health in general will improve, that means resources can be put towards other essential health concerns.

I became an advocate of guaranteed income when I was a single mother of 3 on a very low income. My best friend had 3 boys and the oldest had cerebral palsy and she was low income too. She did have a caregiver come and help him a few times a week paid by the government under a health program. She did need extra help, but the main thing that both of us noticed in our sleep-deprived state of permanent exhaustion, was that our friends and family were not available to help us because they all were too busy working. And when you would try to use some kind of moral pressure to try to get more help, any mention of work would trump any peer pressure or moral pressure. 'well I can't help you tomorrow because I'm working" means you give up and don't bother asking them for help.

Currently the job trumps everything. In families who need eldercare, it is often the sibling with the fewest paid work obligations who is expected to do the most unpaid family care. With more people having more time, then more people can share in doing the care work and community volunteer work. 

I just wrote an article where I wrote about my friend and her son now that he is a young adult with a disability and he is so isolated because no one has any time to spend with him.... because they are all working. Here is the article: Time to Change to World

www.livableincome.org/atimetochange.htm

For a short time in BC in the 90s they had changed the welfare rules so that single mothers on welfare didn't have to look for work until their youngest was 12 years old. And single mother volunteers flooded into all kinds of community initiatives and started all kinds of programs. 

I think people, especially parents, would quickly organize things when needs emerge. That's my argument in the Time To Change article, that we would have time to organize and respond to things.. and that is where the main transformation of society would come from: time.

Time freed from useless make-work jobs that make everyone miserable, could be put towards those things that improve and enhance life. 

What many people need to make their lives easier is other people's time. People would need care and provide unpaid care, currently get isolated by the commodifcation of time in the market system. All that would change when we get a universal income. 

Hope this helps. Most of it is in the Time article, and you can also go to the Health section of the website too: http://www.livableincome.org/health.htm

and for the Manitoba Mincome data see the report: The Town With No Poverty http://www.livableincome.org/reports.htm

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 09:49:33

CorruptBstard I had a thought last night. If this is totally beneficial to the wider economy, with no adverse effects at all, why 'only' give away £15k? Why not give away £30k, or £100k, hell why not just give everyone a hundred million quid a year? Think of the poverty you'd eradicate then!

Could you please explain how you arrived at £15k and why that number is right, yet £30k would be wrong please?

AmberLeaf Fri 06-Jul-12 09:53:07

Thanks for the reply Corrupt.

Hmm. That looks like I'd be at the mercy of kind strangers then. I don't have any family who are able to help me anyway and tbh not many people can deal with my son. So I wouldn't fancy my chances under your proposals tbh.

I understand the ideology behind it, I just don't think it would work and I know it would make me feel out of control and like a nuisence.

ScroobiousPip Fri 06-Jul-12 10:50:05

Interesting idea which could make a lot of sense (haven't both the greens and lib dems toyed with it?) - but it would have to be part of a package of measures to deal with income inequality. Otherwise, inflation would erode the value that comes from this approach.

Currently reading Joseph Stiglitz's 'The Price of Inequality' - an interesting economic analysis of the inefficiencies that arise through income inequality and why it stunts growth.

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 10:58:52

Mr judgypants. Because £15,000 would cover basic needs at todays free market led prices. Paying £30,000 or even £1,000,000 would of course lead to the rampant inflation you talk about. Ie if I give you £1 to buy a loaf of bread then that's what it costs today. If I give you £1,000,000 to buy a loaf of bread of course the baker will put the price up to £1,000,000 because he knows you want to pay that much for it

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 11:38:54

One other point. We all seem to be taking about this as if its going to be adding money into to current system, without taking into account that the current financial system is about to implode. The fact is we will have to start all over again soon anyway. The balloon has already burst, the banks are going to collapse. It's inevitable. What I'm really talking about is a new way to start the new system once the current has finally folded. Give everyone £15,000 to meet their basic needs, tax money every time its spent or transacted, give people the freedom and time to do stuff just for the love of it and let free market economics do the rest. Simple

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 11:41:47

I thought you'd say that. So you can see where we are coming from when we say that running the printing presses, and giving that money away, leads to inflation.

Why then, does this not cause inflation when we are talking about giving away £15k, but it does cause inflation when we give away £30k?

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 12:38:59

Well asked, Judgey.

Corrupt, I don't know whether it's simply that your quotes are coming from American authors or you are a US citizen, but they seem to be missing the fundamental benefits of living in a (still, just about) benevolent capitalist society like the UK. Needs are not considered equal here. Those with greater needs and fewer capacities receive help from the State. By equalising everyone's benefits, you remove the underlying tenet of a compassionate society.

Amber wrote a more polite reply but I will take strong issue with this: ... family has a health concern, they have a disability, this would be a health service and there would be vastly more resources for health services since public health in general would improve. It displays profound ignorance of a life with ill health. It's not all about health services. There are mobility and transport issues, severe constraints on social activity, lack of access, lack of free time, problems in running a home and much much more besides. Who would fund the stair-lift; the waist-high power sockets; the ramps? Appropriate benefits allow the recipient extra money to spend as needed. That's the theory, anyway, and it's still better than treating everybody like all in life is a matter of choice.

In the UK, elderly and disabled people living in cold homes can get state-funded central heating and insulation. I did, thanks to taxpayers smile Would you say I should have spent 20% of my pathetic annual income on it or suffered hypothermia? When the analogue TV was switched off, I got a state-funded freeview box. That would have cost me a fortnight's income. The list goes on.

You would have to be an idiot not to see our current banking model is broken. Merely changing the way consumer income is distributed won't fix it. While I recognise that all currently offered alternatives are very flawed, I prefer the Positive Money-based approaches.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 12:50:43

"it is a transition to a more community minded society"
We lived in one of those until Mrs Thatcher started the 'commodification' (to put it nicely) ethic. If you believe giving everyone an annual bonus, while removing the few equalisers left to us, will create a less greedy community - you probably believe in Santa Claus as well.

AmberLeaf Fri 06-Jul-12 12:52:31

Garlicbutt put it much better! I just didn't have the will to get that detailed.

Sounds like your proposal corrupt relies on a sickness/disability free society.

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 13:16:28

mer judgypants. i refer you to the answer i gave a few moments ago. if i give you £1 for a loaf of bread, you spend £1 on a loaf of bread. If i give you £1,000,000 to spend on a loaf of bread , you send £1,000,000 paying for one loaf of bread. £15,000 is what it currently costs to pay for basic needs of food and housing for 1 year. inflation only hapens if i give you double that to pay for your basic needs.

I fully accept that we disagree on this though. I accept you have a different opinion. Thanks for at least engaging in dialogue about it. This has been a very interesting discussion.

Changing it slightly. I realy am interested to know, what would you do "just for the love of it?"

AmberLeaf Fri 06-Jul-12 13:20:34

Changing it slightly. I realy am interested to know, what would you do "just for the love of it?

If I didn't have children/caring responsibilities I would;

Eat nice food and good wine and shag the day/night away tbh

Only one of those is free/doesnt rely on needing lots of £££ unless of course it was moonshine and a nice salad of homegrown assorted tomatos and some nice goats cheese.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 13:24:42

If this is all you're interested in, Corrupt, why not simply rename JSA to "Choice Benefit" and leave everything else unchanged?

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 13:25:06

... obviously removing the requirement to seek work.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 13:31:33

^ I realy am interested to know, what would you do "just for the love of it?"^

Ignorance of inequality again. I currently do what I CAN do just for the love of it. It's a massive contrast to what I did when I was healthy & rich.

I write, I do a bit of gardening, study a bit, sleep a lot.
I used to go to galleries and museums, travel, renovate & decorate properties, go for long drives and long walks, go to the gym, meet friends for lovely meals and drinks.

I cannot do any of those things now due to the combined effects of disability and a £15k income.

Your premise appears entirely false, I'm afraid.

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 13:44:10

AMBERLEAF nice answer ;-)

GARLICBUTT choice benefit it is then, without the requirement to "work"

As for Mr judgypants, moley etc I accept youre not convinced. It's been a really useful discussion though, especially for my campaign to become mayor of bristol.
I can see that the main issue is this rampant inflation question, very useful to know, so I'm just going to have go way and come up with a simpler explanation of why this won't happen.

Thank you all again.

Cheers ;-)

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 13:44:11

"what would you do "just for the love of it?"

When I was 19 I went to university. At the time, I was torn between which one of two degrees I would study for. One was a practical degree with decent employment prospects, the other was a History degree. With half an eye on future employment prospects I chose the practical degree and have sort of regretted it ever since. Assuming an income of £15k for life, I'd go back to university to do the degree I always wanted to do, purely for the love of learning.

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 13:48:44

Good luck with becoming mmayor of Bristol CorruptBstard. If you do work out a way around the whole numbers issue, please let us know.

Finally, may I suggest that you change your user name before standing for public office!

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 13:50:20

Thank you Mr judgypants I hope you do get the chance to go back to uni and study history just for the love of learning. I know we disagree about the possibility of giving a basic income, but it sounds like we agree on the possibilities it allows people if it were able to happen.

I think this is a lovely way to end the discussion. I feel like we've found common ground and I find that very heart warming indeed my friend

Thank you ;-)

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 13:59:10

As for the name, that was the whole point of standing. To protest our current politicians. I want corrupt self serving lying thieving bstard to be a name on the ballot paper. As a protest and maybe just to make people laugh so I've changed it by deed poll.

I had to have a policy though so decided on the basic income.1 because I could offer "free money" which seems appropriate for our fraudulent politicians of the times, but also because I truly believe in it, and if I can get any publicity and awareness of it as a concept ill be well happy.

As we both probably know, there's little chance of getting any media attention though, so I just use the whole campaign as a way of starting conversations as and when. This being one of them.

But in the election for mayor of bristol it will be possible to vote for Mr Corrupt Self Serving Lying Thieving Bstard. And his policy is to pay every bristol adult £15,000 unconditional basic income every year, funded by a local sales tax.

So Lets see what happens on November 15th 2012. When the people of bristol decide ;-)

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 14:00:40

a nice salad of homegrown assorted tomatos and some nice goats cheese.

Amber, have you actually got the Mumsnet Goat??? grin
My tomatoes have been thwarted by this "summer". Maybe Corrupt will award an additional tomato benefit during bad years!

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 14:01:51

Good luck in the election.

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 14:42:29

Not wishing to open up another huge can of worms but if you levy a sales tax only on businesses within the Bristol area why won't people who are able to just shop a bit further afield do so? The only people who will be hit by this are those unable to avoid it - i.e. those without cars, much mobility or the ability to travel. Yes, you will be gifting them £15k, and you could argue that they could then afford to pay the tax, but common sense says that people will avoid tax given half a chance.

Why not stand on the ticket that you can't trust anyone who wants to be a politician 'cos none of them are economically literate enough to do anything other than piss your hard earned money up the wall, therefore, you will damn near abolish the local council. The only tax you will collect will be to pay for services for the sick, the elderly, the infirm and the disabled. You will also need to collect something towards emergency services and road maintenance etc. This should come to no more than 50% or so of current council revenue. Let the people keep the difference. Next, whatever you have left in the pot, privatise it. Privatise the libraries, refuse collection, planning departments, the whole lot. Lubricate up the system with the free market and turn this bloody country around one city at a time.

This approach has been taken elsewhere, New Zealand to be exact, please take the time (no more than ten mins or so) to read this. In my opinion, it details exactly the direction Britain needs to be taking to pick itself up, dust itself down and start moving forward.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 14:56:52

Much better plan imo, Judgey.

I think others have pointed out that sales taxes penalise the poor MUCH more than the rich.
When I was rich, only about 10% of my income went on basic necessities. Now 90% of it does. By increasing sales tax, you make it harder for me to live. For the old me, it would only have been harder to buy as many extras as I wanted.
Cutting down on salon treatments is very different from cutting down on food & electricity.

AmberLeaf Fri 06-Jul-12 15:01:18

Garlic ha! Yes...my MN benefits goat is tethered to my back fence waiting to be milked! ;o)

My tomatos are also looking a bit poor (unlike my grass which is waist high and gone to seed!) Too, hoping for a late bloom on them.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 15:05:25

Disagree with Judgey's privatisation drive, btw, but it could be done with tweaks. When public services work, they work on a kitty basis. This is basically no different from the way insurance policies work, only without the need for providers to cream off profits. There are a few ways to set that up, including forms of privatisation which make every community member a stakeholder and/or co-operatives.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 15:08:30

Heh, Amber, love to the MN goat grin I can send her a ton of rotted plants if you're short on feed wink

AmberLeaf Fri 06-Jul-12 15:14:30

If she's still hungry when she's munched through my ever growing grass ill take you up on that. smile

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 16:01:13

garlicbutt "There are a few ways to set that up, including forms of privatisation which make every community member a stakeholder and/or co-operatives."

The organisation structure of a privatised entity isn't the important thing. The fact that there is a plurality of options for Joe Bloggs to consider when purchasing their goods or services is what matters - this is, obviously, known as competition. As an example, Tesco is a PLC whilst Waitrose is a partnership. Both fulfil the same function (i.e. to feed all those Joe Bloggs' out there) and are in competition with each other - how the owners of those two companies choose to arrange their remuneration / limit their liabilities is of no real concern to the customer.

Previous governmental privatisation drives have left the public sceptical of further privatisation. This is for the very good reason that although nationalised industries have been sold off, there has never been an element of competition in the way they have been structured once in private hands. Take, for example, railway privatisation. The privatisation of British Rail did nothing to increase competition because the only way to have real competition on routes between, for example, Bristol and London is to have a duplicate network built alongside the first. To say that the railway line between Bristol and London is in competition with the line that runs between Newcastle and Leeds is absurd. What this flavour of privatisation did was grant a company with a fixed term monopoly – this is a very bad idea indeed. Similarly, British Gas, the various old electricity boards' and Royal Mail have been privatised but not subjected to any real competition. Unsurprisingly, the prices of using these services has shot up whilst the business standards have declined – exactly what you’d expect from a monopoly provider.

This isn’t a polemic against privatisation – quite the opposite in fact – but I do believe that we need to think about how to create competition within as many government departments as possible. Privatisation is part of this but, at all times, it is worthwhile trying to figure out if there is a motivation to improve services (cost, quality etc.) or not. Far too often, that motivation has been missing.

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 17:12:40

I disagree that competition is always best. That's another discussion but I think it's worth stating that any absolute policy is flawed.

CorruptBstard Fri 06-Jul-12 20:25:16

Bloody hell judgypants, there was me wanting to put a close to this thread as friends and you have to throw me that one LOL.

Ok first of all I'm obviously doing this with the aim of getting people talking and thinking about money, what it is, how its created, how it works, and more importantly raising awareness of the unconditional basic income so that its implemented nationally. Therefore making it a national sales tax. Secondly its not just a sales tax, its a tax on all transactions involving money or an exchange of money.

And my campaign for mayor of bristol is my main way of fulfilling these aims.

However, and here comes the next can of worms LOL, my policy for bristol means I will print local currency, the bristol pound, that can only be spent in bristol. the bristol pound will be exchangeable at the bank of bristol (the city council turned into a bank) for pounds sterling on a 1:1 basis, making 1 bristol pound worth £1 sterling.

This would keep the money circulating in bristol and keep tax revenue high.

Ok to preempt some of the probable criticisms.

1. What happens If everyone goes to the bank to exchange their bristol pounds for sterling?

Answer : the same thing that would happen if everyone went to their current bank to withdraw their cash in pounds sterling. There wouldn't be enough money and the system would crash.

But people don't all run to the banks at the moment because they trust (rightly or wrongly) that the money is there and is worth something. It's not of course "I promise to pay the bearer, on demand, 5 pounds of gold" became a lie a long time ago.

This would mean people start buying local goods, or they spend the extra time and money buying goods outside of bristol ie transport costs, journey time, to save a couple of pence on a tin of beans.

Finally because the tax is in all transactions involving money, the % in tax would he relatively small, especially when you think of the vast amount of money that is turned over on a daily basis, so I think what with the promise of an unconditional basic income, its more likely people will want to move to and spend in bristol rather than the other way round.

I would like to acknowledge as well that any system is just that, a system, it can't in and of itself solve any problem, the problem but also the solution is human nature. Greed being the biggest problem, but I also believe that whereas we all have the capacity for greed, we also have as much potential for the opposite, generosity and compassion.

Ok said quite enough and ready for the onslaught.

Tin hat on ;-)

AmberLeaf Fri 06-Jul-12 21:00:42

Funnily enough I'm just having a conversation with my 15 year old who is mulling over the benefits of communism and explaining why he thinks it could work (if he implements it!)

Currently pointing out the downfalls and why greed and corruption will always take over!

garlicbutt Fri 06-Jul-12 21:18:05

Amber, that IS the only thing that spoils communism, isn't it: human nature! No ideology that ignores human nature is going to work with humans ... I guess that's why we tend to be keener on communism when we're young; inexperience (or naivety) about people.

MrJudgeyPants Fri 06-Jul-12 21:22:59

CorruptBstard ^"there was me wanting to put a close to this thread as friends and you have to throw me that one LOL." smile

Right, where do I begin...?

The local currency idea, being backed by sterling at the rate of 1:1, means that the City of Bristol and the rest of the UK would be locked together in a one sided currency union. For obvious reasons, the Bank of England will not accept Bristolquids (TM) as legal tender, nor will they be under any obligation to exchange the Bristolquid banknotes for Sterling. Any exchange would have to be done in Bristol; presumably by Bristol City Council. To get the scheme off the ground Bristol Council would have to issue a promise that these notes would be held in parity - otherwise you get back to the dreaded inflation again! But, if these notes are guaranteed to retain their value against Sterling then there is no real problem. So far so good.

The problem will come when you start running the printing presses and begin conjuring up these banknotes out of thin air. Either you will have to honour your pledge that they will retain 1:1 parity, thus bankrupting Bristol City or you will have to abandon that promise and let the currency float freely and we're back to rampant inflation again!

^"This would mean people start buying local goods^"

Just how much food does Bristol produce? How much of Bristol's consumption is 'imported' from the rest of the UK? Or to put it another way, how self sufficient is Bristol? Because, if you need to 'import' a product from the rest of the UK, you can bet they will want to be paid in Sterling and not a currency that can only be spent in Britain’s eighth largest city. This will also apply to shops and supermarkets which source their produce from outside the Bristol area.

^"to save a couple of pence on a tin of beans.^"

Again, no. Upthread you want to pay every adult £15,000 per year. To balance the books, you will need to tax every adult an average of £15,000 (If you don't do this you'll either bankrupt Bristol or have hyperinflation depending on your response to my point at the start of this post). To balance the books you will need to raise almost £300 per week, per person from your sales tax alone. I don't know about you my friend, but our weekly shopping bill comes to around £100. In Bristol, this would have to cost around £400 each week. That's a little bit more than a couple of pence on a tin of beans.

"I would like to acknowledge as well that any system is just that, a system, it can't in and of itself solve any problem, the problem but also the solution is human nature."

Agreed. Any system which fails to take into account how humans work is doomed to fail - and that, Garlicbutt, is an absolute policy which isn't flawed.

Corrupt I like you - should Bristol ever need a chancellor (and by God, if they elect you they will do!) I would be happy to serve.

AmberLeaf Fri 06-Jul-12 21:45:07

Garlic yes good old human nature!

I guess that's why we tend to be keener on communism when we're young; inexperience (or naivety) about people

Agree, either young and inexperienced or older and overly optomistic!

I've just spoken more to him raising these points and he's now saying he won't allow greed....he's sounding more and more like a dictator by the minute. [Grin]

ChickenLickn Sat 07-Jul-12 00:53:55

This is interesting when compared to the relative rates of tax that people pay when coming out of benefits.

At the moment, if you get a small amount of work, the state removes it all immediately. Punitive and no incentive to work.

With the universal credit, people moving into work will be paying effective tax rates of 65%. This seems very high - the highest tax rates in the system reserved for those in poverty??

The idea of the basic income is as a replacement for all sorts of benefits. When people are earning a certain amount, say £30k, we could increase taxes gradually so that they no longer have/need basic income, for example could have a standard rate of tax of 50%:

When you earn £10k, you keep £5k and are taxed £5K. This makes your income rise from £15 to £20k: good work incentive, and decent standard of living.

earning £20k: total income £15k + 10k = 25k, tax contribution = 10k

earning £30k: total income £15k + 15K = 30K, tax contribution = 15K

earning £50k: total income £15k + 25k = 40k, tax contribution = 25K

earning £100k: total income £15k + 50k = 65k, tax contribution = 50k

Which looks pretty good in terms of getting everyone out of poverty, work pays, and tax levels look reasonable, with a bit of fine tuning and checking required to make sure everything adds up.

garlicbutt Sat 07-Jul-12 02:00:36

I've got no idea why this hasn't been implemented, Chicken. I was on the New Deal - erm, 2005, maybe? - for the tiny amount of time it did work, and it was great. I was still poor, obv, but it was the only time since getting poor that I've felt securely confident about working my way out of it.
Unfortunately it only lasted a year or less. I never got to work out of the 'hole' as I suddenly started getting letters telling me my benefits would cease if I was earning. Gah!

garlicbutt Sat 07-Jul-12 02:07:02

ps: Your sums don't look right.

We would still need to give extra support to people with greater needs. What you've posted (guessing at what your numbers were supposed to be) is basically a £15k tax threshold with graded taxes thereafter. It would be nicer to come up with a system that left NO need for tax credits (in particular) or other income supplements.

ChickenLickn Sat 07-Jul-12 11:33:58

The sums are right, I would want a study done to check details and ensure public finances etc would be viable and balanced.
With the government telling us people are getting 26k in benefits, this must be entirely workable, and would make savings without making people destitute. Children would also require basic income but at a proportional rate.

No, its not a 15K "tax threshold" at all - look at total income.

Housing would need a better system, as the current one of "think of a number" rent levels in London combined with imminent mass homelessness doesn't work.

What greater needs are you thinking of garlicbutt?

CorruptBstard Sat 07-Jul-12 13:54:14

AMBER tell your son to keep believing in the potential of every human being for goodness as well bad. Because everyone has that potential. In fact there are an abundance of "good human nature" examples in the world. The news just tends to focus on the bad. As question for him and for you to add to your current discussion with him. How many good people and how many bad people do each of you know personally. What's the proportion? ;-) not a communist myself, but can understand a bit of the attraction to that system.

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Jul-12 14:30:51

Thanks corruptbastard, I try to encourage him to see the good and he does on the whole and is certainly of a caring generous nature himself.

In our conversation last night I actually said that it only takes the greed and corruption of a small number of people to ruin it for the majority.

He has a very enquiring mind so lots of interesting conversations!

Chickenlkn
I think if I'm understanding it right that your suggestion again relies on everyone being physically able to work?
What about the sick, people with disabilities that prevent them from working and those that care for a disabled child/family member?

That's what popped into my mind when I read garlics bit about 'greater needs' not sure if that's what she meant though!

garlicbutt Sat 07-Jul-12 14:40:07

Yes, it was what I meant, Amber.

Chicken, are you proposing a flat 50% tax on all earnings above £15k? That's not a whole lot better for upcomers than 65% is it?? I would have thought it better to grade tax rates upwards, as you said in your fourth paragraph.

CorruptBstard Sat 07-Jul-12 14:46:19

CHICKENLICKN: top post. Different way of funding it but I don't care about that, the effect is the same. Is vote for you ;-)

CorruptBstard Sat 07-Jul-12 14:48:28

Right, I'm now about to read your post Mr judgypants ;-) here we go LOL

BootleThePootle Sat 07-Jul-12 14:58:20

I would use my extra 15k to educate Corrupt + supporters on this thread with an Economics A-level so they could begin to comprehend what toshbollx they are talking. Thankyou.

ChickenLickn Sat 07-Jul-12 15:37:38

Amberleaf - would apply to sick and carers too. Disabled people are sometimes able to work, and would gain the rewards for this - adaptations required could perhaps be funded through NHS/social care.

Garlicbutt - its better than the 95% current rate, (and 65% universal credit rate), because there is no "withdrawal of benefits" penalty.
Also, the tax is only applied to people NOT in poverty, whereas the current system taxes those in poverty punitively therefore keeping them in poverty.

Bootle - why wait? Or have you not done your A level yet? ;-)

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Sat 07-Jul-12 16:31:28

ChickenLicknSat 07-Jul-12 00:53:55
With the universal credit, people moving into work will be paying effective tax rates of 65%

Please can you explain this. i cannot see how it is so.

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Jul-12 16:37:02

Amberleaf - would apply to sick and carers too. Disabled people are sometimes able to work

I know. I'm talking about those that can't and their carers.

So again same as corrupts proposal the non working disabled and carers are worse off than they are currently.

This doesn't surprise me tbh as most people are unaware of the barriers to work faced by disabled/carers.

BootleThePootle Sat 07-Jul-12 17:44:55

Hehe, Chicken, yeh- I did mine years ago. Mr Pants obviously understands a thing or too and has put forward how-the-fuck-it-wouldn't-work in alot clearer and more sensible language than I would use, but still doesn't seem to be getting his points understood. So perhaps my 15k would be utterly wasted on education. I'll have another think.

garlicbutt Sat 07-Jul-12 18:29:19

Can anybody point me to where it says a family of, say, five children with a single parent and disabilities can live comfortably on £15k a year?

Xenia Sat 07-Jul-12 19:34:04

First it would stop people having children without a partner or without livigint with their sister, mother and aunt which is a system we just cannot afford now as tax payers. So yes it might be hard as a single parent to live on £15k os may be you will ensure you aren't a single parent or get a job like the rest of us. It is atough to be kind reduction in benefits.

I would get £18000!!!!! housing benefit never mind state benefits if I did not work. i was astounded by how high the sum is. We need to reduce this.

I have often suggested a universal benefit - I suggested £200 a week per adult to include your housing needs to and if you cannot afford to house yourself on that move somewhere where you can, move in with family, share a room in a shared house or get a job.

The idea on the thread of no income tax was mooted recently. I cannot remember the source. The plan included baolishing IHT too and CGT, It sounded wonderful. You remove all VAT exemptions too including on food and children's clothes so you tax spending. Great stuff. Bring it on.

garlicbutter Sat 07-Jul-12 19:37:04

may be you will ensure you aren't a single parent or get a job like the rest of us.
Wow, just by cutting benefits you can prevent fathers walking off or dying? That's brilliant.

garlicbutter Sat 07-Jul-12 19:41:01

if you cannot afford to house yourself on that move somewhere where you can
Good thinking, Xenia, wonder why nobody's tried it hmm

How do you propose people fund their en-masse moves to some cheap unemployment ghetto (like the one I live in)?

What will you do to ensure the sudden influx doesn't prompt a hike in rents, prompted by the ghetto housing shortage your policy has just provoked?

garlicbutter Sat 07-Jul-12 19:43:07

get a job

There are between TEN and FOURTEEN job seekers for EVERY SINGLE JOB in the UK. So a maximum of 10% could follow your advice. That's assuming they haven't already moved to an unemployment ghetto, and would be able to physically get to a job.

Do you have any more good advice for the unsuccessful 90%?

CorruptBstard Sat 07-Jul-12 21:12:29

Hi Mr judgypants. I am about to post my answers to your post on the bristol quid, But its quite long and I also wanted to get some other thoughts from you. So am posting a second post first, rather than making a long one even longer.

I am fascinated by this rampant inflation question. And I trust that you really know what you're talking about so id also like your constructive criticism on these 2 thoughts/proposals

1. Basic income is index linked to inflation.

2. introducing an unconditional basic income will lead to a natural "free market reorganization" of what people demand & supply. Ie nobody would "need" a pension, so that whole industry would be drastically reduced, along with everything in its supply & demand chain. from Call centres & admin to fund managers & investors. This is one example of how money would be taken out of the money supply to compensate for the addition to money supply of the unconditional basic income. If the money supply doesn't increase, neither does inflation.

CorruptBstard Sat 07-Jul-12 21:14:44

Yo judgypants. First of all, if only I could get the rest of the population to ask the questions you ask, id be very very happy and would have fulfilled my mission to get people thinking and talking about money and the basic income. Wouldn't it be great if people started asking "why won't the bank of England recognise and back the bristol quid?", "why is it illegal to print your own currency?" "How self sufficient is your local area?" "If the whole system collapsed, could we feed ourselves?" But I digress ;-)

I'm really enjoying this dialogue now, I reckon you probably like the idea yourself, but disagree that it can be funded and therefore its flawed as a pipe dream.

Here's my attempt to answer your questions.

1. Parity. The council will act as guarantor. They will Exchange 1:1 bristol quid for sterling pounds. Obviously if everyone came to Exchange their bristol quid for pound sterling all at once, the council would go bankrupt. Just like if everyone in the UK went to their bank to withdraw their pounds sterling, the banks and the UK would go bankrupt too. So what works for one has to work for the other.

2. Bristol pounds are acceptable to enterprises outside bristol, like food suppliers, because they're exchangeable at bristol council for pounds sterling, also they're exchangeable for goods and services sold inside the bristol boundary. A bit like a "foreign market". afterall, again on a national scale, the UK trades for food with all sorts of regimes. Nothing too different there either. Also maybe, with the free time a basic income would provide, more people in bristol would start growing food, and bristol may become more self sufficient over time.

3. the £100 shopping example, needing to raise £300 in tax, assumes that the £100 is spent once and it all ends there, but it doesn't, the shop owner who recieves your £100, spends it somewhere else, possibly on restocking his shop, the person who restocks his shop, spends the £100 possibly paying transport costs and wages to his staff. His staff spend the £100 on goods and services themselves, and so the chain continues. All from one £100 note. If we tax money everytime its transacted, that would be a tax on £400 of transactions on the above example alone. The sales tax is really the automated payment transaction tax and wouldn't need to be that big a tax percentage when you consider the vast amount of monetary transactions that there are on a daily/monthly/yearly basis, hense not needing £100 worth of shopping to raise tax of £300 as in your example.

As for the election I wouldn't worry about being chancellor, because I won't be winning it, it'll all end in humiliation just like the last time, with me as a laughing stock, but that's a small price to pay, for the chance to get into conversations like this about money and the basic income. Not so small a price actually come to think of it, with the 500 quid deposit and 2000 quid to get an electoral address, advertising the unconditional basic income in the official council "candidates electoral statements mailout" that goes to every household in bristol. But life is short, so may as well use it to the fullest eh ;-)

niceguy2 Sat 07-Jul-12 22:26:21

All money is nowadays is a measure of confidence. So if there was enough trust in the Bristol council to act as guarantor and everyone had enough confidence that the council had enough cash then it could/would work.

There are already Brixton Pounds, Stroud Pounds & a few others. None have really taken off at all.

The sole reason why the US dollar is still the international currency of choice is purely because there is confidence that the US economy is stable and their currency is more stable than the others. In time I predict this will wane and people will start to use the Yuan/Renminbi as the default.

claig Sat 07-Jul-12 23:39:59

I don't think it will be the Yuan/Renminbi, I think the Euro will be the next world reserve currency, and I think Britain will have to be part of it; it will be too strong to ignore.

www.huffingtonpost.com/alexander-goerlach/the-next-reserve-currency_b_1642382.html

www.cnbc.com/id/34855822/The_Future_Reserve_Currency_Is_the_Euro_Strategist

claig Sat 07-Jul-12 23:59:14

'Vladimir Putin said it is "quite possible" that Russia will one day join the eurozone and create a currency that would eclipse the US dollar as the global reserve standard.'

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/8163347/Putin-Russia-will-join-the-euro-one-day.html

niceguy2 Sun 08-Jul-12 22:16:32

If the heads of states now embark on the path toward more integration and sacrifice some national sovereignty for common financial policies, the euro will be the next global reserve currency.

I think that's a VERY big IF

Politician's by their very nature do not like giving up power. Especially when they've spent so many decades building their political careers to get it.

MrJudgeyPants Mon 09-Jul-12 10:11:24

CorruptBstard Sat 07-Jul-12 21:12:29

Sorry Corrupt, real life got in the way of an interesting discussion so I'll respond to your posts (and anyone else’s) as I get there. This one's first, so here goes.

"1. Basic income is index linked to inflation."

You can link anything you like to inflation but if you follow strategies which give you hyperinflation, anything that you've linked to inflation will also hyper inflate. You can't put the cart before the horse - if you increase the basic income you will increase inflation. Inflation is most easily caused by increasing the supply of money from nowhere - i.e. printing more money. As that is exactly what you want to do, there is no way to avoid inflation.

Your second point is quite long so I won't copy and paste it again, however, your argument boils down to "If we give everyone lots of money we won't need whole industries such as pension providers, therefore, won't the inflationary effect be zero?"

I fear that it isn't as simple as that. Firstly, we are talking about millions of people getting some money compared to a few thousand losing some. On this balance alone, you can see that there would still be a huge net injection of cash into the economy. Secondly, those pension funds in turn go on, eventually, to provide capital funds for, amongst other things, start-up businesses or loans to allow existing businesses to expand - which in turn, we hope, deliver a profit for those pension schemes.

MrJudgeyPants Mon 09-Jul-12 11:39:32

CorruptBstard Sat 07-Jul-12 21:14:44

Apologies for the length of this one but, here we go!

"I reckon you probably like the idea yourself, but disagree that it can be funded and therefore its flawed as a pipe dream."

I've said up thread that I think your idea is flawed but only because of the amounts of money you are throwing around. If you can't be arsed (and why would you!) to trawl through the previous 200-odd posts my position was that I was in favour of splitting the current welfare pot equally amongst the adult & pensioner population (more for disabled, infirm and, for the time being, pensioners) irrespective of income. This money could either be invested in a pension scheme for those that don't need it, spent immediately by the reckless, borrowed against in exchange of a higher (privately provided) unemployment 'allowance', used to pay for university fees / university living costs or just stuck in a high interest account for a rainy day. The fact that this is a universal payment means that it is an income for all, underwritten by the government, meaning that everyone's credit worthiness would improve. Because it is universal, there would be no feelings of animosity between the waged and the unwaged. There is no loss of benefit or even interaction with the state at all, when you re-enter work. Finally, because the overall money supply changes very little - this is currently funded expenditure and doesn't require the printing presses to be run up - inflation would not be a problem.

"Parity"

You are correct that if everyone took their money out of the Bank there would be a crash and that confidence underpins the system. However, consider this. If you paid £15,000 BristolQuids to everyone in Bristol, how many of them would buy, for example, a car with that money? Now, to my knowledge there are no motor manufacturers in Bristol, all Fords, Vauxhalls etc., are for the purpose of this discussion 'imports'. So the local garage (even if it accepts your currency) will still need to change that money into Pounds Sterling. At this point, the council will have to accept that exchange. In effect Bristol Council would end up buying a car for their constituents.

"Bristol pounds are acceptable to enterprises outside bristol"

The problem with this assumption is that the vendor is under no obligation to accept Bristol Pounds. Most businesses outside Bristol would rather be paid in Sterling just to keep the numbers simple if nothing else. It's also difficult to envisage how the internal marketing system of a business such as Tesco's - a business with multiple suppliers and retail outlets, often crisscrossing the Bristol / Britain 'border' would welcome having some stores paying in one currency, the rest paying in another, whilst some suppliers want one currency, others want another - likewise some staff will need to be paid in one currency etc. etc. etc. The other thing is that whilst BristolQuids are especially susceptible to higher inflation than the rest of the Sterling currency, it's difficult to envisage anyone holding on to BristolQuids for any length of time. Look at it this way. If you had a relie who kicked the bucket and left you a house in Bristol, if you sold it and had a couple of hundred grand sitting in a bank account, would you risk keeping your money in a currency that could devalue against your freely exchangeable neighbours currency at any time, or would you choose to buy Sterling in the first place?

"the £100 shopping example"

In simple terms, you want to pay everyone £15k. You need to do this with running the printing press. Obviously, you are going to have to raise this money in taxes somehow. Your preferred and chosen method of tax is a sales tax.

Now, there is a theory in economics (I can't remember its name but, then again, I'm not an economist!) which states that only individuals pay tax. Think about it. If you levy a tax on a business, either the customers pays more for the product, the shareholder receives less as a dividend or a combination of the two. If we take your example and work it backwards and we start with something easily imagined like an apple, what happens? Well, the apple goes from the farmer to the wholesaler for the cost of growing an apple, some profit for the farmer and a contribution towards a sales tax. The wholesaler then adds his own profit to the price he has just paid and sells it to the greengrocer (The cost of the apple now consists of the cost of growing the apple, the farmers profit, the farmers sale tax, the wholesaler’s profit and the wholesalers sales tax - this isn't including distribution or transport because my head may explode!). The greengrocer now sells that apple to you or me for the cost of growing the apple, the farmer’s profit, the farmer’s sale tax, the wholesaler’s profit, the wholesaler’s sales tax, the greengrocers profit and the greengrocer’s sales tax. So ultimately, who pays the tax? The answer is it's you and I.

Now here's the killer - on average, all those taxes have to equal £15,000 per person per year. To make this happen, your sales tax MUST raise £15k per year, which works out to £1250 per month, or around £300 per week. This is why I said it will have to push your weekly shop from £100 per week to £400.

"The sales tax is really the automated payment transaction tax and wouldn't need to be that big a tax percentage when you consider the vast amount of monetary transactions that there are on a daily/monthly/yearly basis"

Not true, for the reasons detailed above, it will need to raise £15,000 per person per year.

MrJudgeyPants Mon 09-Jul-12 11:46:54

niceguy2

"the euro will be the next global reserve currency."

I can't see this happening. The fact that this crisis has taken so long before they've even begun to fix it (not that they've started yet), and the fact that all the politicians and leaders are reluctant to take decisive action, coupled with the 'rockchuckers' and rioters from places like Greece whenever major reform is required, makes the Euro look weak in the eyes of the rest of the world. This is exactly why it wont ever be a global reserve currency.

There'll be even less chance if it becoming so if it defaults too.

niceguy2 Mon 09-Jul-12 11:52:23

I agree judgey. It was Claig who says it was citing a newspaper article.

I don't think it will be the global reserve currency in my lifetime anyway

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Mon 09-Jul-12 18:25:09

corrupt

"The sales tax is really the automated payment transaction tax and wouldn't need to be that big a tax percentage when you consider the vast amount of monetary transactions that there are on a daily/monthly/yearly basis"

the Total would still need to be £15K for each person living in Bristol. your sales tax cannot raise £15K pp unless it collects on average £15K pp.

toptramp Mon 09-Jul-12 23:12:09

I disagree. Those who work harder should earn more. A doctor should earn more than a cleaner for eg.

JosephineCD Mon 09-Jul-12 23:39:18

Ridiculous idea. Inflation would shoot through the roof, and before long, £15,000 wouldn't be enough to live on. Not to mention the question of where all the money would be found to pay £15k to everyone in the country. It would also send immigration more out of control than ever.

CorruptBstard Tue 10-Jul-12 22:07:14

Hi judgypants. Yup, real life has got in my way the last few days as well. Just started reading your reply and obviously its going to take a while for me to digest and reply.

But I've just read your welfare pot splitting idea.

My first reaction was "so you want to take from the welfare recipients and give to the wealthy"

But actually I Absolutely agree with it in principle. It's the same thing as a basic income, except its not enough money, but its the same principle isn't it.

So the issue is being able to raise the amount of money in the pot to be split, equally between all.

So we do have some common ground and that is that we both agree in giving everyone an amount of free money. Am i correct ;-)

MrJudgeyPants Tue 10-Jul-12 23:34:05

Hi Corrupt. "It's the same thing as a basic income, except its not enough money, but its the same principle isn't it."

It is exactly the same principle as a basic income except that we know that we can afford this.

"So the issue is being able to raise the amount of money in the pot to be split, equally between all."

Yes - we need to know that we can raise the money in a sustainable way and spend it without ruining the economy through inflation.

"we both agree in giving everyone an amount of free money. Am i correct ;-)"

To a point! I'm a Libertarian. I believe in shrinking the role of the state wherever possible. At the moment, the state has assumed for itself the role of arbiter of people's circumstances. It has, accidentally, given us a system whereby if your circumstances match a certain criteria, the state will provide for you. The idea was that this would act as a safety net, and God knows, we need something like this in the current climate. The problem with the current system is that it is perfectly possible to manipulate your circumstances to maximise your claim (I'm not supposing for one second that most claimants are guilty of this but that it happens cannot be denied). For example, having a child bumps you up the priority list for social housing, or opting to kick the father out and raising the child in a single parent household can net more benefit etc, etc, etc. By accident, the state has created an incentive scheme where the more that you can screw your life up, the more unemployable you can become and the less chance you have of making something of yourself the more money / freebies you are given.

The system I propose, where this basic income can be borrowed against when needed, puts the individual in charge of their own welfare. It eliminates the 'gaming' of the system because you aren't cheating the welfare system, you are simply denying yourself. It encourages returning to work as soon as possible. It doesn't come with a penalty for returning to work and it's cheap to administer.

If the money could be used in this way, (i.e. lending and borrowing against it) it would provide a government guaranteed line of credit to everyone in the country. Once this is recognised, the fact that the sum of money involved is relatively small becomes irrelevant.

CouthyMow Wed 11-Jul-12 22:46:28

Xenia. In the politest way ever, you would get £18,000 a year housing benefit about as much as I would get to turn rainbow coloured and fly overhead.

<<Tries very hard not to swear!>>

I am a Lone Parent with 4 DC in a 4-Bed Housing Association house. My rent is £720 PCM. The MAXIMUM LHA I can receive (if I am unemployed, it will be half that if I take a NMW job...) is £595 PCM.

Which by my reckoning totals just £7,140. Less than half the pie-in-the-sky figure you appear to have plucked out of your arse thin air.

That is all.

CouthyMow Wed 11-Jul-12 22:47:21

Aw crap. Didn't do too well with the no swearing there. grin

CouthyMow Wed 11-Jul-12 23:04:19

And my rent IS in the cheapest 30% in my town for a 4-bed. So if I have to pay a top-up of £125 PCM when I am unemployed, what exactly do the people who CAN'T find a home in the cheapest 30% of houses that size in my town have to pay?

And NOT everyone who NEEDS a property in the cheapest 30% in a town can have one - as most of them WILL ALREADY HAVE PEOPLE LIVING IN THEM.

What people fail to understand is that the cheapest 30% of rents in a town will be held by older people living in larger council houses that have lived there for 20 years+.

You can no longer GET those tenancies - Housing Association tenancies, which make up the bulk of any Social Housing tenancies for the last 20 years, as Councils sold stock to HA's, are more expensive, and private Tenancies are more expensive than that.

The cheapest 30% of houses in a town will, by definition, be housing that is totally unavailable until their tenant dies, and often not even then, as those tenants will STILL have the option of passing on the tenancy to an adult child that is also resident in the property at the time of their death, as per the tenancy agreement they signed. As that is a legally binding document, that right cannot be taken away from those that still possess it.

So no-one CAN get a property in the cheapest 30% of rents, so even the most poverty stricken family has to take money meant to feed their family in order to keep a roof over their head now.

Corrupt, your idea is bollocks, and I'm about as lefty as they come now. Even little old lefty me can see that it just won't work, because it doesn't take someone like me into account.

I am a Lone Parent. Who is disabled enough that there is no way I could manage to work FT. OK, you say, you may be capable of working PT then. Erm, no, not always - I can work PT at best, not at all at worst. And even when I AM capable of work, there is the small matter of the fact that two of my DC's ALSO have disabilities. Which means that while I might be for for work on a particular day - THEY will need me to care for them.

As the current system can't cope with that situation at all - what would you do about the fact that in a household with 5 people in it, 3 of them have disabilities that cost lots more than a normal household containing 5 people would need to spend, just to achieve the basics? £15k just wouldn't cut it if you added up everything that was needed to cope with a challenging set of circumstances like mine. So how would the extra support needed be tailored to my situation?

CouthyMow Wed 11-Jul-12 23:14:12

'Opting' to 'kick the father out?! I really HAVE heard everything now. The ONLY single parent Mother's on benefits that I know that WERE the ones to instigate the end of their relationship are the ones where the father either cheated on her or where there was SEVERE abuse towards her. And it took those mothers, on average, 6 years to leave their partners AFTER they became abusive. And they are only on benefits for between 2-4 years while they stabilise their family living arrangements, sort out court proceedings and retrain as they have often been SAHM's or in very PT, NMW jobs, often cleaning PT around their Ex's work or being MDA's. They can't continue with these jobs due to an effective 99% tax rate and no help with child are costs as they weren't working enough hours, and they often need to retrain to get ANY FT job.

That is the most prejudiced, ill-informed piece of guff I have seen spouted in a very long time.

AmberLeaf Wed 11-Jul-12 23:26:35

or opting to kick the father out and raising the child in a single parent household can net more benefit etc, etc, etc. By accident, the state has created an incentive scheme where the more that you can screw your life up the more unemployable you can become and the less chance you have of making something of yourself the more money / freebies you are given

You are having a fookin laff!

Yep cos the country is full of single mothers who kicked out perfectly decent fathers/partners just so they could get a bit of that glamourous single parent benefits lifestyle.

<Twats mrjudgypants on the back of his head with a rolled up dailymail>

CouthyMow Wed 11-Jul-12 23:29:35

<<Swaps Amber's Daily Mail for a two by four to knock some sense into people>>

MrJudgeyPants Wed 11-Jul-12 23:43:20

"(I'm not supposing for one second that most claimants are guilty of this but that it happens cannot be denied)"

Which bit of that sentence did you not read?

claig Wed 11-Jul-12 23:49:06

Can I have the Daily Mail? Such valuable information should not be used for a knockabout!

AmberLeaf Wed 11-Jul-12 23:54:26

Yep Claig you can have it after I've used it to line the cat litter tray. How bout that? [Grin]

claig Wed 11-Jul-12 23:57:13

My cat refuses to use the Daily Mail for that; it will only accept the Guardian!

AmberLeaf Wed 11-Jul-12 23:59:08

I lied.

I don't have a cat anymore.

I will crap on it.

claig Thu 12-Jul-12 00:02:29

'I don't have a cat anymore.
I will crap on it.'

No wonder. I expect the cat walked out when it witnessed the shocking lack of standards and respect for the Daily Mail.

CouthyMow Thu 12-Jul-12 00:05:27

I read all of it, MrJudgeyPants. I just disagree wholeheartedly with it, as I have yet to meet ONE single mum that kicked a perfectly good partner/father out or GOT pregnant TO get a council flat. And that's pure bollocks anyway - you DO realise that there is no way a teen mum with a baby is going to leapfrog a couple who have been on the housing list with two DC's for 3 years, as time waiting is taken into account? It would be a pretty shit way of trying to get their own house or flat, as it DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT. I have yet to meet ANYONE, even those with reasonably severe LD's, who think that they can have a baby to be given a house, or even have one in order to GET a larger house...

MrJudgeyPants Thu 12-Jul-12 00:25:29

CouthyMow There are two friends of mine who each had a baby - in both cases, the fathers (both useless tossers) buggered off mid-pregnancy and left them to raise their children on their own. One of the girls was shocked at the level of benefit she was entitled to, got herself a nice flat, paid for entirely with HB, and told me in her own words that she was better off on benefit than she was when she was working by quite a margin.

The other already owned her own home and was self-employed in a relatively low paying job. She also admitted to being quite comfortably looked after by the taxpayer.

Neither of these girls are intending to have another child but it isn't beyond the wit of man to see that there is little financially to deter them if they so wanted to.

One might be tempted to suppose that an unskilled school leaver - who will be having the devil's own job trying to find work at the moment and at best, can hope for a minimum wage position - would be mad not to at least contemplate this option.

CouthyMow Thu 12-Jul-12 00:56:17

And yet I when I had 3 DC, was better off working than I was on benefits. confused

Unless you are counting Tax Credits in with benefits, in which case I wouldn't be better off in work. Even more confused now...

MrJudgeyPants Thu 12-Jul-12 01:08:26

I don't know their exact circumstances but both informed me that they have more disposable income now than they did before having children.

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 07:12:26

You just don't have 'disposable income' when living purely off benefits though.

I don't believe anyone has more disposable income after having children but especially those on benefits!

CouthyMow Thu 12-Jul-12 07:32:40

Even with 4 DC, the only reason I wouldn't be better off in work is because of childcare costs. If childcare was more subsidised, then you would find a lot more Lone Parents would flock out to work.

Most people I know that zDON'T work say it is only the childcare costs that cause them to be worse off while working. They could afford to pay a nominal amount when they are earning LESS THAN A LIVING WAGE, but Nursery fees here are £52 a day, and a days care for a school age DC in the holidays is £50. Which is not particularly helpful when you only earn £47 a day...

Yes, Tax Credits pay UP TO £210 a week to help with childcare, but if you have more than 2 DC in childcare, with one in Nursery, that covers less than 60% of the costs, and the more DC you have, the lower the percentage of the costs of childcare is covered by that £210 a week.

These are people who were either SAHM's or working very short hours around their Ex's job while they were IN a relationship, and had their DC's as a joint decision, but have been left to bear the ENTIRE costs of childcare without their Ex's being made to pay towards it.

If the rich fathers that leave are forced to continue to pay private school fees, why is it that lower income fathers are not made to pay half the cost of childcare fees when they leave their relationships?

Making fathers 50% liable for childcare fees when a relationship breaks down would get ALL the single mums I know that are on benefits with 3+ DC's back into employment.

As far as I see it, despite fathers supposedly being 50% responsible for their DC, they are not expected to be 50% responsible for essential costs such as childcare to enable BOTH parents to work.

Any changes in the benefits system IMO should have addressed this, and made it possible to split claims in respect of shared care, for both the RP and the NRP to claim help with the childcare costs if they were separated, if their income was low enough, so that both could become liable for 50% of childcare costs that enable them BOTH to be employed. Why is it deemed to be solely the financial responsibility of the RP, when their income has to take a hit anyway as they are the ones who have to fit their work around the available childcare. Leaving them unable to be as flexible about employment hours and days as the NRP anyway.

And it would certainly focus serial Father's minds when they walked out on their DC if they KNEW they would be liable for 50% of childcare costs if their child's mother/s went back to work. And none of this taking it out of JSA at a stupidly low rate of £5/£10 a week - if there was no protection on the possibility that they could lose ALL their JSA to pay for their child to be cared for while the child's MOTHER went back to work, they'd soon take A job, ANY job...

MrJudgeyPants Thu 12-Jul-12 09:41:30

AmberLeaf "I don't believe anyone has more disposable income after having children but especially those on benefits!"

I know of two people who beg to differ.

YoYoYoItsTillyMinto Thu 12-Jul-12 09:59:27

isnt part of the problem not that someone gets more money on benefits than working but they dont get enough extra by working to believe its worth it?

merrymouse Thu 12-Jul-12 10:35:31

MrJudgeyPants

Is it possible that these two women aren't very good at maths and are perhaps underestimating the full cost of having a child and are in for a nasty shock at some point in the future?

niceguy2 Thu 12-Jul-12 10:57:18

Couthy. The answer cannot simply be to further subsidise whatever you feel is a noble cause. Regardless of whether or not it is. Subsidies rarely work and they simply skew the market.

As for making father's liable for 50% of the childcare costs, it's both unrealistic and unfair. Unrealistic because how do you collect the money? The CSA can barely collect maintenance let alone an additional burden. (I assume you mean you'd like to see childcare in addition to maintenance yes? Rather than in lieu of)

Secondly it's unfair to give father's 50% of the childcare especially if they have had no choice in choosing the place nor agreed to the costs.

And just where does this money magic itself from? I mean in your case you'd be entitled to 25% of your ex's net income for four kids and in addition you want 50% of childcare for all 4 kids as well? Just where would he get this money from? Now I don't know, maybe your ex is some secret millionaire who could afford all that. Most people could not.

niceguy2 Thu 12-Jul-12 11:02:25

Oh and just to add to MrJudgey's experiences. I have a close friend who split up from her husband a couple of years back. Both lovely, just unsuited to each other.

When they were together he worked full time, she worked part time. Between them they struggled for every penny. Now they've split up, she's far better off on tax credits. I know this for a fact because I helped her work out her budget. By FAR better off. All whilst working part time. In fact, she'd be entitled to housing benefit too if she wanted to but she's decided that she'd rather stay in the marital home and took over the mortgage. How did she afford that? Well she found a mortgage company willing to take tax credits into account.

I'm sure now many people will now accuse me of lying again and making it all up. But I'm not. And the reality is that we all know people who are better off on benefits.

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 11:04:28

And just where does this money magic itself from? I mean in your case you'd be entitled to 25% of your ex's net income for four kids and in addition you want 50% of childcare for all 4 kids as well? Just where would he get this money from Now I don't know, maybe your ex is some secret millionaire who could afford all that. Most people could not

Hah! But yet she is expected to find it? Or adjust/limit her working hours accordingly?

That's the point of why its unfair, its solely down to the mother to sort/fund childcare while the father doesn't have that to worry about so is able to work any hours without having to worry about who's gonna pick up the kids.

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 11:07:57

I know of two people who beg to differ

Well unless their job prior to having a child was a paper round then I'm sorry but I don't believe it.

Life on benefits doesn't give you a disposable income.

niceguy2 Thu 12-Jul-12 11:16:20

Amber. Yes, that is one of the big downsides for being a resident parent. Are you seriously suggesting it's fair (let alone realistic) that a dad who has regular contact is somehow compelled to pay maintenance & additional childcare to the ex whilst she also gets all the benefits whilst he gets none?

If you want to explore that route then I'd suggest a 50-50 split on everything is fairer. That means tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit, the lot.

The NRP is not just some walking wallet.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 12-Jul-12 11:33:24

merrymouse Are you saying that they are both so financially innumerate as to not know when they have more money in their pockets after buying all of their necessities? One of them has run her own business FFS!

In their specific circumstances they are both better off than they were before their children were born. Niceguy2 confirms this sort of thing can happen. I’m not making this up!

Unfortunately, this thread has gone off on a tangent – the original point I made, that pre-empted the tangent, was that individuals should be put in charge of their own welfare through a universally granted pot which is given to every adult in the country regardless of circumstance. This pot would be made up from redistributing the current welfare bill (with extra provision for the disabled and pensioners). Over time, (i.e. when people have had adequate time to adjust their affairs to suit the system – at least 30 years or so) the state pension could be gradually withdrawn.

This system would give us a privately administered pot which can be borrowed against in times of difficulty and saved up in times of plenty. As, over time, there is no incentive to maximise your claim, nor is there a benefit ‘penalty’ should you return to work, I believe this simple and cheap to administer system would radically alter all our lives by extending credit to the poorest (given suitable checks and balances), solve the pensions crisis, enable more people to go to university and reduce worklessness.

What does everyone else think of this idea in principle?

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 12:03:12

Are you seriously suggesting it's fair (let alone realistic) that a dad who has regular contact is somehow compelled to pay maintenance & additional childcare to the ex whilst she also gets all the benefits whilst he gets none?

The ex(mother) wouldn't need all those extra benefits if she was in a position to earn in the same way as the father is.

If he contributed towards the childcare instead of it being left to the mum or her tax credits eligability then she could earn more and need less support anyway.

So he has 'regular' contact? Whoopdidoo does he want a medal for that? And of course you know that most NRPs don't in fact pay maintenance at all (was it you that I discussed that with recently?) Only 38% I think do and that includes the £5 a week jsa ones.

So actually yes I do think its fair that childcare should be a 50/50 thing and yes NRPs should be compelled to pay, but just like child maintence it won't happen and most RPs will be left to do it all themselves or the welfare state has to do it.

Deal with useless errant fathers and stop beating single parents with the scrounger stick.

niceguy2 Thu 12-Jul-12 13:54:35

Amber, nobody is beating single parents with the scrounger stick.
In principle you are correct, childcare should be 50-50. But then if we're talking principles then every child should be able to split their time 50-50 between parents and every cost/benefit should also be shared equally.

As I said to you in a previous post, family breakups are complex issues and ideas which you think are 'fair' are all to often unfair to too many people. The world isn't black & white and that's why the law all to often fails. We're trying to apply the law which is colour blind in a world which has many shades of grey.

@Judgey. Again the principle is sound but would only work based on the assumption that everyone has equal luck and manages their money sensibly. Let's assume for a moment a parent doesn't. He/she goes out, spends their pot on fags & booze. Then there's nothing left to feed the kids. Do we just let them starve?

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 14:12:13

Amber, nobody is beating single parents with the scrounger stick

Really? I think they are. When you make getting single parents back to work regardless of the difficulties that presents and penalise them financialy if they fail yet errant fathers are allowed to just 'be' then yes you are beating them with the scrounger stick. You are demonising the parent that is being a parent and allowing the true feckless parent to get off scot free.

50/50 shared care/parenting will only ever happen in the minority of cases. This is not simply due to 'courts favouring mums/women' its because not that many men/dads actually want it.

Much more should be done to make NRPs who don't pay pay

MrJudgeyPants Thu 12-Jul-12 14:28:08

AmberLeaf "Much more should be done to make NRPs who don't pay pay"

You could arrange to have money docked from their Universal Allowance and immediately handed over to you for your child under my system. Also, if you are concerned about people being labelled as scroungers, under my system everyone would be paid the same - there would be no scroungers.

niuceguy2 "the principle is sound but would only work based on the assumption that everyone...manages their money sensibly. Let's assume for a moment a parent doesn't. He/she goes out, spends their pot on fags & booze. Then there's nothing left to feed the kids."

This happens under the current welfare system though (parents pissing benefit money up the wall to the detriment of their children - AGAIN, IT'S ONLY A MINORITY WHO DO THIS BEFORE ANYONE HAS ANOTHER BRAINFART) and we have Social Services to pick up the pieces - I don't see that as an argument for dismissing this system.

merrymouse Thu 12-Jul-12 14:42:04

merrymouse Are you saying that they are both so financially innumerate as to not know when they have more money in their pockets after buying all of their necessities?

Yes, because

1) Many people are that financially innumerate
2) Many people don't understand how their financial needs will change over time and confuse having ready funds now with being able to meet long term financial commitments
3) One of them has run her own business FFS! Plenty of people with their own businesses are very good at thinking that 2+2=5, at all levels of society.

and

4) What Amberleaf said about the paper round.

niceguy2 Thu 12-Jul-12 14:48:58

Much more should be done to make NRPs who don't pay pay

On that point we both agree. We just differ in how that would look in practice.

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 15:01:05

That would be nice mrjudgy lord knows I'd need it as I'd be very much worse off un the £15k!

Niceguy tbh uit won't look anything in practice as it will never happen!

Easier to focus on the single parents as its not so easy for us to disappear with kids in tow!

MrJudgeyPants Thu 12-Jul-12 15:04:32

Merrymouse Sorry to go on about this but you are wrong on this point. Of the two girls I spoke to, both are perfectly numerate. Of the two children, the eldest of them will be four in a few months so if the Mother is poorer than before, I'd expect her to have noticed by now. She's the self employed one and has gone from working a 5 day week to working 2 days per week and is now better off than before - presumably after tax credits, or whatever she is entitled to, are taken into account.

Similarly the other girl, a shop worker, now works three days a week instead of five and is better off by a bigger margin mainly due to being in reciept of HB which entirely covers her rent - beforehand, she paid this herself.

We can argue this until the cows come home but I know that both of them are better off now than before they had kids.

merrymouse Thu 12-Jul-12 15:14:51

Still not buying it. However, I don't really take seriously anything that anybody says conversationally about their financial affairs. I like to see the figures.

niceguy2 Thu 12-Jul-12 16:08:03

Just go to Turn2us and model some scenarios.

Try a lone parent say with 2 kids with no job.

Then try the same again with a part time job.

It's not hard to do and I must admit I was shocked when I first did this. It's not an insignificant amount at all.

Being a lone parent is an incredibly hard job, full of compromises and top of the list is the reality that you must do what you can, not what you should. The state offers a certain level of support which personally I think is very generous. As it happens it's unsustainable so we go right back to the beginning. If we protect lone parents from cuts, who takes the deeper cuts?

ttosca Thu 12-Jul-12 16:18:35

Couthy. The answer cannot simply be to further subsidise whatever you feel is a noble cause.

Of course you can. Better to subsidise noble causes than tax-avoiding corporations, racketeering banks, and the military.

Regardless of whether or not it is. Subsidies rarely work and they simply skew the market.

It's like it's 1985 all over again.

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 17:16:23

Mrjudgy are you making this up as you go along?!

This is what you said upthread;

One of the girls was shocked at the level of benefit she was entitled to, got herself a nice flat, paid for entirely with HB, and told me in her own words that she was better off on benefit than she was when she was working by quite a margin

You said she was on benefit not working and now you say she works 3 days a week-thats a totally different scenario!

Make your mind up!

MrJudgeyPants Thu 12-Jul-12 21:19:55

I first met her when she was on maternity leave, since then she has gone back to working a three day week. In both scenarios she was better off after having had a child.

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Jul-12 21:43:21

So if on maternity leave she wouldve been getting maternity allowance not income support? So not on benefit?

MrJudgeyPants Fri 13-Jul-12 00:16:32

Since when did maternity allowance stop being a benefit?

Split hairs as much as you like but she has more money now than she did before. The model that niceguy2 links to from their post at 16:08 earlier today proves this scenario can happen. End of!

Back to the original point, what do people think about the idea of a universal credit whereby people are put in charge of their own welfare?

AmberLeaf Fri 13-Jul-12 07:04:37

I'm not splitting hairs I'm picking out the holes in your made up story.

Statutory maternity pay paid by your employer is more than what you'd get on benefits.

Maternity allowance paid by the gov can nbe more than you'd get as a single parent on benefit.

I don't care what scenario niceguy linked to. That is not what you are talking about.

You said these two women were on benefits now you've changed it to fit your made up story.

MrJudgeyPants Fri 13-Jul-12 10:22:24

This is not a made up story. Nor am I changing it as I go along. Show me where I said that they were both 100% benefit dependant. Why is it so bloody difficult for you to understand that, due to claiming housing benefit, she no longer needs to pay that out of her earned income? Add to this that she is also now entitled to benefits which she wasn't claiming earlier - I'm no expert on the welfare system but I believe her when she tells me she has more money now than she did when working full time and I can see no reason for her to mislead me.

Similarly, and as convenient as it is for you to ignore, niceguy2 provided you with some direct evidence (with links) that it is possible to have a child, reduce your hours and end up with more money (as well as outlining a similar situation to that which I've been describing) yet you chose to refute all this. Why?

AmberLeaf Fri 13-Jul-12 15:49:49

Because you implied initially that these women were 'on benefits' now most people will take that as meaning living off benefits not working and having your income topped up.

Working part time and claiming tax credits is not the same as simply being 'on benefits'

I know how the system works so the links are not necessary.

AmberLeaf Fri 13-Jul-12 15:52:02

Also claiming housing benefit isn't the reserve of single parents.

CouthyMow Fri 13-Jul-12 17:58:27

NiceGuy - I AM talking about a split in the Tax Credits - NOT necessarily 50-50, but a percentage to each, based on 1) Each Parents Income, and 2) On the actual split of shared care.

BTW, My DC's have different fathers. DD's father works seasonally, so for 6 months of the year, I receive £80 pcm in maintenance, the rest of the year nothing.

DS1's father is a lazy idle tosspot who hasn't worked in the 9 years we have been divorced, and doesn't pay a penny in maintenance as he has too many DC with his new partner to even pay £5 a week out of his JSA, yet I have to cover all clothing costs, childcare costs, school trips, shoes, coats, food when he is with me etc. Everything. His father buys nothing except the food he eats when he is there.

DS2 & DS3's dad DOES pay reasonable maintenance, BUT he has no restrictions on his working hours,doesn't have to worry about picking the DC's up from childcare (which would be two different providers as one is school age and one is a toddler, and is complicated by the fact that I cannot legally drive). BUT when I go back to work, I will have to pay for all the childcare AND only take a job that fits in 1) Around the times the childcare is open AND 2) Allows enough time for me to get from work to the Nursery by public transport AND allows enough time for me to THEN get to the after-school club by public transport IN RUSH HOUR, before the after-school club shuts.

Which also limits the distance from the childcare providers that I can work, as I have to take travel times into account.

All of which makes it harder to find a job in the first place, and then I am liable for ALL the childcare costs even though he only has ONE of the DC overnight ONCE a fortnight THROUGH CHOICE.

He doesn't even have both of them for 26 nights a year, only one of them, and he has the other for just 6 nights a year.

Why SHOULD I have all these restrictions on what job I can take, be liable for the entire costs of childcare AND STLL be lambasted for not being able to find a job where the logistics are viable?!

If he paid 50% of the childcare costs, and/or did 50% of the pick-ups, (which would actually be EASIER for him as his workplace would almost definately be closer to the childcare than mine would be...), thus alleviating some of the logistical issues for me, I would be out at work tomorrow!

I see no problem with splitting the TC's and Child Benefit as a percentage that is directly proportionate to each block of 24 hours that an NRP is willing to have their DC and take on the responsibility of logistical issues such as childcare pick ups.

And what do you mean about the RP getting to choose the childcare? I would never assume that I had an automatic right to choose schools or childcare providers alone, I always have involved my DC's NRP in those decisions. except DD's father but he was off radar until she was 12yo, had no clue how to contact him as he had no contact through choice until then, so I had to do all that...

I have just pencilled in a date to sit down with my Numpty of an Ex-H to fill in DS1's Secondary school application form in October. I may dislike him, but he is still DS1's father, and has a right to be involved in that process, even if he refused to go to the Grammar school open evening this week, as it was 'too late in the evening and XXX (his new partner) can't deal with all the DC on her own...

DS2 & DS3's father is in discussion with me at the moment about choosing which Nursery I will pay for when I go back to work...which seems a bit unfair to me, that he gets a 50% say in where DS3 goes, yet he doesn't then assume a 50% responsibility for the fees...

MarigoldsInTheWindow Mon 16-Jul-12 12:59:48

hmm dousnt sound like a good idea.
if everyone gets 15k richer everything else will go up to wont it?

corrupt Tue 17-Jul-12 22:05:54

hi all. sorry been away. but good news ive found the answer to the rampant inflation question. bad news, its long.

here it is

How to make BI inflation-proof
while also raising wages
­

by Jeffery J. Smith
President, Forum on Geonomics

Presented at the 2008 US BIG track
within the Eastern Economic Association annual conference
in Boston at the Park Plaza Hotel, March 7-9

Abstract

When an advocate promotes a Basic Income Grant (BIG or BI) to thoughtful people, they inevitably point out that increasing people's purchasing power could be inflationary. And indeed, they could be right, at least for one sector – housing. In the past, when government gave money to the poor or students or pensioners, then their landlords raised what they charged for tenements, dormitories, and trailer parks.

Yet there is a way to put landlords in competition for tenants. It's a way to also raise funds for paying a BI or a CD (Citizens Dividend). That is, where government has taxed land, it has discouraged land speculators and encouraged landowners to keep their improvements affordable. The raised revenue could fund an income supplement, somewhat like what. Aspen CO does.

Additionally, where government recovers rent, they keep down price. Since the value of the location is an immense part of the price of real estate, when land costs little, land plus buildings cost much less, so that buyers borrow much less. With less debt in society, there is less debt-backed new notes. With the supply of money in better balance with the output of new goods and services, the means to inflate prices is lacking. Government could swell the BI or CD to a quite comfortable size and still not worry about inflation as long as it recovers rent.

Historically, where government taxed land, there wages were higher, since affordable land provided more opportunity to work for oneself, besides more employment opportunity. Plus, if a worker's income were augmented by a share of rent, that too would enable workers to negotiate better wages. And if the complete geonomic tax shift were ushered in – tax pollution, not income; tax extraction, not sales; tax location, not buildings – there the average resident would pay land dues but nothing else. Hence the average citizen would enjoy lower taxes, lower prices, higher wages, plus a Citizens Dividend. On balance, the average citizen – people who must support the extra income proposal in order for it to pass – would come out way ahead.

Finally, if there are no excess new notes to inflate prices, and as long as technology keeps advancing, then progress would show up as a lower cost of living. Rather than inflate prices, a BI or CD would lower them, as long as its funding source were society’s surplus, all the money people spend on the land, resources, and government-granted privileges that they use. Better than packaging an income supplement as a necessary salve for inflation is to show how it can be part of a holistic policy to transform the economy into working right for everyone.

Introduction

Thoughtful people, upon hearing the proposal of a Basic Income or Citizens’ Dividend (the BI is a set amount, enough to cover basic needs, the CD is a share of public revenue surplus, which could be much higher than a BI), often raise the same questions.

*First, how could people ever deserve something for nothing? By that implied logic, we should of course pay for another manna from heaven, the air we breathe – which, given current environmental trends, may not be too far in the future; in Calcutta, traffic cops take breathing breaks to inhale from bottled oxygen..

*Second, thoughtful people want to know, where’s the money going to come from? Most people, including most BIGists, are not aware of society’s surplus, of the flow of income generated not by one’s labor or capital but by the advantages inherent in a region’s land.

*And third, the topic of this paper, wouldn’t spending money for nothing be inflationary? The simple answer is “no”, since no new money is created and issued over and beyond the amount of goods and services produced. Further, the income supplement does not increase the amount of spending in society but merely redirects it from those who now get too much income to those who now get too little.

Have some income supplements inflated prices?

Eventho’ an extra income for everyone would not necessarily inflate prices economy-wide, it could inflate the price of a certain sector, depending on the source of the funds for the universal payment. That is, the basic necessity that often requires poor people to pony up first – even before spending on food – is housing. When government gives people money, landlords generally raise what they charge to absorb as much of that gift as they can.

A century ago in England when Winston Churchill campaigned for economic justice, he would tell the story of a London bridge that claimed so much of the meager income of the poor residents of London who lived on one side of the Thames and worked on the other. Feeling sorry for them, reformers organized to legislate a lower toll for the bridge. Within weeks, rents in the impoverished jurisdiction went up by the same amount.

The way things were is the way things still are. Today, when government grants money to poor people or students or pensioners, their landlords raise what they charge for tenements or dormitories or trailer parks. The extra money from the government increased demand for housing by its recipients but not supply of locations by owners; it enhanced competition among people seeking housing but not among people producing housing, raising the cost of housing.

What BI source is anti-inflationary per sector?

As long as landlords can keep raising what they charge, then income supplements like Basic Income are spinning their wheels, are mere exercises in futility. However, there is a way to (a) put landlords in competition for tenants. And it’s a way that (b) precludes the possibility of an extra income causing inflation. Plus, it’s a way that also (c) raises funds for paying a BI or a CD (Citizens Dividend). Furthermore, this way (d) conveys a justification of why receiving money for nothing is fair.

This four-way solution is for society to recover the rent for land and natural resources and for government-granted privileges, such as utility franchises, which behave like land in the economic arena. Society, through its agent, government, could levy a tax on the value of locations or charge owners land dues or a land use fee but by some mechanism redirect all the money we spend on the nature we use from owners and lenders to the public treasury (thence to everyone in general). Plus, government could charge full-market value for the little pieces of paper it grants, including corporate charters, bank charters, utility franchises, broadcast licenses, medical licenses, etc.

Where government has done so, which is not often, it has lowered land price. When Pittsburgh taxed urban land more than buildings, it had the most affordable housing (on home sites, of course) of any major city in America. When Denmark, California, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan taxed rural land, they drove down its price and broke up large estates into family farms.

Whatever the effect on price (yet to be studied elsewhere), a few governments even paid dividends.
*Aspen CO pays housing assistance from site rent, recovered via a tax on sales of property (whose value in that pricey resort is mostly land, that is, location). Others use other rents.
*Alaska pays dividends from (invested) oil rent.
Other jurisdictions share rent to help with a basic and universal cost:
*Alberta Canada has used oil rent to pay energy bill rebates.
*British Columbia rebates a fixed dividend from a carbon tax (atmospheric rent).

Public recovery of rents works to dampen prices by reversing the incentives for the holders of privilege. Consider the classic example of owning land. When owners must pay over (some or all) rent rather than keep it, landowners typically cannot afford to let their properties become empty, so they do not raise what they charge tenants, many of whom would move on to more affordable buildings, but instead accept a smaller profit.

Moreover, owners who had been underutilizing their locations tend to no longer speculate but put and keep their sites at highest and best use, in order to generate revenue for paying the land dues or land tax; landowners are spurred to erect new buildings. The increased supply of structures for both residence and business (a) puts landlords into competition among themselves for buyers and tenants. Just the opposite of inflating prices in the housing sector, this rebalance actually lowers how much owners can charge tenants and buyers.

The drop in the price for buildings is paralleled by a fall in the cost of land, again helping the poor the most since they do not typically deal in land except occasionally to buy a sub-prime parcel with a small old house on top. Public recovery of rent works to lower land price because the less rent that the public leaves on the table, the less price an owner can charge. Buyers cannot afford to pay both a high land price and a high land tax; as long as government keeps its land dues high, owners must bring their land prices down. Put abstractly, since land price is capitalized land rent, when government socializes rent into public revenue, then owners cannot capitalize rent into price; the more rent that society recovers, the less they leave for seller to convert into price.

What’s the source of inflation in general?

Members of society pay a huge amount of their income for real estate. Indeed FIRE – Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate – is by far the single biggest sector of the economy, constituting well over 40% of the GDP (at the US Government’s official website of the BEA). Within FIRE, it is for locations, not for buildings, that people spend the most money.

Compare two homes of identical size on identical-sized lots, the same distance from downtown, a major traffic artery, a school, a park, but one in Boston and the other in Cleveland. The former would typically cost three times as much as the latter ($400k vs. $130k, National Assoc. of Realtors). The cost of construction and materials are roughly the same. It’s the value of the location that costs so much more in places like Boston, New York, San Francisco, and San Diego (eventho’ official assessments do not reflect this fact).

To buy land – actually, a location – plus whatever’s on it, most people don’t pay cash for more than a ten percent down payment and borrow the rest. In today’s developed world, banks meet the demand for credit in part by creating new money that never existed before and issue that into circulation via loans. Since banks lend so much for the purchase of real estate, when land costs more, banks lend more. Since land is not produced, much of the new money for mortgages does not represent any newly produced goods and services. When land sellers and mortgage lenders spend their excess new notes on the same old amount of goods and services, they bid up their price, which is another way to say “inflation”.

Presently in the US, inflation is rising, following years of rising debt, both public (for war) and private (for land, which war is also for). For years, many of those excess dollars were drained out of the domestic economy by foreigners buying dollars and stockpiling them. But lately, foreigners increasingly buy euros, pounds (and other rising currencies), and gold with their dollars. So those dollars must come home not to roost but to flood the domestic economy. As those never-backed dollars circulate throughout the economy, consumers unavoidably use them to bid up the prices of basic essentials, such as energy, food, and medical care. As long as Americans keep deficit spending and foreigners keep dollar dumping, we can expect inflation to rise even faster.

It may seem that a necessity like oil causes inflation but its rising price is inflation. The cause is excess currency, which a necessity like land has the power to absorb. If there were no excess of new money, then the price of oil or land could rise, but it’d have to be offset by people spending less on something else, whose price would fall. The price of new clothes has fallen (in constant dollars), largely due to automation and globalization, but low as it is, it still drives some shoppers to secondhand stores whose popularity has mushroomed (“Secondhand Stores Moving Into the Retail Mainstream” by Leslie Kaufman, The New York Times, April 26, 2000). Their forgoing the purchase of new clothes is another factor for why the price of new clothes has fallen.

What BI source is anti-inflationary in general?

Even if government does not reduce its own borrowing and deficit spending, it can still reduce total debt in the economy – the private borrowing of homebuyers and deficit spending of homeowners. Government can tax land, thereby reducing land price; thus buyers need borrow less and owners can’t borrow more (to take “equity”, the land value, out of their property). Less borrowing of course means less lending, fewer new notes unmatched by new production, and thus less inflation.

Besides lowering the price of housing, less expensive land also lowers the total price or lease of shops, offices, and factories. Thus, expanding businesses looking to purchase or lease commercial sites need borrow less, too. While commercial banking does not generate as much debt as does lending to homebuyers or government, it is still a sizeable amount and shrinking it would slow inflation.

Where people need spend less on land, they have more wherewithal to spend on the things that humans do produce, enabling producers to prosper. Where people prosper, they both need government services less and can afford to pay more. Hence their government could increase its income and decrease its outgo, and be in a position where it need not borrow so much. Were its politicians to take that enlightened path, it would reduce the amount of un-backed, excess notes.

Shrinking the borrowing of government, business, and residents, the amount of debt could then equal the amount of actual, physical economic expansion. New money would be in balance with new output. Inflation would drop to zero; it’d disappear.

An economy of zero inflation depends upon full recovery of rents; flush with all those rents, then government could pay a cash income supplement to the poor or everyone, an amount large or small, and (b) still not trigger inflation. Landlords and land sellers would still have to compete for business. None could inflate the price of land, nor the amount of borrowing; keeping down debt precludes economy-wide inflation.

What BI source raises wages and lowers taxes?

Public recovery of rent – whether for funding an income supplement or social services or both – not only cuts consumer costs (the inflated price of goods and services) but also raises workers’ wages. Historically, where government taxed land or otherwise recovered rent, it discouraged speculation so that owners did not hoard land or keep it idle awaiting a future lift in rent or price. That left lots of land available to others at prices they could afford. Thereby newcomers or young adults could turn to farming if one did not like the wages offered for working in factories. Not everyone had to refuse city work but where a critical mass did – e.g., in the American colonies vs. in Europe, then later on the Eastern Seaboard vs. the continental interior – wages were higher.

Even today, affordable land lets workers negotiate healthier wages. People refusing the offers of bosses need not turn to farming. They could use an available location to launch whatever enterprise. As long as they turn a profit and stay in business, they need not compete for jobs and instead keep employers competing for employees, which keeps wages high. In the 1920s when New York taxed land, construction workers enjoyed higher wages. In the late 1950s when Denmark taxed land, workers got the biggest jump in wages in Danish history. Plus, if entrepreneurs and workers were to receive a BI or CD, that too would act as free land and further empower people to negotiate higher wages.

Are wage increases inflationary (not of a basic necessity but of goods and services in general)? Whether biased or backward, the mainstream media say higher wages do cause inflation. Whether biased or backward, the mainstream media do not blame easier credit bestowed upon investors for inflating the prices of stocks and real estate. Yet, ironically, neither more income for labor or for capital is the culprit; it’s the over-issuance of new notes via loans, mainly for real estate, but also for corporate welfare. If government were to recover the rents for privilege, then capital, even with fatter earned profits, couldn’t bid up the price of stocks. If government were to recover the rents for land, then labor, even with higher new wages, couldn’t bid up the price of housing. Absent excessive new notes, higher wages or profits cannot inflate prices in general.

As a society, people spend immense sums for privilege, for land titles, resource leases, EM spectrum licenses, emission permits, congestion charges, corporate charters and other liability limits, patents and copyrights, utility franchises, medical licenses and other professional gateways, banking charters, etc. The annual market values of those pieces of paper constitute a prodigious portion of any economy, at least a third of GDP, perhaps a half or even more. Any government that recovers this immense flow of rent would be wallowing in wealth.

Such a geonomic government would (c) have so much revenue it could not only fund whatever social services a democratic majority desires, and use the surplus to share among the members of society, government could also abolish other taxes. Doing so would not cost government any revenue. Where taxes on income, sales, and buildings are low or non-existent, people want to live and work. So there they bid up the value of land. By recovering that rent, government raises as much revenue as before, if not more. Not having to pay counterproductive taxes, people do more business, which pumps up site values, which the geonomic government would recover.

Guns vs. butter or Spending vs. dividends?

Even without cutting public budgets, governments could operate without borrowing, since recoverable rent is so immense, and still pay a modicum of BI or CD. But if government were to curb its discretionary spending, then the surplus of public revenue would be stupendous, making possible a staggering income supplement. Choosing between spending by legislatures vs. disbursing to citizens is something the populace could participate in by putting the budget on the ballot, as do many towns in southern Brazil.

Citizens could do without social programs if they received an income supplement to make up the difference. Rather than have citizens pay taxes to politicians to pay budgets to bureaucrats to pay salaries to providers to serve citizens, governments would pay dividends to citizens directly, drastically reducing the overhead of bureaucracy. What they receive now as public schooling and socialized medicine, citizens would receive as a straight cash payment, then recipients would select their own providers.

While government would save, citizens would not lose; indeed, they would likely gain. Recoverable rent is immense and a share of rent – minus the cost of bureaucratic overhead – would tend to be greater than the value of a subsidized service. Plus the citizen receiving it could spend the money anyway they want, finding suppliers of education and health care that more precisely meet their individual needs, and who could save them money.

If citizens were to get a share of recovered rent, they could do with less government, especially the state’s original raison d’etre, the military, which consumes so much of so many public budgets. The military recruits civilians with offers of money, money for college or housing, or free medical attention. If people got their monetary needs met without enlisting, then the military would become smaller, less threatening, and by necessity the government would become less belligerent. Note how much smaller the militaries are and less adventurous the governments are of Western Europe, which are social democracies spending most of their sizeable budgets on welfare. By paying an income supplement, government could spend less on guns and butter both, slowing inflation.

Along with national governments, constituent governments also waste public revenue. Governments misspend huge sums – as a nation to wage war qua war, as a state to wage war on drugs including building more prisons than schools or hospitals, and as a locality to pick up the tab for sprawl by expanding infrastructure into the suburbs. If governments quit the waste, they could shrink their bureaucracies and balance their budgets. Governments would no longer have a rationale for borrowing to fund their operations. They could still sell bonds to fund desired expansion – new infrastructure such as bike paths and water recycling plants. But those real physical goods would pay for themselves and might merit an increase in the money supply and not trigger inflation.

By reducing the debt of government, business, and households, so that the remaining debt is for actually adding to the output of real goods and services, then debt would not be inflationary. Instead, inflation would halt. Even better, it would likely reverse.

Better yet, is a CD anti-inflationary?

When calculated in constant dollars, the prices of goods that are supplied without having to pass through bottlenecks are actually falling. In arenas where there is technological progress and some competition – manufacture of clothes, cars, and computers – one finds prices dropping (in constant dollars). In arenas where technology is hoarded by patent protection and suppliers have formed cartels to lobby for legal exclusion of competitors – doctoring, teaching, lawyering, just like the guilds of old – one finds prices skyrocketing through the stratosphere.

Were government to permit capable people to compete with credentialed people, and to charge full market value for credentials like a medical license, then doctors and the rest could not charge nearly so much. Were government to charge full market value for patents and copyrights, then corporations who get a leg up and try to corral all the inventive talent and new ideas could not afford to be dogs-in-the-manger. New ideas and devices would spread to even less endowed consumers, driving down the cost of living faster.

Imagine living in a geonomy where society’s agent, government, recovers then disburses all rents for land, nature, and privilege. The average person would not suffer the consequences of unwanted unemployment, so wages would rise across the board. The average person would own only a homesite of average value, but no commercial or industrial or mineral or agricultural or spectral or environmental sites, so they’d pay land dues of an amount far less than the taxes they now pay. The average person would get the same hefty rent share as other citizens. And meanwhile, thanks to accelerating techno-progress and decelerating debt, the cost of living would nigh daily be dropping. Soon, one’s rent share would be bigger than one’s wages! Living off the automatic and irrepressible bounty of nature and society, not off arduous labor or clever capital, imagine how that would change the worldview and values of the average person.

Sharing is not inflating but transforming

Americans live by the business model. We all know the slogans, “buy low, sell high”, and “run government like a business”. Rather than condemn such mottos, the left should employ them. Have government charge full value for its permits – everything from deeds to charters. Americans could not fault government but would salute it for charging, as would any rational businessman, as much as the market would bear; “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Since we citizens are the stakeholders, and since the market value of public privilege belongs to all of us, then most of us (d) could clearly see that we’re entitled to an equitable share of surplus revenue. Places where residents do receive a dividend, such as in Alaska, people do more than admire rent recovery – they celebrate it. If we citizens were made beneficiaries of such sound business practice, the thoughtful citizen would easily see that the public recovery of rent is a necessary – and fair – prelude to the disbursement of shares into their own pockets.

Realizing a venerable ideal, this geonomic practice would align self-interest with social interest. The self is served by not paying taxes on efforts while getting a dividend. Society is served by recovering rents while losing subsidies for special interests.

The secondary effects would be transformational. Recovering all rents would drive efficient use of resources and claw back the economic and political clout of the elite. Fattening the dividend would spread prosperity and shrink the oppressive power of the state.

This big picture, long term vision fulfills a promise greater than a way to pay everyone an extra income without generating inflation. Yet the grander world follows from the same reform – sharing rents in lieu of taxing efforts – as does the single benefit of avoiding inflation. While the thoughtful person would appreciate knowing that a Basic Income or Citizens Dividend would not merely raise prices by a like amount, thoughtful people might be inspired to meld into a movement upon realizing that we need not serve the economy, we can straight away make the economy serve us.

niceguy2 Wed 18-Jul-12 08:14:52

@Couthy. Your own personal example illustrates perfectly my point that families are complex beasts nowadays and one size doesn't fit all. There simply isn't a 'fair' solution because 'fair' is in the eye of the beholder.

Plus don't forget how complicated/expensive it would be to administer such a divvying up system and how many parents would then suddenly start to fight for more days now that tax credits are up for grabs (or to lose). It simply promotes animosity and that certainly isn't in the interests of the kids.

My overall point is that it's not an ideal world. Yes being an RP sometimes sucks as you are expected to put the kids first. And yes being an NRP means you have less responsibility. But the other side of the coin means you get to spend more quality time with the kids.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 18-Jul-12 09:46:30

Hi corrupt. I've read the long post of yours but I'm still not buying it! It only looks at the effect of inflation on rents but I think he's putting the cart before the horse about inflation. Yes, I agree that some landlords will be bastards and raise the rent but evidence shows that, actually, it is the consumer that pushes up prices. Given a pocket full of unearned cash, there is less incentive to screw down the very best deal for yourself. There is a tendency to go for the premium version where the basic option has sufficed in the past. These all conspire to push prices up.

Secondly, he suggests the following "tax pollution, not income; tax extraction, not sales; tax location, not buildings – there the average resident would pay land dues but nothing else." This is all well and good and arguably we would end up with a greener, cleaner country to live in and that, in itself, is no bad thing. However, irrespective of where the tax is levied it remains unavoidable that, without printing new money, these taxes will have to raise, from the taxpayer, an average of £15k per person. This is still a hell of an increase in overall taxation.

I suspect that this proposal is centred on a smaller Basic Income than the one you suggest. One which I reiterate my support for!

Mrbojangles1 Sun 05-Aug-12 18:45:54

I know people who would take that 15k spend it on drugs and drink and their children would still have no shoes and food

Being poor is not about not having any money often its about poverty of the mind their are many people who were dirt poor came in to money and with in a few years were worse off than when they started

My sister was left 60k and a flat three years later she has £500 left and sighned the flat over to some married guy she was seeing she is now back on benfits most people would of have been set for life

and just as you would have people who would piss it up the wall you would have people who make millions from it

And just side note were would this 15k come from if no one was working

RoloTamasi Fri 07-Sep-12 15:13:23

The only way to make this work is have the figure be indexed against government tax take, not inflation or any other measure. That way the figure can be self-correcting - if fewer people work to earn extra, tax take drops, and the payout drops until more people have enough incentive to work. If more people work to earn more, tax take goes up, and the citizen's income rises until more people decide to stop working.

Those living on the citizen's income only might then have to face the very real possibility that the country simply isn't rich enough for the income to be at a high enough level to provide a comfortable lifestyle. Cue much complaining about the regressive nature of the income system from those now living in poverty who are unable to work...

CorruptBstard Wed 03-Oct-12 14:32:49

You lot are going to love this ;-)

"Forget benefits......I'll give everybody £15,000 a year" - Today's Evening Post

www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Speakers-Corner-Forget-benefits-ll-pound-15-000/story-17024577-detail/story.html

CorruptBstard Wed 03-Oct-12 14:34:00

And its not a new idea either

A Town Without Poverty?
Canada's only experiment in guaranteed income finally gets reckoning

www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/4100

MrJudgeyPants Wed 03-Oct-12 17:43:29

You still haven't got past the simple fact that if you give everyone £15k each you will need to collect an average of £15k through your tax system. That is an eye watering amount to be raised via a purchase tax - especially as there is nothing to stop Bristolians from shopping outside Bristol and therefore avoiding your sales tax.

Totally unworkable.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 03-Oct-12 17:45:54

Isn't the Canadian experiment just Income Support by another name???

notenoughsocks Thu 04-Oct-12 16:04:22

I think a lot of people, on both sides of the Atlantic, in the 1960s and 1970s spent a lot of time trying to find ways to make similar ideas work (minimum income guarantee; negative income tax etc.). Each attempt floundered and the idea eventually died (not meaning to knock your ideas btw).
Speaking for myslef is that these schemes look, initally, so politcally progressive and redistributive and left leaning etc. etc. Actually, they can also be seen as deeply regressive and potentially quite damaging.

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 08:37:36

The idea of being able to choose how to spend your time reminded me of this:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

&#8213; Buckminster Fuller

TeaAndHugs Sun 07-Oct-12 02:12:30

So, I could quit work and get a 50% pay rise? Nice! But... why would anyone ever work under this system? Wouldn't our GDP fall through the floor? Who would do the undesirable jobs (rubbish collecting, cleaning toilets, etc) that are necessary for society to function?

madmouse Sun 07-Oct-12 14:32:01

Who would collect the rubbish? Clean the streets? Get shot at by criminals? Pick up the drunks who think they need an ambulance on Saturday night? Cut meat of animal carcasses? Wash the bottoms of people who can't do it for themselves?

There are a lot of jobs people do because they get paid and not for the love of it.

Xenia Mon 08-Oct-12 09:10:25

Most people would work and £15k is much less than many get so it would make hard workers feel happier and ensure the idle poor have to move into much smaller accommodation so it could work rather well. If I chose not to work we would ste £20k in housing benefit plus other beneftis.

As George Osborne said on the radio today it is not fair that so many hard working young people live with parents because they cannot buy a place and their friends who choose never to work get housed when they have a child. One of mine looked at a flat to buy (£10k stamp duty 1 bed first time buyer) and the much larger flat below had a lady with 5 children in it (not working and on benefits of course paid for by tax payers who work)

ttosca Mon 08-Oct-12 15:09:39

Oh yes, I'm sure George Osborne's main concern was with 'fairness', rather than cutting welfare and reducing the size of the state.

Xenia Mon 08-Oct-12 17:50:34

We have hardly begune to make things fair for the squeeze middle and higher earners ecven with proposed welfare cutting and I have seen no real plans to make a smaller state sadly. both Tories and Labour sit in the middle with very similar policies. No one really represents the real right or left any more.

ttosca Mon 08-Oct-12 18:08:17

The 'squeezed middle' are not feeling squeezed because of the ever-diminishing crumbs thrown at the poor and unemployed in the form of welfare. They are feeling squeezed because they their wages have stagnated for three decades whilst the cost of living has steadily risen.

They are feeling squeezed because wealth has been siphoned off from the middle-classes and poor and up towards the top 5%; that's why we now have wealth inequality which is greater than it has been since the 1920s.

If the government really cared about 'fairness', it would have implemented the mansion tax. It can further help the poor and middle-classes by cutting VAT, raising the tax threshold, reduce transport costs by nationalising the railways, build houses and put in place rent controls, amongst other things.

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 18:40:55

A mansion tax penalises those who work hard and buy a house rather than pissing their innome up a wall. Wealth taxes never work and the result is there is less for the poor.

This government is aiming to cut the tax threshold so no one pays tax if they earn under £10,000 a year. They are also curbing rail fares and building houses. Rent controls mean no places to rent - I remember when the rent acts were in place and there was virtually no rented property.

Leithlurker Tue 09-Oct-12 22:10:40

johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/george-osbornes-benefit-bullshitting-hides-his-true-agenda/

The lie that people are better off on benefits than in work exposed.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 22:20:32

Xenia I can't work out if you're being deliberately offensive or if you have no common sense at all.

You post implies that all people need to do is work hard and they'll have a house, and that anyone who doesn't has made a choice to "piss their income up a wall".

Are you aware that that's offensive as well as grossly inaccurate?

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 22:20:48

Leithlurker, great link, thanks for that.

ttosca Tue 09-Oct-12 22:30:44

auf-

RE: Xenia, it's ideology. I don't think she cares whether it's offensive or not. I do believe she believes the garbage she's saying.

ttosca Tue 09-Oct-12 22:36:58

xenia-

> A mansion tax penalises those who work hard and buy a house rather than pissing their innome up a wall.

What on earth are you talking about? Most people work hard and save but now can't even afford to get on the property ladder because houseprices are so high and wages are so low.

> Wealth taxes never work and the result is there is less for the poor.

In the same way that an internal combustion engine will never work?

> This government is aiming to cut the tax threshold so no one pays tax if they earn under £10,000 a year.

They need to raise it further. This is a Lib Dem idea, btw, not a Tory scum idea.

> They are also curbing rail fares

No they're not. They're just limiting the rate of increase. They should nationalise the railroads. All essential public services should be publicly owned and run.

> and building houses.

Yes, they are finally doing that - after two years of anti-Keynesian austerity measures and finally realise they have crippled the economy.

> Rent controls mean no places to rent - I remember when the rent acts were in place and there was virtually no rented property.

Does not follow. Many countries use rent controls and don't have a problem of 'virtually no rented property'.

The Tory scum won't enact rent controls because a substantial minority of them - largely disproportionate to the population - are rentiers themselves.

ttosca Tue 09-Oct-12 22:44:17

Housing campaigners target Tory landlords

By Norma Cohen, Economics Correspondent

More than a quarter of Tory MPs are private landlords too self-interested in keeping house prices high to take steps that could help first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder, according to a group campaigning for affordable housing.

PricedOut, a group that has urged tougher tax treatment for buy-to-let landlords, reviewed public documents listing the financial interests of all MPs and found that 83 out of the Conservative party’s 305 elected representatives are making money from private tenants living in properties they own.

That makes Tory MPs more than twice as likely as Labour MPs to be profiting from rising house prices and rents, the group found. Only 12.5 per cent of Labour MPs owned rental property portfolios while 15 per cent of Liberal Democrat MPs did so.

Among Tory MPs, PricedOut has flagged up James Clappison as the prince of property, highlighting the 26 rental properties he owns across East Yorkshire.

“Not only do MPs enjoy their taxpayer-funded second homes, many of them also have a portfolio of rented houses, too,” said Katy John, spokeswoman for PricedOut.

“First-time buyers desperately need house prices to fall to more affordable levels, but landlord MPs at the very top of the property ladder have a vested interest to not let this happen,” Ms John said.

In particular, PricedOut is campaigning to end tax breaks under which private landlords can offset the cost of interest on the mortgage used to buy a rental property against the monthly takings from tenants.

Typically, buy-to-let landlords put smaller down payments on properties and are more likely to have interest-only mortgages, than those who buy homes to live in themselves.

That means that monthly mortgage interest payments will be bigger than for owner-occupiers with homes of a similar size, creating a larger shield against a tax liability on the collected rents.

www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ad1a739c-0f1c-11e2-9343-00144feabdc0.html

Xenia Wed 10-Oct-12 17:52:43

The left are rather rude, aren't they?

If I am trying to find common ground I would certainly argue interest rate interference by the state since 2001 is not letting free markets work and had interest rates been left to rise freely we might not have seen such high house price inflation. It is ludicrous that someone like me without any savings and £1m of divorce debt has "never had it so good" with tiny tiny interest rates and my neighbours who have worked very hard all their lives have no debt and live off interest on savings have suffered. I would argue that is caused by interference by the state in interest rates. Hayek would have agreed with me.

My point on mansion tax was to try to compare two people on equal incomes - one who saves nothing and then is not taxed and the other like me who has paid masses of tax over 30 years, works 50 weeks a year and only has a house as an asset. A mansion tax would be very unfair and we now know it is off the agenda. It would also send out a signal that the UK just wants benefits claimants and is jealous of and does not want the rich. If the rich are deterred the poor suffer. The poor can only live on benefits provided by the rich. If you annoy the rich too much you just lose money that would go to the poor. You have to keep a consensus going.

On private rented property I am not a landlord although I have been a couple of times in the past in the 80s and one of my many glorious failures was selling both flats for 50% less than we paid for them - never let it be said property is risk free.

If you introduce rent controls then people will not invest in property and generation rent will have to live with their parents. We need much much less state interference not more.

Xenia Wed 10-Oct-12 17:57:23

Cameron - wonderful:
“Did you hear what Ed Miliband said last week about taxes? He described a tax cut as the government writing people a cheque. Ed…Let me explain to you how it works. When people earn money, it’s their money. Not the government’s money: their money. Then, the government takes some of it away in tax. So, if we cut taxes, we’re not giving them money – we’re taking less of it away. OK?”

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 18:52:41

'The left are rather rude, aren't they?'

I like your understatement.

Xenia Wed 10-Oct-12 18:56:08

I suppose when you lose all arguments you are left with nothing but expletives or may be it's just a class issue.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 19:08:53

Yes, abuse is the stock in trade of some, but it is not to do with working class, it is a sign of no class.

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 19:36:21

Xenia-

“Did you hear what Ed Miliband said last week about taxes? He described a tax cut as the government writing people a cheque. Ed…Let me explain to you how it works. When people earn money, it’s their money. Not the government’s money: their money. Then, the government takes some of it away in tax. So, if we cut taxes, we’re not giving them money – we’re taking less of it away. OK?”

Yes, this is utterly meaningless, and it shows he's playing to the gallery and small-state ideologues are precisely his audience.

Let me explain to you how it works: when people earn money, they do so within the context of the nation-state. The nation-state provides for the army to keep out foreign invaders, the police to protect you from thugs, the courts to judge and sentence people for alleged crimes, laws to enforce contracts, without which no trading would be possible at all, roads and public transport to get people around, an education system to educate the workforce, a health system to keep them healthy, and dozen other things which keep the machinations of society running.

All these things cost money. The money you earn is money earned within the context of the state providing all these services for your benefit, without which, you would not even begin to be able to earn any money at all.

So no, the money you earn is not all your money. If you want to keep all your money, go buy yourself a desert island, and then build your own mud hut to live in, without any of the services of the state, and then see how you get along. If you want to live in society, you have to pay for its cost.

Secondly, Cameron himself knows full well that taxes are required to run the state. The debate isn't over whether taxes are just, but how much taxes are just, and who pays what proportion - that is the debate. For him to announce that when people earn money it's simply 'their money' is a rhetorical move and grossly oversimplifying things for the sake of people like you who have an ideological problem with the state and for paying for communal services.

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 19:39:06

Xenia-

The 'free markets' don't work. It's incredible that anyone in this day and age still believes they will necessarily produce a better outcome than where the state intervenes.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 20:01:06

ttosca, you should have watched the Romney Obama debate, it was to a great extent about free markets versus big government. Nearly all the pundits said that Romney won. He had a great line where he said that Obama had given government aid of about $90 billion to 'green' companies (which is equivalent to about 50 times the annual aid to the oil industry), and he then listed the 'green' companies that had gone bust. He said something like - talk about governments picking winners and losers, you pick losers.

He wanted less government picking and more free market and private enterprise, which is what has built the United States to be the greatest economy on earth. Fox News had good analysis of it, with the usual faces - Giuliani, Karl Rove, Sarah Palin etc. Shame you don't watch Fox.

When Xenia works 50 weeks a year and 7 days a week, she doesn't work for teh government or for you. What she earns is due to her labour. The government then takes a proportion of her earnings in tax. Cameron is right that if taxes are lowered, then the government takes less of her money. It doesn't give her money back.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 20:09:09

That $90 billion was from the pockets of hard working Americans, and was then handed over to 'green' companies, and Romney told us that some of them were backers of Obama. Some of that money was lost ands wasted as some of the companies went bust.

We need to pay taxes for essential services etc., but not to prop up pet projects and backers of political parties.

Jux Wed 10-Oct-12 21:50:47

There was an economist in the 60s or 70s (can't remember his name) who advocated that at 18 every person should get £100 per week from the state for the rest of their life. Paid for out of high taxation of earnings, as jobs wouldn't be necessary to pay for the basics.

I've trotted the idea out on here occasionally, but it's never got anywhere.

15k a year between us would be more than we have to live on now, btw, so it would more than double our income if dh and I got that each. I'm all for it!

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 22:02:56

It would never happen, and if it did it would lead to the breakdown of society. It would remove all incentive to work and high earners would see it as unfair. Cameron touched on the whole incentive thing today i.e. that it is not right that people who don't work get housing benefit but that many workers don't.

Work is fundamental to society because it contributes to the well-being of others. Removing this incentivbe and taxing workers to pay for it would end in tears. The losers would eventually be the non-workers.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 11-Oct-12 00:38:16

Ttosca "Let me explain to you how it works: when people earn money, they do so within the context of the nation-state. The nation-state provides for the army to keep out foreign invaders, the police to protect you from thugs, the courts to judge and sentence people for alleged crimes, laws to enforce contracts, without which no trading would be possible at all, roads and public transport to get people around, an education system to educate the workforce, a health system to keep them healthy, and dozen other things which keep the machinations of society running...The 'free markets' don't work. It's incredible that anyone in this day and age still believes they will necessarily produce a better outcome than where the state intervenes. "

Pure lefty ‘big state’ crap.

It is perfectly possible to live in our society without contributing half of your total income for the big state to 'wisely' spend on your behalf. The unemployed, pensioners and the disabled do it all the time. What you are saying is that only the proles who have a job need to contribute. As for the list of things you suggest that are essential for our society to flourish, again, you are talking out of your arse. That you have the chutzpah to dare to suggest that our armed forces exist only for territorial defence is to conveniently overlook the fact that it is our armed forces, backed by the full weight of state authority, which are more likely to be the foreign invader - see Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia (Kosovo), Suez and countless other conflicts. In fact, since 1688, I can only think of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Napoleon and Hitler who seriously thought about invading us.

That the police and the judiciary are always on the side of the law abiding is moot.

Contracts were being exchanged back in Roman times so I wouldn't claim them to require a big state solution with consequent high taxation.

Public transport shouldn't, in my opinion, be subsidised at all - if you wish to travel you should pay the full fare - it should certainly not require subsidisation by penalising people for the 'crime' of having bought a big house as the LibDumbs are suggesting.

If we are to be coerced into paying for education and health care then they should be provided to a decent standard in the most cost effective manner possible. That the privately provided solutions consistently outperform the government run ones (to say nothing of the superior healthcare and education systems of rival countries) is scandalous.

As for your final polemic about the free markets not working and how state control is the answer please compare and contrast the perennial food shortages of the Soviet Union with the free world, or Mao's China with the free world, or North Korea vs. South Korea, for that matter. State planning, such as you advocate starved an estimated 43 million people in the 20th century; by contrast we had the supermarket (though there are plenty on the left that would vilify this development).

Your comment stinks of ill thought out 'sixth form socialism' pining for a thoroughly discredited system. Useful idiots like you need to get it into your thick heads that the state is your enemy - without the force of the state behind them the Hitler’s, Mao's, Stalin's and even Blair's of this world would have remained relatively harmless. Give them the power of the state to suckle from and nightmares get born.

Xenia Thu 11-Oct-12 07:00:23

People tend to do better when markets are free. I am not saying I believe in no interference ever on anything but we have got the line in the wrong place at present. Even the housing issues come from state interference in interest rates. High house price inflation is at least in part caused by the state trying to keep rates lower than otherwise they would have been.

It is not very fair to the left if I quote the book I am currently reading about North Korea as that state has been particularly bad economically at its control and started a lot of projects just stopped mid stream but even China has only started to do better since it let people keep the fruits of their labours.

The bottom line as Cameron said in my quote above is we earn money which we own and can do what we like with. It would not be very hard for me to move to a lower tax state and the Government is aware of that and therefore has a difficult balance to keep people here who generate wealth so that they can pay the 50% net takers the rest of us support. It is not even a recent thing. I had relatives in the 1920s who went to work in India and others in Canada and the US. Even earlier relatives left other areas, some Ireland for the UK. People have always moved where there is work or better prospects. Anyway due to our rather wonderful UK, our respect for the rule of law, our tolerance and lots of other things we are a country where many want to live so as long as we can not decline too badly and get a few more incentives for hard work again I am sure all will be well.

ttosca Fri 12-Oct-12 11:29:10

Xenia-

People tend to do better when markets are free.

No they don't. Neo-liberal privitisation and deregulation since the 1980s of public services and the financial sector has resulted in almost all the proceeds of growth going to a tiny minority at the top. The vast majority have seen their income and wealth stagnate or decline. You're a free-market ideologue.

I am not saying I believe in no interference ever on anything but we have got the line in the wrong place at present. Even the housing issues come from state interference in interest rates. High house price inflation is at least in part caused by the state trying to keep rates lower than otherwise they would have been.

It's caused mainly by the lack of houses.

It is not very fair to the left if I quote the book I am currently reading about North Korea as that state has been particularly bad economically at its control and started a lot of projects just stopped mid stream but even China has only started to do better since it let people keep the fruits of their labours.

Good grief. North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship. Have fun read that, but your comparisons are irrelevant.

The bottom line as Cameron said in my quote above is we earn money which we own and can do what we like with.

The bottom line is that you can only earn money - it is only made possible - within the context of the state, and all the services which it provides. So, no, not everything is you earn is or should be yours. Not only is it morally right that you pack back a portion of what you are given in the form of services, but it is necessary for the continuation of the state and economy to function.

^ It would not be very hard for me to move to a lower tax state and the Government is aware of that and therefore has a difficult balance to keep people here who generate wealth so that they can pay the 50% net takers the rest of us support. It is not even a recent thing. I had relatives in the 1920s who went to work in India and others in Canada and the US. Even earlier relatives left other areas, some Ireland for the UK. People have always moved where there is work or better prospects. Anyway due to our rather wonderful UK, our respect for the rule of law, our tolerance and lots of other things we are a country where many want to live so as long as we can not decline too badly and get a few more incentives for hard work again I am sure all will be well. ^

You need to get a grip. First of all, there is no correlation between income or personal wealth and 'wealth generation'. If this were the case, we'd all be rich, seeing as the richest 10% so-called 'wealth generators' own nearly half of the world's wealth. A lot of personal wealth is also gained through predatory tactics which actually put people out of jobs and raise the prices of commodities.

Secondly, the UK is already is more deregulated, more 'free-market' and has a more 'flexible labour market' (ie. crap workers rights) than most of the EU. The UK is not suffering financially because it is a quasi-socialist state. In fact, the lackadaisical approach to financial regulation is what put the UK is especially deep shit when the financial crisis hit.

You think the high income earners have a monopoly on 'hard work'. They don't. You can incentivise 'hard work' by raising the minimum wage and allowing people on poor and middle-incomes to keep more of their money. The 50% tax rate was for people earning over £150,000 per year. Do you realise what percentage of people earn this amount?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_Kingdom

Less than 1%. So it's obvious that your concern is really for a tiny minority of people, rather than the vast majority - 99%, who earn less than £150,000 and pay the lower rate of income tax. If you were really concerned about these people, you'd concentrate on promoting ways for the 90% who earn less than £40,000 to keep their money. The top rate of income tax is a red herring except for the very wealthiest.

Xenia Fri 12-Oct-12 17:30:24

The UK is doing better than Greece and Italy etc because of its policies, not worse because of them. We all know that when Lawson reduced upper rates of tax to 40% (they were up to 99% in my childhood at the very upper rate) the economy did really well and the tax take went up. Thus charging the rich less tax so they seek to generate wealth here not elsewhere means more money for the poor. The poor don't like to hear that but it is so.

ttosca Fri 12-Oct-12 20:16:48

Good grief, try to come up with a better argument than 'UK policies' means the UK is 'doing better than' Greece, Italy, etc(?).

That is a meaningless statement. Which policies? And how is it 'doing better'?

Germany, Russian and Brazil have larger economies than the UK. Germany and France are both in the EU, and both are comparatively more social-democratic compared with the UK. They have stronger labour laws and higher taxation rates. Germany has a larger GDP than the UK, and France comes a very close 4th after the UK with roughly the same population.

www.therichest.org/business/largest-economies-in-europe/

The UK has fared worst since the financial crisis, with Osborne's policies putting the UK in to a double-dip recession. France and Germany both experienced better growth rates.

While Italy has a much larger public debt, it's deficit is much smaller -3.9% than the UK's 8.3%.

So your attempt to link lower taxation rates on income with 'doing better', without any discussion about which policies, or any context whatsoever, or defining what you mean by 'better' is completely nonsense.

MrJudgeyPants Sat 13-Oct-12 00:07:21

'Better' because we are not chucking rocks at one another on a daily basis, nor have we had an unelected junta graciously foisted upon us by the winners of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

ttosca Sat 13-Oct-12 13:28:59

MrJuvenilePants-

'Better' because we are not chucking rocks at one another on a daily basis, nor have we had an unelected junta graciously foisted upon us by the winners of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

The complacency of the British public is well known. That's why the UK is stuck with some sort of semi-feudal political and social system; A monarchy which leeches off the taxpayer and influences govt. policy, an unelected upper house, and a coalition govt. which feels no compulsion to follow any of the items which were set out on each parties manifestos, on which neither party was elected.

It means the UK has the largest wealth inequality, work the longest hours, and the have the worst workers rights.

But if its rocks that you want, you'll note the recent riots in London and the smashing up off Tory Party HQ at Milbank in London.

If the Torys keep up with their socially destructive policies, which are making people homeless, increasing unemployment, increasing wealth inequality, and killing disabled people, to name but a few things, you can be absolutely certain that there will be more riots of the sort the UK experienced in the 1980s.

ttosca Sat 13-Oct-12 13:51:18

MrJuvenilePants-

Pure lefty ‘big state’ crap.

Not really. It's pretty much the consensus in social democratic states around europe and the world.

It is perfectly possible to live in our society without contributing half of your total income for the big state to 'wisely' spend on your behalf.

Yes dear, but only 1% of people paid 50% income tax, and that was only the income which was over £150,000. Nobody paid 50% of their total income to the state.

The unemployed, pensioners and the disabled do it all the time.

Yes, quite right.

What you are saying is that only the proles who have a job need to contribute.

What are you talking about? Income tax is but one way to increase state revenue. If you're suggesting a wealth tax and property taxes, which are harder to avoid, in place of portion of income tax, I would say that's a great idea.

As for the list of things you suggest that are essential for our society to flourish, again, you are talking out of your arse.

No, the list is pretty sensible.

That you have the chutzpah to dare to suggest that our armed forces exist only for territorial defence is to conveniently overlook the fact that it is our armed forces, backed by the full weight of state authority, which are more likely to be the foreign invader - see Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia (Kosovo), Suez and countless other conflicts. In fact, since 1688, I can only think of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Napoleon and Hitler who seriously thought about invading us.

I didn't dare to suggest that our armed forces only exist for territorial defence. I said that was one of the stated purposes of armed forces. The UK is lucky because it is an Island, and much harder to invade. Europe has been at war with itself since the dawn of civilisation. If you want to maintain borders, you need a standing army.

That the police and the judiciary are always on the side of the law abiding is moot.

I didn't say that at all. First of all, I don't think you mean 'moot' here. I think you mean to use another word.

In any case, the police and judiciary are most certainly not always on the side of the law abiding, and even if they were, are created by those in power in order to fashion society in a way is most beneficial to them. In other words, legality doesn't mean morality. Some laws are just and some laws and unjust. Some things which are unjust are legal, and some are illegal.

That is all true, but it doesn't mean you can run society without laws and a means to enforce them.

Contracts were being exchanged back in Roman times so I wouldn't claim them to require a big state solution with consequent high taxation.

You're actually making the opposite point you intend to here. The Romans were known precisely, amongst other things, for introducing laws and enforcing them with an iron fist.
They are also a perfect example of a centrally-run state. At one point the Romans ran all of europe and parts of Africa from Rome. You can't get any more 'big-state' than that. They also rigidly enforced taxation on the places their conquered.

Public transport shouldn't, in my opinion, be subsidised at all - if you wish to travel you should pay the full fare - it should certainly not require subsidisation by penalising people for the 'crime' of having bought a big house as the LibDumbs are suggesting.

Well then you'll have a crappy public transport system, and it would also have knock-on effects on the economy, as the roads clog up and result in grid-lock whilst nobody can get to work and nobody can get to the high street to shop. Thankfully, you're an extremist, and only minority of Tory scum hold this position.

If we are to be coerced into paying for education and health care then they should be provided to a decent standard in the most cost effective manner possible.

NHS satisfaction, before the Tory scum started their privitisation spree was at an all-time high. Compared with the US system of almost completely privitised healthcare, the NHS is many time more efficient, dollar per dollar. The US spends much much more on healthcare and fails to provide adequate healthcare to a substantial minority of its population. It fails.

That the privately provided solutions consistently outperform the government run ones (to say nothing of the superior healthcare and education systems of rival countries) is scandalous.

They don't. The converse is usually the case.

As for your final polemic about the free markets not working and how state control is the answer please compare and contrast the perennial food shortages of the Soviet Union with the free world, or Mao's China with the free world, or North Korea vs. South Korea, for that matter. State planning, such as you advocate starved an estimated 43 million people in the 20th century; by contrast we had the supermarket (though there are plenty on the left that would vilify this development).

That's nice, dear. The comparison is not between 'free-markets' and totalitarian states. Social democracies in europe are doing quite nicely, thank you very much, with many providing better healthcare, better education, and less inequality than in the UK.

Your comment stinks of ill thought out 'sixth form socialism' pining for a thoroughly discredited system.

You sound like a 14 year old who picked up their first Ayn Ran novel, with no experience in life and politics based on watching Hollywood movies.

Useful idiots like you need to get it into your thick heads that the state is your enemy - without the force of the state behind them the Hitler’s, Mao's, Stalin's and even Blair's of this world would have remained relatively harmless. Give them the power of the state to suckle from and nightmares get born.

You need to get in to your thick head that 'the markets' aren't equivalent to 'democracy', nor do they result in democratic structures, nor will they necessarily provide the best way of distributing resources.

You're also confusing state provision of healthcare, education, public infrastructure, etc. with Stalinism, which is a mistake a 14 year-old or a Tea-Bagger party member would make.

If you ask me whether I'm against foreign invasions, indefinite detention, spying on citiziens, uncurtailed police powers, etc. I would say that I am strongly against them, and in fact have campaigned most of my life against them.

Funnily enough, though, the right-wing freaks who are so against providing healthcare to the population under the guise of fighting 'the big state' and 'socialism' rarely have a problem with police abuse of powers or any of the other things I mentioned.

Longdistance Sat 13-Oct-12 13:55:16

Utter bollocks!
Communism only works on paper. And that's the end of that.
It's not a theory of mine either. My parents lived it.

ttosca Sat 13-Oct-12 14:11:49

Did you actually read my post, Longdistance?

niceguy2 Sat 13-Oct-12 14:24:03

As I always say, the free market economy is very inefficient and wasteful. It's far from perfect. But it works a damn sight better than any of the alternatives.

The evidence is plain to see. China being the best example. Under communist control and a planned economy they couldn't even feed their own population. Yet a mere thirty years after embracing the free market model they are now the richest country on the planet.

Only economic flat earther's such as Ttosca still try to argue for a big government controlled economy when practically every country has abandoned it and the few remaining countries are either abandoning it (eg. Cuba) or totalitarian regimes (eg. N. Korea).

The yardstick for me is if you are a poor person, where would you prefer to be poor? Cuba/North Korea? Or USA/UK/Germany?

The irony is that his Ttosca's views on this forum are only made possible by the very capitalist society which has invented all the technology and all the profit making firms hosting the website, providing the broadband connections etc. Not forgetting of course the fundamental freedom of speech rights which are not around in any communist country.

Xenia Sat 13-Oct-12 15:59:36

Free market economies are the best we have ever come up with. China has someone with a PhD in law taking over but even he (always a he there, so much for women's rights under communism, just men men men all the way) is unlikely to introduce any freedoms.

Yes, tax is 50 - actually it's 52% including NI and over 60% as you lose th epersonal allowance entirely at the higher rate and if most of your income is over £150k then most of what you are earning is being given back 52% to the state. That % doesn't really work most states have found so not surprisingly Labour's top rate was 40% and the Coalition will probably get back to that and then the tax take will go up.

Obviously there are different levels of free markets - we have never had really free markets and we have never had pure communism. Those who like the French and Swedish ways can go there or vote in parties who want those systems 75% taxes and all that comes with that. Not surprisingly people like the Rausing and now hordes of French moved here.

MiniTheMinx Sat 13-Oct-12 16:33:08

No the real irony is that Capitalism creates need rather than fulfils need.

Capitalism as you rightly point out is very effective at creating new technologies and I would argue efficient in doing so. We have products and services we never knew we needed but usually the conditions can be made that we have to relent and pay for it anyway. A good example is making people claim for UC on-line when it is introduced....there are plenty more.

China embracing capitalism some 30 years ago correlates with declining living standards and wages in the west. Which serves to underline the fact that capital flies to where it has a docile and cheap labour force & government spending on infrastructure. The problem now is that we in the west have less money in which to consume what they can produce. China's economy is slowing down, China has spent billions on water, roads, rail, airports creating the conditions where capitalists can operate but they have a rising middle class who now see their prospects for continued growth under threat. I actually think in another 30-40years china will be in decline similar to what we see happening in the states and the state will have shrunk not because of idealogical change but because the Chinese state will never see the return on the investments they are making.

In 2012 china has spent a $110 billion on police and security to control it's people. (their defence budget was $5 billion. There have been between 50,000 and 100,000 protests that were considered mass incidents in recent years. People do not riot for want of less prosperity they riot for BREAD. French revolution.... bread, Russian revolution..... bread!

Why are these chinese workers so upset?

Capitalism is even MORE efficient in creating inequality than it is in producing new goods and services because those goods and services can only be created by the exploitation of labour in the pursuit of profit. They can only be sold when there is a demand to buy them. Impoverished workers can't buy and pay your workers too much and you can't compete.

Wasteful.......in what way? well almost every way you can think of, we lay whole cities to waste (detriot) we degrade the environment from rivers to deforestation, we waste people living on $1 a day, we create goods that sometimes no one really needs or wants, houses are reposessed and left empty while people sleep on the streets......

The really fundemental thing to understanding capitalism is that it thrives on inequality, creates inequality and eventually the wheels fall off because of inequality.

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 22:37:37

Well said Mini.

MrJudgeyPants Sun 14-Oct-12 01:43:54

ttosser Rant and rave all you like but it will take a colossal amount of denial and doublethink on your part to equate the riots we saw in the UK last year with the demi-revolutions that are ongoing across parts of Europe. As for the bodge which is our system of government (complete with its contradictions warts and all) it is still 'our' system and not some EU imposed junta. As we both believe in democracy and freedom I hope we can, at least, agree to condemn the EU for that.

The point I was making that half of your income goes to the state wasn't a reference to the (now reduced) 50% tax rate. Many more than just the top 1% are paying more than 50% tax. For example, Add together income tax, national insurance, VAT & council tax and 40% tax payers (and a sizeable chunk of lower rate payers) are contributing over 50% of their total income - whack on the taxes associated with running a vehicle, drinking or smoking and the figures are higher still. This isn't about the 45% tax rate - although it is a convenient smokescreen for the misinformed - this is about a state that collects and spends so much money that it distorts the whole economy in a negative way.

...legality doesn't mean morality. Some laws are just and some laws and unjust. Some things which are unjust are legal, and some are illegal.

So what we need is a small state solution of only the fewest laws required to keep our society functioning and not some top down and draconian system which enslaves us in petty rules (Or the New Labour approach of enacting almost a new law for every day they were in power). Blimey - two things in one day with which we agree on; will wonders ever cease?

On NHS satisfaction, I've seen that poll too. Our free NHS was compared with various 'not-free' alternatives and, not surprisingly, won. Compare the stats on cancer survivability, hospital infections, doctor / patient ratios etc and you'll see we don't stack up nearly as well.

I also suggest laying off the Tory scum insults if they are aimed at me. I've stated on these boards several times - and to you in particular no less - that I am not Tory Scum, I am Libertarian scum thank you very much! I vote Conservative in the absence of a practical right-wing libertarian alternative and consider the Tories to be the least bad option of the three main parties. However, I consider the current crop to be virtually interchangeable with the Blairite brand of Labour and, much as I respect Cameron, do not consider him, or them, capable of fixing the problems that this country faces.

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 02:12:19

I think anyone on unemployed should be paid a flat fee that they then spend on whatever they need. Some will spend more on rent and others will spend more on food etc depending on their life choices.

Tying that in with a tax system is defeatist as tax is the,way that we express our political differences. I see your point about taxing spending rather than income but wouldn't that just mean the rich would stash away their cash and live on a small percentage of what they hold?

Xenia Sun 14-Oct-12 08:11:34

If everyone in work or not were paid £15k a year if they are over 18 and that included pensions we might save. I have not done the sums. If the £15k would not feed and house you yo might try to get work or families would have to take responsibility for children and parents and that would be no bad thing. Apparently my housing benefit alone would be £20k a year !! if I chose not to work. Far too much.

We already tax spending hugely with 20% VAT. We could add VAT to everything and reduce the rate if we were trying to fund the £15k a year. The £15k would giev a couple £30k and if two couples chose to live together that would be £60k even if they did no work.

Tory scum comments just make people realise how silly the left are. The Coalition is trying to deal with some very difficult issues. Most politicians for all their faults work very hard and most could earn a lot more in other jobs. I think my daughter in mid 20s already earns an MPs' wage. They are not scum on either side.

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 09:46:58

I agree with Xenia (oh dear) that having a flat fee to spend as you like is good for a benefit system but taxation is a completely different kettle of fish. Benefit is a fallback a subsistence level for when people need support and should always exist but the country can't thrive in a world economy when the markets have control because the long term development of the country would not be supported.

By this I mean things that we have government for in the first place, that provide preventative measures such as good healthcare and ensuring there is equality for all, a decent legal system, education that works and ensures that the nation survives not over the next parliamentary term but over the next decades. The things we pay our government to do.

Thatcher's free market economy is the perfect example of how leaving the markets to dictate the country's future can wreck the things we have a government for in the first place. The markets have infiltrated every corner of our state systems, from the health service to the legal system, to social care. It doesn't work, the two do not go together. We have more inequality than ever, and free markets are to blame. Just because we had slightly over-fed public services whose systems were not exactly lean and mean does not mean we should have ripped the heart out of them and allowed private companies to profit.

I wouldn't touch the tax system without being extremely careful. The tax system is complicated and bizarre, but so is the legal system but it is all for a reason. It is simplistic and slightly naiive to think that we can just 'do away with' the 'red tape' because it's 'unnecessary'. Read some history books, look at what makes our country great, and read about the things we should not be proud of. Our country wasn't made great by McDonalds, big pharma, extremely wealthy oil barons. You can't just do away with things because they're a bit complicated.

Xenia Sun 14-Oct-12 14:16:19

We hvae not had free markets and Thatcher hugely improved Britain. I lived through the 70s. It was no fun.

The suggestion that we have one benefit for everyone perhaps in work or out of £15k a year (which of course would reduce the sums paid to those who choose to bring up children without a partner or not living with other adults or their family) is a simple and good one. Universal benefits have worked really well. It m ight though incentive some people not to work at all which may not be that good for the economy. On the other hand if you earn say £40k a year you will not be giving that up just to get £15k, instead you will enjoy your £55k knowing that the benefits scrounger next door who also does work cash in hand is in a sense losing out.

No one is suggesting abolishing tax. Even capped flat taxers of my ilk could live with 10 - 20% tax each perhaps capped at £50k or £100k per person.

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 14:27:53

We had manufacturing before Thatcher, we produced our own coal and oil. Now we don't. Our public services were a bit lardy, and the unions were getting a bit bolshy but she could have sorted that out without selling our country to the highest bidder.

Most people don't work because there isn't any in their area that pays a wage worth working for. In the 70s there was plenty of work, but Thatcher put hundreds of thousands of people out of work and left them sitting there in the villages of mining towns with feck all.

MiniTheMinx Sun 14-Oct-12 17:08:32

Well said achillea. Thatcher bundled in to smash the unions because she wanted to sell UK PLC to the highest bidders and had a fetish about inflation. She set out to create unemployment and she succeeded.

Mr Pants, why a right wing libertarian? why not just a libertarian or a left libertarian. I agree with much of what you say but......I don't think capitalism is fit for purpose. What is more, what is wrong with having active engaged citizens involved from the grass roots up in democratic organising where every man has equal rights under law. Where people have freedom from hunger and every human need is met in a planned economy.

It seems that it is only economics that divides left & right libertarians which makes me feel that equality is fine with you as long as your property makes you more equal than others. Whilst freedom and liberty is a worthwhile ambition in and of itself it means nothing when all of human history has been about a struggle for the material necessities of life. Something which under you system would be denied to those less equal.

Xenia Sun 14-Oct-12 17:16:55

Lady Thatcher got our economy going again. We had a huge crash in the 70s, we had inflation over three years of 18, 22 and 20%. We had a 3 day week. We had power shortages, oil lamps and the country was in fear of the unions. She solved all that and brought us to the prosperity levels we have now which were unimaginable in the 70s. We are were very lucky to have her.

MiniTheMinx Sun 14-Oct-12 17:29:29

Yes it was caused by a banking crisis. Caused by a housing bubble, silly lending and lack of regulation and the end of the Breton Woods agreement. Do you have any idea how many crisis there has been in the history of capitalism?

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 19:40:27

The unions were right to be so bolshy. They knew exactly what would happen when Thatcher and her ilk came in and deregulated. Look at where it has got us. We should have listened to them and their 3 day work to rule. We are now all working 6 days for 3 days money anyway. At least we would have 2 days off if the unions had had their way.

picketywick Thu 22-Nov-12 12:34:43

Margaret Thatchrt was single minded as a ferret in a rabbit hutch, politics needs more vision and humanity than that. (Macmillion said she needed to "read a few books " ) And he did not mean 50 Shades of Grey.

niceguy2 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:04:48

Ha ha Achillea. Brilliant! Oh yes....when Thatcher came to power the unions were doing a cracking job of running the country weren't they? Into the ground that is. Winter of discontent anyone? Rampant inflation? Power shortages, rubbish mountains. Oh yes, the unions were doing a blinding job.

And when Thatcher/Tories left they handed over a booming economy and a balanced budget. Thirteen years of Labour rule (who are funded by the unions) and we're back to square chuffing one. Once again they handed over a massive deficit and an economy in the shitter.

If unions had been left unchecked we'd not only have 2 days off a week, we'd probably have 7.

MiniTheMinx Fri 23-Nov-12 11:56:29

Your full of shit Niceguy.

niceguy2 Fri 23-Nov-12 12:11:37

Really? Care to dispute any of the above?

Tressy Fri 23-Nov-12 12:18:48

Yes please, I work 35 hours a week for not much more than this. I would cut my hours by half and feel rich. Doubt it would work though.

MiniTheMinx Fri 23-Nov-12 12:21:20

why should I waste my time, if anyone hits you with anything that requires you to read and think, you ignore and pick up on a point that you find easy to counter with the same clap trap smile that you oft repeat ad infinitum.

Tressy Fri 23-Nov-12 12:27:53

The economic boom during the Thatcher years and beyond was down to the banks, irresponsible lending, consumer credit etc. Built on and maybes. We are paying for it now and will be for some years to come.

Abitwobblynow Sat 15-Dec-12 17:48:41

This is a therory put forward by the economist Charles Murray and I think it is a very good idea.

£15k is too high. I think he advocates around £6000 pa as a universal benefit - ALL OTHER BENEFITS abolished - and there are two provisos:

you have to buy health insurance
you have to buy a pension plan

Apart from that, you can do what you like and you are responsible for your own life. Set up a surfing commune in Cornwall? Work 3 jobs? OAPs agreeing to live together for mutual support and sharing the costs? Go for it. As people's income rise, their tax bracket goes up as normal (with a hugely simplified tax system).

I think the hugest strength of this theory, is that it takes the well-meaning but inefficient and wasteful government (bureaucracy) out of the equation, pulls all people into having bank accounts (and out of the reach of loan sharks), and that benefits DO NOT ACCOMPANY BABIES.

That benefits accompany babies is the hugest flaw in the welfare system as it is currently set up.

Abitwobblynow Sat 15-Dec-12 17:51:03

The economic boom during the Thatcher years and beyond was down to the banks, irresponsible lending, consumer credit etc. Built on and maybes. We are paying for it now and will be for some years to come.

Tressy, are you serious? The economic boom during the Thatcher years was North Sea Oil revenues before the deregulation of banks.

The irresponsible lending and consumer credit belong to the glorious years of Gordon 'I have saved the world' McMoron.

AmberLeaf Sat 15-Dec-12 18:00:51

Good luck if you or yours ever get seriously ill/disabled on £6k pa and no healthcare wobbly.

Heroine Sat 15-Dec-12 18:10:37

Hang on, if you lose all the government bureaucracy then there will be many government people unemployed and getting paid the £15k so.. oh yeah! Hang on that IS still a saving!

lougle Sat 15-Dec-12 22:09:49

Perhaps wages should be equalised - a certain amount of £ for an hour's work, regardless of the job. The Government could conscript the population to work according to their assessed skills, so those with the aptitude could be sent to work in Law, similarly, those with the skills could clean, etc. No choice, no 'worth', just using your skills where they are needed for a national wage. How would we like that?

picketywick Wed 09-Jan-13 11:32:09

CB Yours is a good idea but too sensible for any government to try it. Pity.

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