Thursday, August 26, 2010

Coalition - Try cuts using Ockham's Razor

Fairness demands that those who earn more should pay more tax and also that those most in need of welfare benefits should be protected from cuts. Obvious I suppose. The UK's Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has just published a study of the last budget's tax/benefit changes. George Osborne the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer said when he delivered the budget it was a progressive one - that is - fair because the richer would suffer more than the poorer. Budgets are about money figures in a bank balance. The study shows that those on a low income of £9,900 will suffer a loss of 5% (£495) compared with top earners on £80,000+ losing 4% (£3,200). Who suffers most? The budget figures are regressive - poor will suffer more than rich.

Nick Clegg the Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition  in the Financial Times today  heads his article answering the IFS study defends the fairness agenda of the Coalition: 'Fairness should never be a numbers game'. He says that the Coalition's new measures to get people working and moving out of poverty will not show up on simple net-cash-left figures. For a decade Gordon Brown tried to do this. We are now in a recession bringing more job losses. What magic is the Coalition privy to? The only thing that will really work progressively and which cuts the knotted welfare/tax nightmare is the Citizen's Income.  

There seems to be a complexity-complex that affects modern government ministers and forces them to believe that simple solutions are impossible. Why have we no top ministers asking their advisers: 'Why not?' when they put forward a simple idea?  Ockham's Razor  comes to mind, as in: Thomas Aquinas made this argument in the 13th century, writing, "If a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several; for we observe that nature does not employ two instruments where one suffices." (See Wikipedia)
 posted by Charles Bazlinton

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