He says the trend was adopted by the Labour government who were notorious for dozens of new stealth taxes whilst keeping the basic headline income tax rates unchanged for years. Here the voters were confused but gradually learnt to trust politicians even less than they did before.
The same trend has happened in welfare payments, where, says the latest Citizen's Income Newsletter Issue 2 , 1.8 million pensioners do not claim Pension Credit due to 'the complexity of the claiming process and the stigma associated with being dependent on state benefit' . The same CI letter refers to the universal availability of the NHS. No one seriously suggests in the UK that the universal 'benefit' of NHS should be subject to means-testing, no one considers it a stigma to take the free NHS services, so why is the UK welfare benefit system so riddled with means-testing that makes it ineffective to many who really need its help? Far better, says the Citizen's Income Trust, to have a Universal Benefit in place of tax allowances - a Citizen's Income: 'A regular unconditional nonwithdrawable income paid to each individual citizen as a right of citizenship'. If we did this, enabling a bonfire of the welfare benefits, a huge admin. saving would be made. Clarity and simplicity wins (OK, Luke Johnson?), effectiveness wins - benefits would reach those needing them. Earned income would be taxed leaving the better off without a change in their take home pay.
Ian Duncan-Smith (welfare reformer) and Frank Field (reviewer of poverty) need to consider the Citizen's Income as a vital measure in a new, more effective and much simpler system.
Posted by Charles Bazlinton