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Simplify benefits

Comment 7th July 2010

Freedom would be enhanced if most benefits were replaced by a "citizen's income" as described at http://www.citizensincome.org.

This would be a fixed weekly or monthly payment (possibly depending on age) paid to every resident citizen (and possibly other legal residents), and would replace a plethora of benefits, tax credits and similar schemes (e.g. Job Seeker's Allowance, Child Benefit, the personal tax allowance, State Pension, student maintenance loans). It would provide a sum of money to everyone, rich or poor, that would provide at least a significant contribution to that needed for a basic standard of living.

Why does this matter?

A Citizen's Income is easy to administer and would not need an army of bureaucrats and administrators to determine and calculate eligibility and decide who has grovelled sufficiently.

Under a Citizen's Income, people would have the freedom to work (especially part time) or become self-employed without risking losing their safety net, unlike today's system where in many cases there is a disincentive to work.

There is also scope for reducing corruption – there is less scope for fraud, and less scope for bribing officials into awarding higher rates of benefit than deserved, if everyone gets the same.


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