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Streamline the Tax and Benefits system.

Comment 12th February 2015

National Insurance should be merged with income tax. (And ideally local taxation should also be included in this merger)

The personal tax allowance abolished and should be replaced by an equivalent cash payment to all UK resident citizens. (This could be referred to as a basic income). All benefits would then be reduced by this amount.

Benefits would be phased out for those able to work, they would be replaced by guaranteed casual work being available. This work would initially be community work, whether it be helping charities or environmental schemes. It could be helping with local festivals for example.

This would be 5 days a month, there would be as much flexibility as possible in the timing. The entitlement would be transferrable between family members. It would approximately minimum wage. (Those with reduced basic income would be able to claim up to 10 days a month.)

Basic income would be based on the number of years spent contributing to the tax system. (Children on becoming 18 would be regarded as having up to 5 years of contributions, 1/2 a year for each year they have attended school in the UK.)

The minimum payment would begin after 5 years of contributions. This would be aimed to be approximately the difference between 1 day a week at minimum wage and current jobseekers allowance for a young person.

After 10 years of contributions this would raise to be equivalent to the difference between one day a week on minimum wage and the current adults’ JSA.

The state pension could also be merged with this system and could child benefit.

Once this scheme is running, a similar scheme would be introduced to replace rent and mortgage benefits.

Why does this matter?

Economic migrants would not get back from the system until they have put in.

The long term unemployed would no longer be on the scrap heap.

It could save small businesses.

It would avoid fraud, there would be no means testing. Everyone would get the basic income, everyone would be able to do the guaranteed work, however, only those without work would choose to.

It would remove the main indignity of being unemployed.

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