Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Killer Arguments Against Citizen's Income, Not (6)

Twitter exchange:

@jamesbulman1:

UBI still seems barmy to me. Idea from @Citizensincome in @thetimes today seems to give a paltry £3K per person at national cost of £200billion.

@citizensincome (i.e. me) replied:

Thus replacing existing welfare payments and tax breaks which cost £200 billion. Also, redistribution is not a net national "cost" by definition.

@martin_farley hit back with these:

Quite. The 'cost' would be a tax rebate or a replacement for benefits for most people... #basicincome acts as either a benefit or tax break, depending on your income. It's just a more efficient version of both.

Why would giving tax payers a £3k rebate represent a cost to them?


Sorted.

2 comments:

Lola said...

The 'Jamesbulman' arguments are akin to those of Gordon Brown's that making a tax cut was 'taking money out of the economy'.
Logic fails the pair of them.

Ben Jamin' said...

People make the same mistake with "housing costs".

A "cost" is something that expends labour or capital. As location isn't produced by either, what makes up the bulk of rent and selling prices is a transfer payment, not a cost.

With regard to the Citizens Income, because the shortfall in their scheme A would necessitate a rise in taxes, their preferred source of extra taxes on incomes would indeed incur more deadweight costs.

Whereas, a tax based on rents would reduce them. Unfortunately the Citizens Income Trust don't seem to be able to grasp the difference between costs and transfer payments when it comes to their choice of revenue streams.