Friday, 9 March 2018

Good article on UBI

In City AM, a couple of days ago.

My comment:

Excellent summary

Couple of minor niggles - for a start, no serious worked through calculation ever said £10,000 a year, a better starting figure is £4,000 or so, which could be 'funded' by abolishing most working age, non-disability and non-housing related welfare and the tax-free personal allowance. That would not require tax increases and surprisingly few people would see a noticeable difference in their weekly income (after paying tax and receiving UBI). But it has all the merits of simplicity and getting the government off people's backs.

And mathematically, you are wrong about negative income tax, it is in fact the same as UBI.


jack ketch said...

I misread the title and thought it was going to be a post about all those foreign banks leaving London because they were no longer prepared to bet on there being unicorns with Mon Cheri cherry liqueur chocolates impaled on their horns just around the corner.

UBI- far too good an idea to ever gain traction, I fear.

PJH said...

"My comment:

... isn't showing (presuming Disqus is the only system there.)

Mark Wadsworth said...

JK, that's UBS, I think. Or it USB?

PJH, not to worry.

Mark said...

I don't mind the idea of UBI, but you just know the Left will try to add benefits for the "deserving" -- which destroys the whole point.

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, they will indeed. And the Tories will do the opposite.

Bayard said...

"And the Tories will do the opposite."

as they have already done with Child Benefit. I wonder how much of the saving from means testing has been swallowed up in additional administration costs?

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, point taken.

The answer is 'nearly all of it'.

And seeing as we - out of pigheadedness - continue to claim it and I have to pay it back via my tax return, actually it's a modest increase in tax on many higher earners.

Out of selfishness, I wouldn't mind 'savage Tory cuts' so much if at least I were paying less tax as a result. This is worst of both worlds.

Bayard said...

"Out of selfishness, I wouldn't mind 'savage Tory cuts' so much if at least I were paying less tax as a result."

AFAICS, the idea of "austerity" (which is, as we know, nothing of the kind) is not to save the government money, but to look as if it is saving the government money whilst punishing those who, by and large, are not going to vote for the Tory Party. We poke fun at third world countries when the ruling party rewards its supporters and chastises the opposition, but all governments do this, we are just a teeny bit less blatant.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, sure, what the Tories are doing is vicious tokenism and saves the taxpayer nothing. It's pure politics and not economics.

They are happy to spend more money on extra bureaucrats to persecute people at the margins of the employment market than they could ever save if a marginal few of those manage to find a real job and stop claiming dole money (or just stop claiming and starve to death).