On seeing the DM headline I double checked the date to see if it was 1 April, as only a fool would now vote Lib Dem. They wrongly assume that only the rich have such assets. What about the people who have worked all their life on a modest income and instead of spending any surplus income on frivolities, spent it on items to enhance their home and themselves, such as, good quality furniture and fittings and good quality fashion accessories. Then in retirement they have all they need for a comfortable life together with a reasonable pension and their home is now mortgage free.
Then comes the Lib Dems and brings these retired persons into a wealth tax bracket, they forget, that they will not just be taxing the rich, but those who have invested for their retirement.
Why not go to full on Utopia, or would it be Dystopia, but is that a matter of opinion.
Now how could this be achieved, a welfare state could be created. In the UK this started in 1906-1914, with the Liberal Welfare Reforms, which introduced:
- Old-Age Pensions Act in 1908,
- the introduction of free school meals in 1909,
- the 1909 Labour Exchanges Act,
- the Development Act 1909, which heralded greater Government intervention in economic development,
- the National Insurance Act 1911 setting up a national insurance contribution for unemployment and health benefits from work.
- then in 1942 came the Beveridge Report
The Beveridge Report was the means by which the Labour government endeavoured to expand the welfare state.
Beveridge was opposed to “means-tested” benefits. His proposal was for a flat rate contribution rate for everyone and a flat rate benefit for everyone. Means-testing was intended to play a tiny part because it created high marginal tax rates for the poor (the “poverty trap“).
One of the main sections of the Beveridge Report was the National Health Service Act of 1946, which created the NHS, a free at point of provision for health care for all UK residents,which was implemented in 1948.
Another was the expanding of National Insurance to provide for the costs related to the various benefits created by the enacting of the Beveridge Report.
The idea being that those persons in employment would pay contributions to the state, in the form of National Insurance contributions and Income Tax, by way of PAYE for employed persons and payments paid direct to HMRC for self employed persons.
When there is a high ratio of persons employed or self employed persons to persons unemployed, the money collected to pay for the benefits to all persons will be more than likely sufficient to meet all costs required. Where there is a high rate of unemployment, or the ratio of persons who would not normally be employed (children and retired) is considerably higher than those in employment, the costs may not be covered. Any shortfall in the costs would need to be either covered by government borrowing, the criteria for benefits be adjusted accordingly or taxation introduced into new areas.
This brings me back to the start of this article and the Lib Dems thought of introducing a Jewellery Tax.
But is there another option?
Instead of a percentage of any income paid to the government, in the form of National Insurance contributions and the various forms of taxation, why not all income be paid to the government. Then, in the form of an allowance, a proportion of this is then paid out to every legal resident of the country.
This would mean no one would need to apply for benefits, because everyone would be given their appropriate allowance. This means there would be no one who could be claiming any benefits to which they were not deemed to be entitled and so this would ensure there were no longer any, so called, ‘benefit scroungers’. It would also solve the situation regarding illegal immigrants, as no one would receive an allowance until they were legally registered as a UK resident. It would solve benefit fraud.
To administer this system every person, as soon as they are born would need to be registered, as would anyone coming to the UK to legally reside, they could then be issued with an Allowance Card, similar to the various plastic cards already around today, for use as credit, debit or other cards.
All persons deemed to be eligible for work would be allocated a job, in line with their abilities, so therefore no one would be without a form of employment, so the benefit ‘Job Seekers Allowance‘ would no longer be required. There would be some people who are deemed unable to work, due to them having some form of disability, here people with disabilities would be assessed, using health based criteria and be given a dispensation from the requirement to work. this would require their allowance to be increased accordingly to ensure their additional needs , due to their disability, could be met, so the various disability benefits would no longer be required.
A reason to live, yes or no?