Dear Dave: pay child benefit to all regardless of income, and save a packet

How?
Just add a small amount to income tax to cancel it out.
Then - get rid of all the extra pencil pushers who would otherwise be needed to decide if the family passes some means test to get it.
Result is a net saving in administration.
In fact, why not pay unemployment benefit and all the other benefits to everyone, and then take it back in taxes (VAT and income tax) - even more savings!
Simples
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But he won't, and that is why I didn't vote for him. ;-)
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 10:02:58 +0100, Gordon H

I didn't vote for him either ;-)
I think it's daft to have separate taxation and benefits systems. It's less effecient a more prone to error.
Define a minimum income. Anything above this gets taxed. If income is lower the rest is made up by applying a negative taxation rate.
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On 16/06/2010 10:58, Mark wrote:

Trouble is, there's no incentive to work if you get an income regardless. That's why we've got so many scroungers, particularly from abroad.
And shouldn't high earners pay more tax proportionately? If not, will we ever get the deficit down?
Rob Graham
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writes

No, there's no incentive to work if you don't gain anything from working because you lose all your benefits. Means testing discourages work. What the OP proposed was not means testing benefits, so those who get up off their arse and get a job will be better off than the "scroungers".
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On 16/06/2010 13:14, Andy Pandy wrote:

My reply was to Mark rather than the OP. Mark's suggestion WAS a means testing of a sort because you get above or below a minimum income and this then determines an addition or a subtraction from your income.
Rob
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 13:38:39 +0100, Rob Graham

There is a kind of implied "means testing" in my system but it is only done once rather than multiple times for every single benefit.
To respond to your previous post in this thread I don't believe that my system would reduce the incentive to work. Anyone working will get more money than someone not working. Isn't that enough motivation?
The tax rates can still be graduated so that the richest pay more (and the poorest get more).
In fact I really don't understand why there is so much hysteria about "scroungers". Unless someone is fiddling the system they can't get a reasonable standard of living without working, can they?
Another issue is that, in attempt to hurt the "scroungers", any measure taken is likely to have an adverse effect on the poor who are genuinely unable to work. And there are far more of these than the "scroungers" IMHO.
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You don't need to fiddle the system. You just have plenty of babies, viz Karen Matthews, to quote one example in the news.
Rob
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Go on, then..
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On 17/06/2010 12:53, Gordon H wrote:

Just did. Karen Matthews
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Prejudiced as I am, as soon as I saw that woman's face on TV I knew exactly what she was... Yet her daughter who was allegedly "kidnapped" looks a delightful child.
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On Thu, 17 Jun 2010 11:42:48 +0100, Rob Graham

But Karen Matthews faked a kidnap to extort money. I've no idea what her income was but the crime suggests that it was not "enough".
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On 17/06/2010 14:53, Mark wrote:

She did, but the point here about her is that she has seven children. Money for old rope.
They happen to be by five different fathers, but that's not particularly relevant in this matter.
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On Thu, 17 Jun 2010 15:53:43 +0100, Rob Graham

I don't agree. Looking after children is challenging and expensive IME.

It may be if they can afford to pay any maintenance.
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On 17/06/2010 16:42, Mark wrote:

I would totally agree with that. So why get pregnant when you can't afford it? Because the state will pay. I rest my case.

In any case whether these particular ones can or can't afford maintenance I don't know (but I can guess), but there are plenty of people who appear to get pregnant so that they can get state benefits. I can't name them, but they seem to appear from time to time.
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On Thu, 17 Jun 2010 16:53:43 +0100, Rob Graham

How many people think of the consequences first I wonder. Very few I'd guess. Remember 8 out of 10 people are caused by accidents ;-)

I don't know what to believe. I suspect that the problem is exaggerated by the gutter press.
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writes

Depends what you mean by reasonable. A family on the dole generally gets about 90% of what they'd get on a single average income (I've provided the figures many times).

Virtually everyone is capable of some sort of work, the problem is that the benefits system (and to some extent employment laws) can't cope with someone who can perhaps only work intermittantly, who may need short or long periods off etc. For such people and their employers, the massive hassle involved is simply not worth the effort of trying to work, coming off and on benefits, sorting out employment admin (eg holiday, sick pay etc). So they don't bother.
With a simple "citizen's income" and a flat tax rate, going in and out of work frequently, working intermittant hours etc would not be a problem.
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On Thu, 17 Jun 2010 12:03:30 +0100, "Andy Pandy"

I haven't seen this. From my personal experience we need two decent incomes to raise an ordinary family, to provide our children with the minimum expected. This doesn't include things such as multiple cars, iphones, HD TVs, good holidays and XBOXs etc. Nearly all the families I know both parents have to work.
Indeed if benefits are so good why don't more people give up their jobs and why do people buy income protection insurance?
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Quick cut and paste (figures are for last year so the benefits will be a little more this year, the working families figures will be almost the same). Figures assume a family with 2 school age kids.
Unemployed family:
IS/JSA(IB): 5249 Child tax credit: 5015 Child ben: 1726 Housing benefit/LHA [1]: 7800 Council tax ben: 1200 Free school meals:500 Free prescriptions/dentist:200
Total 21690
Working family on 30k:
Wage: 30000 Tax: -4705 NI: -2671 Travel to work (assume 3 a day): -720 Child tax credit: 545 Child ben: 1726
Total 24175
[1] LHA rate for 3-bed house in Manchester. This will be much more in London.

Partly because of independant taxation. The idea that you tax an income which supports a family of 4 the same as an income which supports a single person. People abroad really don't understand how we put up with it. It means the gain to work for the first earner is trivial (as above) but the gain with the second earner is very significant.
This results in a sharp divide between 2-earner households and no earner households. Despite having lower unemployment than most of the EU, we have the highest proportion of children living in jobless households. It creates a divided society, increasing child poverty.

Generally people don't have a clue. The number of times I've quoted figures like the above and people haven't believed me.
Insurance is often sold to the stupid at silly prices - PPI, extended warranties, Super CDW, etc. A few years ago I bought a PAYG mobile for 30 and was offered insurance at 5 a month!! Yet apparently some idiots pay it! Most people seem totally incapable of assessing risk and reward.
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On Thu, 17 Jun 2010 16:58:09 +0100, "Andy Pandy"

Interesting. Neither amount would be enough (for us) to live off though.

I totally agree. However, even in a fairer taxation system, I still think both myself and my wife would need to work.

A lot of these are obviously a waste of time. Is income protection so straightforward though?
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