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Malcolm Torry

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447311249

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447311249.001.0001

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Criteria for a Benefits System: Coherence and Administrative Simplicity

Criteria for a Benefits System: Coherence and Administrative Simplicity

(p.81) Chapter 6 Criteria for a Benefits System: Coherence and Administrative Simplicity
Money for everyone

Malcolm Torry

Policy Press

This chapter begins a series of four which evaluate both a Citizen's Income and the current tax and benefits structure against a series of seven criteria for a good tax and benefits structure. Chapter 6 tackles the first two criteria. The tax and benefits structure should be coherent: that is, its different parts should fit together. The tax and benefits structure should be simple to administer: to reduce employment disincentives, to reduce administrative costs, and because democratic accountability requires comprehensibility. The chapter finds that the current benefits system creates an incoherent structure, whereas a Citizen's Income would reduce complexity and would provide a basis for a more coherent tax and benefits structure, particularly in relation to individuals’ experience of it. It also finds that a Citizen's Income would be very simple to administer, that it would create an overall system easier and cheaper to administer than the current one, and that it would therefore impose fewer employment disincentives, and would reduce errors, fraud, and criminalisation

Keywords:   Tax and benefits structure, Coherent structure, Simple to administer, Cheaper to administer, Employment disincentive, Error, Fraud, Criminalisation, Reduce complexity

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