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Money for everyoneWhy we need a citizen's income$
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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: Incentives, Efficiency, and Dignity

Criteria for a Benefits System: Incentives, Efficiency, and Dignity

(p.113) Chapter 8 Criteria for a Benefits System: Incentives, Efficiency, and Dignity
Money for everyone

Malcolm Torry

Policy Press

This chapter evaluates both the current system and a system based on a Citizen's Income against three further criteria The tax and benefits structure should not disincentivise public goods such as enterprise, training, long-term relationships between the parents of children, and the ability to provide financially for oneself and one's dependents. The tax and benefits structure should incentivise the efficient allocation of resources, and so contribute to an efficient economy. Our tax and benefits structure should treat people with dignity, and not stigmatise individuals involved in any part of the system. The chapter finds that a Citizen's Income ameliorates a number of traps: the unemployment, invalidity, poverty, lone parent, part-time, lack of skills, and savings traps; and so imposes fewer disincentives than the current system on skill acquisition, self-employment, long-term relationships, and the ability to climb out of poverty. It finds that in a number of respects a Citizen's Income would give us a more efficient economy, and that it would enhance individuals’ dignity, because everyone would receive a Citizen's Income, thus reducing stigma.

Keywords:   Public goods, Enterprise, Training, Long-term relationships, Efficient allocation of resources, Efficient economy, Dignity, Stigma, Poverty trap, Unemployment trap

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