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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: The Labour Market, Then, Now, and in the Future

Criteria for a Benefits System: The Labour Market, Then, Now, and in the Future

(p.131) Chapter 9 Criteria for a Benefits System: The Labour Market, Then, Now, and in the Future
Money for everyone

Malcolm Torry

Policy Press

This chapter tackles the seventh and final criterion for a good benefits system: The tax and benefits structure should reflect the labour market of today, and should remain serviceable as the labour market changes in the future. The ways in which the labour market is changing are described, and how to characterise today's labour market is discussed: whether as subject to seismic change and towards virtual organisations and a sizeable ‘precariat’, or as subject to slow adjustment in the direction of a somewhat more flexible labour market. The ways in which employment pattern changes and changes to the family are connected are explored. The combination means that we need a secure income floor to enable individuals and households to handle change and risk. If there is to be a period of constant change, then rather than a benefits system that will suit today's circumstances, one is needed that will suit a variety of possible future scenarios. Universal benefits are found to be the best option. The chapter concludes that the best benefits system to provide the conditions for ‘the good life’ is one based on a Citizen's Income.

Keywords:   Flexible labour market, Precariat, Virtual organisation, Employment pattern, Secure income floor, Change, Risk, Constant change, Future scenarios, The good life

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