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Why we need a Citizen's Basic Income$
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Malcolm Torry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447343158

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447343158.001.0001

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Why we need a Citizen's Basic Income

Malcolm Torry

Policy Press

This chapter asks the reader to imagine some representative people trying to cope with the UK's tax and benefits system, and then to imagine themselves creating a tax and benefits system in a country without one. In the first scenario, inflation is low, forcing the government to print some extra money and to give equal amounts to every citizen. People who had been on means-tested Jobseeker's Allowance are now on lower amounts of it. They all want to support themselves and their families and to contribute to society, but the only income that they can rely on is Child Benefit. In the second scenario, everyone is given a Citizen's Basic Income with all the positive changes it would bring to households, relationships, wages, or hours of employment. The chapter concludes by proposing an ideal tax and benefits structure whose requirements conform to the idea of a Citizen's Basic Income.

Keywords:   tax, benefits system, benefits, wage, Jobseeker's Allowance, Citizen's Basic Income, Child Benefit, employment, household

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