Thursday, December 05, 2013

IDS Universal Credit should give way to Green Wage Subsidy

I see poor IDS is going to have to write off £119 million on his ill-starred attempt to introduce his highly complex Universal Credit welfare reform.

He would do far better by simply abolishing the idiotic 100% marginal taxation of income that occurs when an unemployed citizen finds work that is beneficial to society and environment. This is known as Green Wage Subsidy, also known as Work Stimulus Scheme within the Department of Work and Pensions. It is 100% voluntary and transforms the dead hand of a grudging dole into a vibrant stimulus to the green sector of the economy, with the potential to create two million jobs ranging from home insulation to caring for the elderly, from waste minimisation to flood defences. It has been calculated that at 50% penetration it would leave the UK £10 billion a year better off. Apart from its intrinsic efficiency, it opens the door for introduction of the Citizens Income, a simple universal unconditional benefit that has been under consideration in all parts of the political spectrum for a hundred years.

Green Wage Subsidy could easily be trialled as a pilot in a few areas of high unemployment. IDS should give this serious consideration as a change from his agonised struggles over Universal. Credit.

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