Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Will Osborne's Tax Credit changes be his Poll Tax?

Cameron has broken his clear election promise  that Child Tax Credit would not be cut.
Working Tax Credits (WTC)  are to be cut in April 2016.

WTC is a benefit with a 30 year history, beginning in 1986 as Family Credit, then Working Family Tax credit (1999). It is a popular benefit, enabling people to feed their family even though they are in in low skill, low pay jobs. Tax Credits are associated with the Basic Income idea. 

Here is a useful summary of what Osborne wants to do.

Osborne faces opposition on WTC from within his own party, not least from Boris Johnson. David Davis asks whether it will prove to be Cameron's Poll Tax. Even the Sun on Sunday is against him.

In an ideal world, all jobs would pay enough to live on. I have heard socialists criticise Green Wage Subsidy (GWS) on these grounds, and ironically, Osborne is using the same argument, claiming that WTC will be replaced by his so-called National Living Wage. The fact is that we do not live in an ideal world. Another fact is that about 10% of workers will lose significant amounts of income by moving from WTC to Osborne's Living Wage.

Meanwhile the execrable Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, claims that loss of welfare will help bring about what he wants to see - the British working as hard as the Chinese. Yes, the Chinese do work hard. They also have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Being driven to work hard is one of the factors in that statistic. Hunt has form in driving people unreasonably hard, and his present attack on junior doctors is coming from the same personality defect.

As ever, the Tories' claim that their campaign to reduce welfare will make people get to work, and as ever they ignore the fact that there is no work for people to do. So 5% of working age people are given JSA, grudgingly, on condition that they continually go through the motions of a futile search for work, when instead a change in the law could allow them to take their JSA into good, constructive work with them. This is what GWS is all about. Given added advantages to the green sector of the economy, we could create a better, cleaner healthier society with full employment.

Instead we have Osborne in charge, stamping the poor ever further down into the mud, until they lose patience and turn to rioting.

1 comment:

Brian said...

OK - but why aim for 'full employment'? i.e. full wage-slavery, in 'jobs' most of which are unnecessary if not positively harmful, to the environment and/or people. Full Basic Incomes would allow free choice of occupation.