Author Archives: Laurence Cox

Universal Basic Services – an alternative to Universal Basic Income?

While Universal Basic Income is popular in principle, support for it falls sharply once increases in taxation or reductions in benefits to pay for it are included as this IPSOS Mori survey shows. UCL’s Institute for Global Prosperity has just published a report, proposing what they call Universal Basic Services as a less costly alternative.

The first point to make about their proposals is that only some of them are truly universal, with others targeted at the lowest two deciles. The Royal Society of Arts, who have their own Basic Income model, have already criticised it.

The Universal Basic Services proposal concentrates on four areas:

Shelter,

Food,

Communications,

and Transport.

Shelter

They propose building 1.5 million new social housing units over seven years, funded by selling long-term Gilts. This is not really contentious, but they then advocate allocating them on the basis of need to people at nil rent and Council Tax and with an allowance for utilities costs. Potentially, there is a problem of inequity here with existing Council tenants who are paying rent, Council Tax and utility bills while receiving Housing Benefit and this does not seem to have been fully worked out in the proposals – they only look at overall costs.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 23 Comments

Review of “The Joy of Tax” by Richard Murphy

Last year Richard Murphy, well-known through his involvement with the Tax Justice Network, expanded his ideas into a paperback book The Joy of Tax. His association with Jeremy Corbyn may cause Liberal Democrats to reject his ideas, but I argue here that even if we reject his solutions, which include both Basic Income and local Land Value Tax, we should take seriously his criticism of the existing tax system and his analysis of the purpose of taxation.

After a short historical introduction in which he develops the idea of tax as being the band that holds together the Social Contract between a people and their government, he examines how the Government raises its revenue. We are all familiar with the three big taxes: income tax, National Insurance and VAT, which together raise just under 65% of all taxation, national and local, but Murphy also looks at the large number of taxes that raise the remainder and the justification for them.

He covers six reasons why Governments should tax:

Posted in Books | Tagged and | 9 Comments
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    expats : - Not all tribunal claims are or were made against "unscrupulous" employers. Courts are business like any others and it is not surprising...
  • User AvatarRonald Murray 20th Oct - 12:42pm
    Some years ago I was offered a job in Saudi with a telecommunications company. I did some research with friends and aquaintances who had worked...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 20th Oct - 12:24pm
    I am old too but I do not recall all those wonderful opportunities except through rose tinted spectacles. It was more like 5 - 10...
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 20th Oct - 12:08pm
    Good luck to all the marchers. With you in spirit. Family christening keeps me at home. Let’s kill the nonsense that a 2nd referendum is...
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    Agree wholeheartedly withRichard C. I said so at the time and when I applied to work for the remain campaign. There are websites saying what...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 20th Oct - 11:40am
    @Paul Walter "I suspect he will get his money to put a gloss of morality on what will continue to be a highly questionable enterprise."...