Our current benefits system is no longer fit for purpose. It assumes that everyone has a stable single employment, that household structures don’t change, and that individuals’ circumstances change very rarely. Our lives are no longer like that: and as technology and the employment market continue to change, our benefits system will become even less appropriate. It is complex, demeaning, and prone to administrative errors. And because means-tested benefits are withdrawn as other income rises, far too many families suffer total withdrawal rates of 85%, and often up to 96%, as tax is paid and benefits are withdrawn when earned income rises. This is no incentive to seek new skills or to look for a better job. That’s no good for workers, and it’s no good for companies or for the economy.
The most popular benefit, and the one that most suits the way that we live, is Child Benefit. It just keeps on coming, providing a secure if small financial platform for every family with children. Citizen’s Income takes this principle and applies it to everyone. .
In a context of rapid change, the only useful system is a simple one. A Citizen’s Income is as simple as it gets.
For a list of 101 reasons for a Citizen’s Income, see Malcolm Torry’s book, 101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income.