Numerous politicians and commentators are now talking about providing every citizen with a living wage – whether they work or not.
They talk about the idea as though they’ve just thought of it.
But here’s where the idea first appeared:
`And there is a much simpler, easier, fairer and cheaper way of eradicating poverty and ridding our streets of beggars. Here it is.
Everyone over 16 should get a basic living allowance of £10,000 a year (rising each year according to inflation). And that's it. Nothing else. The allowance should last for life. In or out of work you get the basic living allowance. If you want more than that you have to earn it.
The cost of this annual allowance would be more than covered by the cost of cutting out the cost of the benefits payments and the bureaucrats who are employed to service the system. Providing a basic fixed income will mean that there will be no need for unemployment benefit or sickness benefit. Nor will there be any need for the nation to pay old age pensions. The nation will save a fortune in administration.
So, in the new England, the State will pay us all a citizen's basic income. The State will pay us instead of us paying income tax. This would free everyone from exploitation, eradicate the need for unemployment or welfare benefits, ensure a much fairer tax system, eradicate poverty, end involuntary prostitution, do much to reduce crime levels and encourage people to work (in order to increase their income). The citizen's basic income would stop people feeling resentment about their neighbours who don't work. And it would allow the Government to find more productive employment for the vast army of bureaucrats involved in administrating the huge variety of State benefits. The saving to the nation would be phenomenal. Millions of man-hours would be freed for more creative enterprises.
Social security payments currently cost the nation well over £200 billion a year. Paying the bureaucrats and administering the payments costs half as much again. With ten million pensioners, the state pension scheme costs at least another £60 billion (and the numbers are rising fast). Administering the pension scheme costs billions more. Pensions and other payments to former civil servants and public sector workers cost billions.
My idea of giving every man and woman in the country a lifetime income of £10,000 a year would be cheaper than our current state pension and benefits programme. And it would be simpler and fairer and better both for individuals and for the State. But no political party would ever have the courage, or the imagination, to introduce such a scheme.’
The section above is taken from a book called Bloodless Revolution – which describes how British life and politics could be revolutionised without a bloody revolution. The author is Vernon Coleman. And the book was first published in 2009. It is now available as an eBook on Amazon for the princely sum of 99 pence.
Copyright Vernon Coleman May 2019