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A Fair Income

Author: Simon Duffy

In the final joint policy paper in our series with the University of Birmingham, Simon Duffy outlines the case for radical reform of the tax-benefit system. The current system is confusing and unfair, it locks the poor into poverty and imposes upon them the highest rates of tax. Instead we need to move to an integrated tax-benefit system, one that provides a guaranteed and reasonable level of income for all individuals and families. 

The paper proposes the creation of a system of Fair Income Security, a system that would have the following seven features:

  1. Integration of the current tax and benefits into one coherent system 
  2. A consistent approach for benefits and taxation, more supportive of families, in all their forms
  3. The simplification of tax-benefit calculations into one set of questions
  4. A minimum income for all, delivered through a universal, non-means-tested, benefit
  5. Fair rates of taxation that remove the extreme disincentives for the poorest
  6. A constitutional right to a minimum guaranteed income and to fair taxes 
  7. A public committee to shape the core entitlements, open to submission and scrutiny

Such a system would be fair, rational, economically sustainable, and would reflect the changing nature of modern society.

Read and download the free pdf in your browser here.


The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.

A Fair Income © Simon Duffy 2011.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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