Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the category “Tax”

Single Mothers/Single Parents

The following could equally apply to single fathers of course but most often it is single mothers whether through choice or of fathers not having the guts or willingness to shoulder their responsibilities that are the concern of this blog.

I have long pondered the societal problem of young women who find themselves pregnant either deliberately or by ‘accident’ through unprotected sex and when deciding to go ahead and give birth expect society to pick up the bill and pay an enormous cost in welfare benefits for many years. The State provides ‘the morning after pill’ for that moment of panic next day when the thought of what if comes to mind, failing which counselling is available when another choice, again provided freely by the State, of abortion is an option.

If despite those options the decision to continue with the pregnancy is made then we, society at large, will have to support both mother and child for at least 18 years maybe more if the offspring goes to university. We cannot deprive the child of equal opportunity. Single parents usually jump the housing queue which is grossly unfair on those who patiently wait but frankly there is little we can do about that apart from building sufficient homes which successive governments have been unwilling to do but that’s another story. To get pregnant is a fast track to your own home is a well known route for many young women as is not having to bother to get a job for many, many, years. It cannot be right that choosing to have a baby is rewarded with the security to play on Snap chat or Instagram while everyone else is working to pay for it or is actively seeking work.

A possible solution occurred to me recently when feeling disgusted at the fees now charged to university students, why not a similar scheme for single parents? So yes we’ll have to provide a home, yes, we’ll have to financially support the mother and child BUT when the child reaches five years we will expect and demand that the mother seeks at least part time employment and half the earnings will be taken back in extra taxation. At aged eleven we will expect full time working and the same half taken in tax as during this time benefits will continue as before which eliminates a lot of paper work while at the same time providing incentive. When the child or children reach independence then extra tax taken at say, 5% of net income taken for the rest of working life as the hundreds of thousands it has cost is unlikely to ever be repaid in full. Going after fathers who fail to pay is for another time.

I welcome comments and suggestions.

 

 

UK Housing Prices & Inheritance

The Governor of The Bank of England has again warned of the risk to our faltering small recovery and of the need to build more houses or the increasing likely hood of raising interest rates to dampen down house price inflation. Also in the news is the widening gap between the rich and the relatively poor.

Political attention is likely to focus on the house price boom because for politicians this is the easy option but this is allied to increasing inequality of not just wealth but also inequality of opportunity. The main cause of inequality is inheritance and if this were tackled the housing inflation problem would largely solve itself. Many of the last generation bought homes at more or less sensible prices and have seen their value increase many times over the general inflation rates, an increase that is not earned. When they perhaps down size or die they can pass on to their children large sums which their offspring can use to buy their own homes; homes that without this unearned windfall they could not otherwise contemplate. This of course helps to both maintain and fan the fires of house inflation.

In addition to passing on their inflated homes, the wealthy also can afford to give their children the best start in life with all the advantages that money can bring and bequeath their accumulated funds that enable the offspring to acquire even more and so the cycle continues. Apart from a few exceptional individuals the poor will remain poor and indeed, become even more deprived as wealth becomes more concentrated in the hands of a small minority. The result of this imbalance is that the nation as a whole will lose out on ideas, businesses and social benefits due to the suppression of the less well off who cannot make or even recognise the best use of their talents or from lack of capital to advance their ideas.

What we need, but is at present anyway, unlikely to be done, is a strong inheritance tax which some may say is even punitive. If someone builds up huge wealth there is no reason that he/she should not enjoy a rich lifestyle for as long as they live but equally there is no reason why their children should continue to enjoy that lifestyle simply by being born into that family. Money raised from this taxation could then be used to improve the conditions of the many and provide start up funding for brilliant new ideas and enterprises.

There would be many arguments against a firm inheritance tax and it’s implementation would be difficult but not impossible. How it could be done is what we pay politicians for.

 

 

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