It seems that the flagship policy of a Citizen’s Income is in tatters. See the Guardian article for more details, but in a nutshell: the Citizen’s Income Trust (CIT), a much cited body by the Greens has modelled the policy. The net result is more than one in three households would be losers. “The trust’s research shows that for the two lowest disposable income deciles, more than one-fifth would suffer income losses of more than 10%,”
The CIT, the charitable body that has done most to promote the policy in the UK, admits after modelling its proposal with the help of the Euromod model at the University of Essex that the complexity of the current welfare system has led to a major design flaw being revealed, including a big hit on the poor.
Malcolm Torry, director of the CIT says, “It is a pity that such a large number of households with low disposable incomes suffer such large losses on the implementation of what otherwise looks like a useful and revenue-neutral scheme.
“But unfortunately, with that number of large losses, the scheme would be impossible for a government to implement, and we ought to look for an alternative.”
Anyone reasonably versed in economics – or for that matter, basic arithmetic – would have had an uneasy feeling about such a simplistic approach to benefits. The Green Party however, is not that well endowed with economic good sense, as many of their crackpot policies show. This, however, is one of two big ones that form the main planks of their programme. They will HAVE to remove it from their manifesto, or face complete derision. Natalie Bennett has already been torn to bits over it by Andrew Neil on Sunday Politics and if he can do it, then anyone can. I can’t wait to see her on live TV in the leader debates.