Monday, February 06, 2006

Benefits: why can't I give birth?

Via Strange Stuff, I find that Raw Carrot has calculated how much a lone single mother can earn in benefits.

The figure is £14,281 per annum. However, she can also work up to 16 hours a week without losing any benefits so, assuming a wage of £5 per hour, the final figure is actually rather higher.
Yep. Who would have thought: £18,441 per annum. To earn that much as an income tax (and National Insurance) payer you’d need to be earning £25,000...

Fucking shit-sticks.

I want to elaborate on the Citizen's Basic Income, following a conversation a wee while ago with the P-G, but I believe that the CBI would be a good counter to this kind of bollocks.

Since people under 16 would not receive any benefits at all, this would discourage under-age pregnancies. As would the fact that they would receive no more than the CBI in benefits.

This would shunt more reponsibility on the families of the girl (and the father, obviously) since they would have to pay for any unplanned grandchildren, thus forcing parents to take more responsibility for the actions of their children. Remember, economic incentives matter.

And to all those people who are about to argue that we actually need more children, the answer is, yeah, sure we do. But we do not need more children brought up by children.

4 comments:

raw carrot said...

Thanks for the link. Have to say, I was rather shocked at quite how much you can get... and as you point out while we may need more children, we certainly do not need more children brought up by children...

My fist of flounce said...

DK, forgive me if I'm wrong but you've hitherto failed to mention one major benefit of the CBI, which I'm happy to throw in.

The problem with the amount of benefits is that single mum's wanting to increase their working hours above 16 hours will lose many of them, often meaning there's an effective marginal tax rate well in excess of 100%, meaning there are simply no incentives to work herself out of poverty.

A CBI makes the effective marginal tax rate equal to the level of income tax for a given level of income, thus removing such disincentives and bringing more people into the work place.

I've written a little on the CBI, but will have more to contribute when I finish a dissertation on the damn thing. Which reminds me, must be off...

Katherine said...

You've made the assumption of course that teenagers getting pregnant has anything to do with being able to claim benefits. I don't make any claim either way, but I'd like to see the evidence that this is the case.

Devil's Kitchen said...

FE, the marginal tax rate argument I assume to be taken as read: it is the primary motive for introducing the CBI, as far as I am concerned.

Katherine, whilst I don't (necessarily) think that teenagers get pregnant simply to get benefits, although anecdotal evidence (scroll to footnote) might suggest otherwise in a minority of cases, the large amounts of benefits on offer certainly do not provide a financial disincentive for doing so.

And there is certainly evidence to suggest that many teenagers (and, indeed, adults) do not properly comprehend the difference that having a child will make to other aspects of their lives.

DK

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