Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Polly replies

Pollyanna has replied to my email.
Many thanks.

Of course there are serious glitches in the benefit system. It can always be improved. But I don't see any chance of drastic change for as long as you have a means tested system.

I do think the housing benefit rules are daft and they have always been the main glitch, the bit Beveridge could never make worth from Day 1. So give everyone their home.

Critiques are easy, solutions v hard - as 18 years of Tory rule showed too when the system was much the same, same glitches, only less generous to those in work who gain so much now through credits. True, the glitch has moved upwards to discouraging those in work to work longer or for more.

Citizens Income is the 'answer' and maybe the Tory party is the only one that could suggest it. From Labour there would be outcry at profligacy, at giving out money to all for nothing, and at the monumental cost in taxes. But it does solve all the glitches - except the biggest - public support.

Actually, a remarkably sensible answer even if it does avoid a good number of the questions that I asked. However, the issues that I raised in my post still apply; especially on the question of giving houses to those who can't afford them.

In what way is it fair—and isn't the object of Polly's sermons to make a fairer society?—that some people should pay for their houses and others should be given them? And at what point do you say that someone is poor enough to be given a house; where is the dividing line?


Colin said...

A house for free. Wow, that's great! Where can I get one? I hate to work and save for a house that I can get for free.

Kit said...

Doesn't it make you wince that you agree with Polly about Citizens Basic Income?
Now you have climbed into bed with Polly I would suggest you have a re-think. You may regret it in the morning;p

Anonymous said...

Actually, a remarkably sensible answer

I dont see that DK; she constructed the answer to suit her original hypothesis.

I can't be bothered really listening to the utter shite she spouted because what she actually said was idealistic nonsense that in reality is over simplified and just so much quasi commie crap that doesn't take into account simple things even like human nature.

Raw Carrot said...

From Labour there would be outcry at profligacy, at giving out money to all for nothing, and at the monumental cost in taxes.

Ummm... how does she figure that out? I mean, Labour give out money all the time for "nothing"... at monumental cost in taxes... so... surely it fits snugly in their manifesto?

Oh wait, no it doesn't. Labour don't actually want to help the poor... other than help keep them poor and dependent... and Labour-voting.

james higham said...

This is always going to be the problem - the arbitrary nature of the selcetion, making the pollies who decide it into tin gods, which in itself is problematic, given the quality of the pollies in the first place.

reader said...

You seem to be going soft on the old girl, DK. What next, sending her flwers for Mothers' Day?

LFB_UK *The Legend* said...

Has she ever read any of your fisking posts about her?

If so, maybe thats why its so bland?

Roger Thornhill said...

But I don't see any chance of drastic change for as long as you have a means tested system.

Amazing how the word "means testing" was used as a sneer by the Sociofascists against the Tories for years, but now they hide behind it.

I do think we need to do things in a stepwise fashion. First we have flat tax + bigger personal allowance (transferable for marrieds). This will then simplfy the revenue side and remove the need and social engineering of things like tax credits.

When the idea of fairness (i.e. we are all treated the same - same allowances, same rates) then the debate might be more reasoned.

Anonymous said...

As this is about's hugely unfair that my daughter doesn't have a home of her own. So will you give her your spare one, Polly? She'd love your Italian one.

Also, isn't it unfair that you earn a huge sum for writing a weekly column whereas I work my arse off all week for substantially less? So, how about giving me half your dosh?

Oh, come on Polly, you can afford it and still be well off...

Chardonnay Chap said...

Where's the swearing?

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...