This is my last attempt to persuade @nataliben and @carolinelucas to to start a political sea change. Rather than spoon feed them with exerpts as I said I would, either they are motivated to read
Dynamic Benefits (2009)
or they are not. I have already reiterated the reasons why they should too often, but these two ‘Jpohnnyvoid’ blogs should persuade them:
Johnnyvoid mentions neither Dynamic Benefits nor the Citizens’ Income, but he does paint a grim picture of the Universal Credit, and a prediction of how it will unravel. Not to salvage some good from this unpleasant and disastrous process by Introducing the Citizens’ Income principle would be a failure of vision. Johnnyvoid thinks that Iain Duncan Smith is incompetent, and has bungled the introduction of the UC. I don’t dispute that view, but I believe that IDS would have had to be exceptionally clever to avoid this result.
Dynamic Benefits told IDS loud and clear that means testing was demoralizing and created a serious work disincentive. Some of us, from Lady Rhys Williams in 1944 onwards, already knew that, but Dynamic Benefits starts with an exceptionally clear statement of what should have been obvious. Although this leads naturally to the Citizens’ principle, one could argue that IDS, or at least those who wrote Dynamic Benefits had been quit astute in managing NOT to come to that conclusion.
Personally I don’t think even the original Dynamic Benefits proposal that claimants should retain 45%, not 35% of their benefits on finding other income would have worked. But the final form of the IDS scheme never had a cat in Hell’s chance. Means testing is being removed by removing means tested benefits, not by a truly universal credit to all. But the tragedy is that unless the opposition to IDS wakes up and realizes that means testing is the key, he will get away with his appalling plans in the eyes of those not affected.
All this may seem somewhat removed from the advance of UKIP. Hitler was not exactly seen as a clown, many were already uneasy about him. But Mussolini certainly was regarded as a clown. Farage may be Mussolini rather than Hitler, but Musso did gain power, and ruled with an iron fist for 22 years to Hitler’s 12. The pair came to power on a wave of public insecurity and austerity. I hope readers can work out for themselves how the different idea I keep plugging might just avoid history being repeated.
I shall now be out of the loop, with only fitful internet access at least until the 24th May. I am tomorrow moving into Lilac co-housing scheme. All very pioneering and exciting, but it does mean that for some time I shall be dependent on sharing dongles. On my return I shall probably adopt a different tack – still on the Citizens’ Income of course.