I got in contact with Martin because I had seen his post from September 2016 on "How a Negative Income Tax could more effectively deliver a Basic Income" and found it very interesting - as well as being very similar to my own suggestions! Martin proposed the following numbers for Basic Income, which would vary with age according to the following arrangement
- £8,400 per year to every person over 65 years of age
- £6,000 per year to every person between 21 and 64 years of age
- £3,600 per year to every person between 18 and 20 years of age
- £2,400 per year to every person between the ages of 0 and 17 (for 16 and 17 year olds, the payment will be made directly to the recipient. For those 0-15, payment will be made to the named guardian/primary carer)
Specifically, Martin suggests that those benefits would add £50 billion to the cost of the system, broken down as follows:
- Disability benefits -£18bn
- Housing benefit for OAPs - £5bn
- Second Earnings-Relation Pensions Scheme - £10bn
- Attendance Allowance - £6bn
- Various other random allowances - around £10bn
- 4m people who work, but earn less than £10k
- 2m people in full time study/training
- 1.2m pensioners who have no income other than the state pension
- about 6m other people who have no income (stay-at-home parents, unemployed, the sick etc)
Indeed, on his website Martin gives a specfic implementation in which he proposes a Basic Income of £7200 a year, coupled with a flat tax of 35% that allows the Goverment to raise £63.5 billion a year. In that simulation, he takes into account the numbers of people who are currently non-earners. The result is actually very close to what I am proposing, with the difference that the point at which people stop being net receivers from the tax system is shifted left to the 44th Percentile point. It is this that allows the proposal to generate revenue for the government, whereas my proposal which has the neutrality split at around 66% is deliberately designed to be a self-contained redistribution system. My own view is that Income tax should not be used for raising revenue for the government - raising revenue would be easier to do with a Financial Transaction Tax, that would also be a flat rate tax, paid by all - citizens, businesses and banks alike.
One reason I think this may be a good ploy, especially in the USA where there are a lot of people who object to giving any of their hard-earned money to the government. With a scheme where their tax money only goes to other citizens, it is a lot less easy to object.
I note that Martin has also done some calculations that show how the same scheme could be used to provide a Basic Income of $9000 a year in the USA with a flat income tax rate of 27%. It's very close to my proposal, posted yesterday, where I suggested a Basic Income of $10 000 a year, entirely financed by a flat rate income tax of 18.5% - the only real difference being that my proposal does not try to raise revenue for the government.
As you can hopefully see , it looks like Martin Farley's proposals and my own are really remarkably closely aligned. Great minds think alike?