A traditional view of tax that viewed consumption taxes as a way to avoid taxing savings is flawed. A progressive spending tax stands between an income tax, which double-taxes all savings, and a wage tax, which ignores all savings.
Inheritance taxes have rarely ever contributed more than two per cent to the budget of any modern state. Nevertheless, in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries some of the most vocal conflicts over taxation took place over inheritance taxes. This holds true for the United States as well as for many European countries. In the United States, estate taxation has been a topic of controversial political debate and will remain on the political agenda, at least until a decision has been made on what will happen to the tax after 2010.
This brief considers the concept of tax justice or fairness in relation to each of these broad goals: the collection of revenues to finance public expenditures, the regulation of social and economic behaviour, and the distribution of economic resources.
Many social security institutions are in the process of reforming their disability benefit programmes in an effort to reduce historically high numbers of beneficiaries on the rolls.
This brief will discuss the causes of this high recipient rate and will describe current disability benefit reform measures aimed at addressing the problem. It will then explore the policy reasons behind these different reform measures and examine how different types of reform measures might best address those policy concerns.
The manner in which these reform measures are implemented can be critical if they are to achieve their policy goals of greater integration rather than simply reduce benefit rolls.
In the new society, the individual and the family are subject to substantial increases in uncertainty in the economic environment. These are caused by globalization, technological changes, shifts in global power structures, and developments in labour and family relations.
Chile and Sweden set precedents in recent decades that were followed by many countries in their pension reform. In Chile, the universal pension coverage of pay-as-you-go was replaced by privatized plans which converted the system from DB to DC. In Sweden, the DB social security system was replaced by a combined notional defined contribution (NDC) system and a smaller privatized DC system. While the NDC is not privatized, it does shift most of the risk from the government to the participant.
The Swedish example has shown that privatization is not the only way to achieve the twin goals of fiscal stability and a viable welfare system, by combining the best of the market and government regulation to devise a pension system that is both economically efficient and equitable.
There exists a widespread conviction that pension protection, along with many other social benefits, is slowly being eroded as responsibility for insurance and the associated costs are shifted steadily from government and employers to individual citizens and their family members.
But was there really a ‘golden age’ of pension protection? If so, what are the causes that undermined these guarantees, and what are the policy parameters and defining characteristics that have shaped pension policies during the last couple of decades?
This policy brief will discuss some normative and political aspects of the feasibility of a welfare reform based upon the idea of a basic income.
A guaranteed income (GI) that replaces the welfare state is not currently on the political agenda, but it offers the possibility for a grand compromise that could attract a majority political coalition: for the Left, it represents larger government in that it constitutes a state-driven redistribution of wealth, while for the Right, it offers smaller government in terms of the state’s power to control people’s lives.
In the United States, ’welfare‘ and the politics of welfare – cash assistance for families, generally female-headed single-parent families with children – have been treated as a separable realm of policy, and too often as synonymous with all of anti-poverty policy.
Guaranteed Income (GI) is usually defined as an income provided by a government to all adult members of a given nation at a uniform, fixed level, and at regular intervals.