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Benefit Claimants Can Keep Overpayments


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If the person who made the mistake can show in court that it was a mistake, and that it had been recognised and communicated promptly, then the excess should be returned. You have to allow people to make the odd mistake.

Sure. This rule of thumb would apply until the money is spent. Ie if you caught the error on the day or (maybe) the day after the money is transfered or if it were otherwise obvious that it were an error

Look over what i put as a scenario. The boss first informs you that you are entitled to X, then gives you X. As far as you know you can spend X without incuring any liability. You then in good faith spend x and end up with a debt you never agreed to. Nobody would make you repay that amount after it is spent

As some have posted here, a simpler system, such as a citizen's income or negative income tax, is the correct way to go. Far simpler, less subject to error and hence any need to go to court to reclaim payment.

You would need to change the whole tax system to make it workable, but it is a change which is badly needed in any case.

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If there were no productive opportunity left un-monoplised, the alternative to a life on minimal benefits might be starvation

The life for many on benefits is far better than for those working. Comparing incomes before benefits and tax have been applied give a very misleading figure of people's means. Factor these two in, and many working people dont look to be doing so well. Add in the benefits you get for being on the social that arent normally included as income, like free school meals and getting a free house, not having to pay for the journey to work, then the financially prudent choice is to not work.

You need to reduce the costs falling on producers

Unfortunately, you and many conservatives are perversly determined to do it ass-backwards and go for the symptom rather than the problem

You will simply end up with a larger policing bill unless you deal with the underlying issue

They do get some of the productive surplus, but by no means all.

They get by far the largest slice. The portion of surplus that isn't folded into rent is the dynamic / exceptional part which has not (yet) increased the price of land

people feel like they are feeding from the scraps left over from their production - because actually they are

And I assume you are meaning the difference between what the producers produce and what they get as the surplus. Some of that surplus goes to land and property owners. Some goes to to the owners of 'capital'. And some goes to doleys on the social.

No - a surplus can be taken without stoping the production

What goes to capital is not a surplus, because the capital must be produced in order to be abvailable

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You need to reduce the costs falling on producers

Unfortunately, you and many conservatives are perversly determined to do it ass-backwards and go for the symptom rather than the problem

You will simply end up with a larger policing bill unless you deal with the underlying issue

They get by far the largest slice. The portion of surplus that isn't folded into rent is the dynamic / exceptional part which has not (yet) increased the price of land

people feel like they are feeding from the scraps left over from their production - because actually they are

No - a surplus can be taken without stoping the production

What goes to capital is not a surplus, because the capital must be produced in order to be abvailable

You need to reduce the costs falling on producers

Less tax will certainly reduce the cost falling on producers.

Unfortunately, you and many conservatives are perversly determined to do it ass-backwards and go for the symptom rather than the problem

I cant accept that. We have had full employment before, and lots of nationalities have come here and found work. The underlying reason why people do not work is that the net benefit from doing so isnt worthwhile, as a result of the tax and benefits system. You will also note that the situation is actually far worse than this, with a goodly proportion working and claiming without declaring. Fraud is rampant due to the system, which is the underlying problem, not those doing the claiming.

They get by far the largest slice.

I would like to see the figures.

What I find problematic though is how you deal fairly with the problem. The original theft of land was a long time ago. Say you have two portions of land. Both portions were stolen a long time ago. One portion has been handed down, tax free from father to son for generations. The second portion was bought last year, with the savings of a producer. The original decendant of the thief took the money from the sale and gambled it away.

So now, how would it be right to tax both portions of land at the same rate? Fair enough on the first portion, but the second portion is a problem, as the owner has paid full whack for the land. A tax imposed on it is clearly unfair, as the tax should really be placed on the original theft.

Just taxing the value of land therefore does little to break the monopoly you are so worried about, but just shifts the burden of taxation onto those who have chosen to buy land when the rules were different. As you point out, obtaining a reward for capital which was created by setting aside the output of labour is fair. But when the same labour purchases land, and obtains a similar advantage from it as from obtaining capital, this is viewed as unfair?

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I would like to see the figures.

It is buried in the concept of surplus. If land had zero price, land would still exist and be usable in production. Therefore any land price can be taken away without stopping production and so all land price is a surplus.

What I find problematic though is how you deal fairly with the problem. The original theft of land was a long time ago. Say you have two portions of land.

The land was not itself stolen as it has no owner. It was human rights that were stolen, not land. The present owner of land is a reseller of stolen human rights.

Both portions were stolen a long time ago. One portion has been handed down, tax free from father to son for generations. The second portion was bought last year, with the savings of a producer. The original decendant of the thief took the money from the sale and gambled it away.

You are thinking of land as legitimate property that has been stolen from its true owner. This is not the case.

The problem you outline is considerably reduced if the tax shift happens over a period of time (ten years or more), rather than being sudden. This gives the real estate market time to discount the tax gradually and owners time to shift their situation with fewer loses.

Changing this situation gradually by moving taxation over to land creates a smaller, temporary and less destructive fairness problem than keeping things the way they are

To illustrate, there is more than one fairness problem with a transition

1)Those who have recently purchased land find themselves paying more than they should

2)Those who do not own (much) land are not compensated for the historic theft that they have experienced at the hand of

landowners. Why shouldn’t they be?

Unfairness 2 probably would not even have occurred to you, because you will look for the unfairness from a particular angle.

Both issues boil down to money that has been spent on land that can’t now be practically collected back

As you point out, obtaining a reward for capital which was created by setting aside the output of labour is fair. But when the same labour purchases land, and obtains a similar advantage from it as from obtaining capital, this is viewed as unfair?

In the actual economy, It is not ‘setting aside’ of labour that is important, that is a dumb way to think about it, but a way that is often repeated. According to this definition I can ‘set aside’ labour by moving sand up and down a beach. The productive reality relies on you actually contributing something to production and then getting paid for that contribution. In this case, the labour you describe has gone to pay somebody else for ‘holding land’ and you have paid him this amount not to produce anything or create any advantage for production, but in the hope that somebody else will be likewise geometrically cornered into paying you for contributing nothing. This entire chain of ‘exchange’ from the first landowner to you has contributed zero to production and yet each participant has taken heavily from production. The reason capital is not unfair is because the capitalist contributes something that would not be there without said capitalists. The reason land is unfair is because the landowner contributes nothing that would not be there without him (land is a faux service) Lastly, you ignore the possibility that if you have a claim on production for not producing anything , then claim itself can be bought without any production on the part of the buyer

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Fuel duty up 0.76p Jan 1st, VAT up 2.5% Jan 4th - costs to get to work increasing.

Life on dole 2 - 0 Working like a mug

The government dept made the error so the court ruling is correct. Why would you expect someone to repay the money, especially when the people in question are poor by our standards.

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But surely the more cost effective way would be to leave this alone and change the law? Rather than wasting taxpayer money on a case their is a good chance of you losing.

Hasn't the precedent already been set on this with people making mistakes sending money via banks to the wrong account only to be told they have no legal redress to getting their money back?

I agree it's unfair, mistakes happen.

Actually it is against the law to keep money wrongfully paid to you. There was a case a few years ago. A person received something like several million by accident. They kept quiet initially and were in the sh1t, of course the money was recovered too, including what they went out and spend thinking they were rich.

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