Monday, October 18, 2010

Choices and cuts

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What are the merits of taxation? Are we about to learn of its merits when we hear about the huge cuts in public spending affecting many vital public services? There are choices but to listen to the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition Government one would think not. There's the balance between raising more in taxation vs cutting spending. There's the speed and scale of spending cuts (and tax rises). There are the areas or people to tax more and areas to cut spending on. Already I believe a serious error has been made by not cutting defence spending more, when they are so bad at controlling their costs and getting value for money. And why those child benefit changes that dont take account of the whole of a household's income? Universality for child benefit has very clear advantages. I heard on the local news about Bristol City Council's plans to cut the amount spent on dealing with homelessness by hundreds of thousands - wrong because a roof over your head is a basic need and also counterproductive in my view because this spending helps people to become settled, working, productive, tax paying people who might otherwise be a big cost society in many ways.