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[DRAFT] Government Revenue Takes Many Forms

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Candlewhisper Archive
Senior Issues Editor
 
Posts: 22371
Founded: Aug 28, 2015
Anarchy

[DRAFT] Government Revenue Takes Many Forms

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Tue May 04, 2021 6:52 am

TITLE:
Government Revenue Takes Many Forms

VALIDITY:
Significant wealth inequality, Some welfare spending

DESCRIPTION:
It's recently been revealed that a high percentage of people in poverty aren't seeking welfare funding because they can't afford the admin charges associated with the application paperwork.

OPTION 1
"It doesn't make sense for the state to charge individuals admin costs -- paperwork should be free at the point of delivery!" declares bureaucrat Penn Poosher, striking the pose of a heroic socialist worker, pointing to a future that is apparently somewhere in the clouds. "Oh, and while you're at it, why not raise the wages of frontline civil service workers? We're the foundation of the nation! Hey, that rhymes! I'm a poet and I was unaware of it! Neat!"

OUTCOME:
gold wristwatches given to civil service retirees go well with the rest of their bling

OPTION 2
"WHAAAAAA-?" splutters your Treasury Minister, who had taken a sip of coffee for the express purpose of spraying it everywhere in a calculated expression of surprise. "These fees are essential revenue for the Treasury, paying for essential public services! Think of them as opt-in taxes that people can choose to pay by choosing to use forms... what could be fairer than that? In fact, here's a little secret for you, boss: if you double the fee on these forms while keeping government spending the same, you could drop income tax a little. Free popularity! Everyone wins!"

OUTCOME:
modified "Robin Hood" tax policy means taking from the poor to give to the poor

OPTION 3
"There's a fairer way to spare the poor while still keeping up government revenues," suggests paper mill director Chopin Moore-Treese, presenting a fully-detailed proposition with a ream of printed plans. "Means-tested fees! Let the poorest complete paperwork for free, with progressive income-and-savings-based tiers of fees that place the burden of administration cost on those who are best able to afford it, with exceptions and allowances for future projected earnings, expected incapacity, number of dependents, and so on, and so forth. It's all written down here, just sign off on it, and leave the rest to your civil service to sort out."

OUTCOME:
for the lowest eighteen income centiles the cost of hiring an accountant to calculate their pre-tax return administrative fee self-exemption pre-return evidence is obviously deductible from their returned reimbursement pre-exemption calculations on the first twenty percent of income on their pre-return exemption self-assessment returns but naturally and self-evidently not from their exemption-deducted post tax return or on the second thirty centiles of their pre-administrative returns
editors like linguistic ambiguity more than most people

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Trotterdam
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Posts: 9236
Founded: Jan 12, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Trotterdam » Tue May 04, 2021 6:59 am

My first thought was that it's similar to #255, which also discusses bureaucratic red tape preventing people who need welfare from getting it.

My second thought was that the exact scenario here is still different, although... also kinda bizarre. Though it would not surprise me at all if there are real-life governments that really do something as silly as making you pay to receive money.

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Candlewhisper Archive
Senior Issues Editor
 
Posts: 22371
Founded: Aug 28, 2015
Anarchy

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Tue May 04, 2021 7:09 am

Was thinking of it today because there was a UK news article about the change of name form dropping significantly, with the explanation being that it wasn't really justifiable anymore. However, there are still a lot of other forms that are overly expensive in their fees.

I'm also aware that as a doctor, the completion of private medical forms and certificates is done at a high rate compared to the work involved, but this is generally seen as par for the course as there's a whole load of activities which are unfunded or underfunded, and these tasks give us the justification for hiring admin staff, and those same staff then also do those underfunded activities. You lose the overpriced activities, then you also lose the underpriced ones, basically. I mean, if we were total profitmongers we'd only do the expensive tasks, but we're trying to run a public service too, at the end of it.
editors like linguistic ambiguity more than most people

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Comfed
Diplomat
 
Posts: 930
Founded: Apr 09, 2020
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Comfed » Tue May 04, 2021 7:11 am

In the issue paragraph, rename “admin charges” to “admin fees”.
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