Lots of good discussion here.
I was just interested in the vouchers point. I agree that 2014 is starting to look like an alternate vision of 30 years ago if we say, and please note the explicit wording:
"This is what you can spend the money we give you on."
(Exhaustive list that's quite long, but never long enough to deal with individual scenarios as has been pointed out.)
What if we said instead:
"This is what you can't spend the money we give you on."
(Shorter list, far easier to administer, categories voted in/out by local electorates once every... whenever.)
Would that methodology work both for people who support vouchers and for people who don't like a predefined list of everything they're allowed to spend their money on?
One more point: the "punishment" of the 99% in respect of the 1%. I fully agree with the sentiment here but I wouldn't use the word "punishment". Instead I'd say "taking account of"... because yes, you do have to take account of the abuses by the 1%. That's because if you don't, you stop looking for the problems, which means you get complacent about them, and ultimately that 1% figure begins to grow and grow. Not that you'd know about it, because you're no longer looking for it (you've decided you don't need to, remember, and most people/officials charged with monitoring something over time, but who don't see the sense in it, don't do it properly).
This ties back into the government-published figures on fraudulent under/overpayments; if (and let's just say if) the many stories quoted by members here are accurate, then presumably these are fraudulent claimers that the government doesn't know about... so then how many more are there? Bearing in mind both this plus the complacency element, how can those figures be believed without closer scrutiny?
mthomas08 (18th February 2014)
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