Welfare reform : changing the way we account for taxes and benefits
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Citation:Rankin, K. (2010). Welfare reform: Changing the way we account for taxes and benefits. In M. C. Dale, S. St John, L. Humpage, M.OBrien, and J. Timmins (Eds.). Rethinking welfare for the 21st century: forum proceedings. 53-57. The University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2163
The issue of welfare reform is made difficult because of the boundaries we traditionally (yet implicitly) place between the tax system and the benefit system. To most economists, benefits are transfers, and transfers are equivalent to negative taxes. The key insight here is to turn this proposition on its head, to suggest that tax concessions are really benefits and should therefore be accounted for as such. Somewhat disconcertingly for many people, this means that almost all of us receive some income that can best be understood as benefits ...