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Response to wasupaloopa (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 05:35 PM

1. Apparently a 55% tax rate wasn't popular

Kela’s researchers originally envisioned the experiment as the first in a series that would help them understand the implications of expanding basic income nationwide. “With basic income, there will be a lot of winners, but there will be a lot of losers also,” Kangas says. “We have to study the losers.” For one thing, he points out, to provide Finns with the level of financial security they enjoy under their current system, basic income payments would have to be at least twice those of the trial. And to pay everyone, the country would have to change its tax structure.

In their proposals for further studies, the researchers estimated that a flat tax of about 55 percent would be required. Kangas says they tried calculations involving progressive taxation but worried that another showdown with the constitutional committee would result. Benefits are taxed in Finland just as income is, and the researchers didn’t think the committee would allow basic income payments to be taxed at different rates when the whole idea was to ensure people received the same amount.

The wealthiest would be relatively unaffected by such a change because their taxes are already high, but a swath of middle- and upper-middle-class Finns would pay more in taxes than they’d get back in basic income. In national polls, when the possibility of a 55 percent flat tax was raised, the percentage of Finns who supported basic income dropped from 70 to about 30. “We would need to implement another study for the whole population to understand it,” says Miska Simanainen, a tax specialist who was part of Kangas’s team. No such studies are planned.

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wasupaloopa Jan 2018 OP
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MichMan Jan 2018 #1
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