Transforming our social support from cash distribution to service delivery is a centrepiece of LIFE policy.
WellFair services are free, and they do not change depending on how much you earn. Got a better job? Keep your free bus pass. WellFair is NOT means tested.
WellFair will transform our society from dependence to independence, from disempowerment to empowerment, and from waste to utility. The move to universal basic services liberates pent up economic demand, and makes social support affordable.
We Live in a Society First
All of these services will be delivered free at the point of need, and Income Taxes will be 100% dedicated to the provision of these services alone.
The primary service delivery point must be local communities, in partnership with regional and national government where it makes sense.
Local delivery ensures that the most effective use can be made of the available funds, that waste is minimised and provides direct accountability.
To empower local communities, LIFE will revamp local government to attract the best available representatives and increase democratic control and accountability.
Converting social support from cash payments to universal services makes the cost those services affordable from a reasonable tax on the wealth economy. Once the WellFair services are being delivered the restrictions on minimum wages can be removed, and the cost of delivering the services themselves will decrease.
One of the great myths of the 20th Century was that we could value everything in terms of money. It’s not true. Our economy exists inside our society, and will never generate enough cash in taxes to “pay” for all of our social needs.
The economic principles behind delivering welfare as a set of universal services instead of cash benefits are:
- A reasonable tax on incomes will yield sufficient revenues to pay for social security services; as opposed to cash benefits, which are not as efficient, and would require unreasonable tax rates to fund. (Reasonable tax = ~30%-40%.)
- Especially true with advanced demographics, with longer education and longer old age.
- Providing basic but comprehensive social security services, universally and without means testing, is effectively delivering a ‘living wage‘ equivalent.
- ‘Living wage’ equivalent social security services allow labour markets to be less regulated (no minimum wage or required contracts).
- This is not possible with a benefits system because minimum standards are necessarily defined in cash terms and must be purchased in the market.
- ‘Living wage’ equivalent social security services allow labour rates to fall without deteriorating living standards.
- This fall in labour rates has a recursively deflationary effect on the cost of proving the services themselves.
Timeframe & Pensions
LIFE will replace all cash benefits with universal WellFair services within 3 years. Some services (healthcare, education and legal services) are already in place; others are present but need adjustment (shelter and transport); and only sustenance and information are substantially new.
The Basic State Pension will remain in place, and phased to a level that people want to afford over 10 years.
More than a Right, a Promise
WellFair services are the embodiment of the promise that we all make to each other, as fellow members of our common society:
“I commit to contribute to our social system, which unconditionally guarantees us all shelter and sustemance, and which strives to provide opportunities for each of us to make the most of our lives”.
See the WellFair Charter for Community commitments to service quality and citizen participation.