Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Response to You and Yours, Welfare Cuts?

Welfare Cuts ?

Having just been listening to the program  I was surprised to hear that in effect you want to see a simplified and more fair tax and benefit system  and that all the recent tinkering with them only causes more and more unfair situations both for the recipients and also the taxpayers.

To this end I have been actively trying to suggest a complete reformation of the tax and welfare system , But surprisingly I have arrived at it from a completely different angle , that of how do we effectively sort the climate change  and environmental problems we have at present .

The proposed solutions are idealistic , but I feel that it is now time to really think the unthinkable and have a fundamental reform of the whole tax and welfare systems based on empowering the individuals to make the right choices for themselves, rather than being in effect being forced to do what the government says by default. This covers all aspects of consumerism and health and welfare.

To achieve this I have proposed a simpler taxation system  that would replace all existing taxes except a death tax used to redistribute excessive wealth, This new tax would be to raise revenue from the use of all natural resources based on the actual and potential damage their use causes the planet, from fossil fuels,  minerals,  water ,  and land .

This new tax collected as near to source as possible and raised at a level to replace all existing tax revenues, it is a tax on natural capital use rather than on human capital use. a fundamental shift to recognise that it is the planet's survival that most important and also as it is collected at source would also be less subject to fraud evasion and avoidance.  

As individuals will not be paying tax  directly unless they are a land or property owners, They will have a lot more disposable income , and it will then be their decision how and what to spend the money on, and if the want a big car then they will pay dearly for the privilege of being able to pollute the air and cause damage to the nature by large areas of concrete roads etc.

Welfare and Benefits , These I believe should be scrapped and a citizen's wage should be introduced  and it should be the citizens right to use this money as they wish , but primarily , it is to replace all welfare and health benefits ,and the NHS would become in effect a private company where citizens can obtain surgery and all existing services but through payments from their citizens wage, There would however be exceptions for the disabled and severely long term  incapacities that some require, but basically similar to the netherlands health provision,.
This would encourage preventative health options and should in the long term be a less cost option than what we have at present , with all individuals feeling they are in control.
The benefit system as we know it would cease as the citizen's wage would in effect be its replacement and also it would  also be a pension for everyone, There is an example of this in Canada which trialed such a system and proved it could work but was stopped before the real benefits could be gained. However it promises to be solid example of where we need to go in the future.

Finally , a death tax to help redistribute wealth rather than leaving it to the super rich to spend it on their own pet ideas, some of which are all good and do help others across the globe , but much is wasted on giving a "life of riley" to subsequent generations  and hoarding the money in staches  of investments which distort the real free market economies.

I firmly believe we have to maintain a Free Market within a capitalist system which promotes choice, and bettering oneself , but within a new tax regime which respects the planet's sustainability and reduces the difference between the rich and poor, enabling everyone to have a more equal chance to succeed and increase mankind's capital wealth on the planet.


Monday, 22 June 2015



If I may take a few minutes of your time to point to a new direction I believe we should all be taking on the issue of climate change.

Firstly we all recognise something has to be done  quickly , and effectively and with the cooperation with all global citizens, It is to this end  I have come to the conclusion that it is the financial and tax systems that will be key to any lasting and fair way forward to this mounting problem of not just climate change but also of water security,loss of species, ill health due to pollution and other factors like poor diet, noise and so on.

Secondly  we all need to recognise the widening gap between the rich and poor along all the world over and especially in Europe, where being near to the islamic states and north africa where so recently we saw the Arab Spring uprisings. all of which have been partly due to unfairness and widening gap between the haves and the have not's.

Thirdly, welfare, to include all welfare of pensions, health, and education are being attacked on all fronts due to lack of resources and ever increasing expectations.

Forthly, Greece has highlighted the greatest problem of overstretching the monetary capacity of sustainable financial stability of not just the EU but potentially of the global capitalist system.

These four fundamental aspects are high on everyone's agenda, but the one thing everyone seems to not be able to comprehend and facilitate is the way in which all these aspects are interlinked and dependant upon each other and when discussions are taken place  whether on Roads, Rail, Housing, Greek bailout, Climate change, and in fact on most topics that The EU and the UN are responsible for. there is a failing of grasp an holistic way forward that not just helps on objective but helps meet many objectives at the same time.

To resolve this major global problem , surely we have to think and act in a completely different way, so as to  enable each citizen to have the tools to make the right decisions for society and the planet whilst at the same time feel they are in charge and not being controlled by states, multinationals or even other individuals. This empowerment is the real challenge and would I believe create real human capital and give us the power to control our destiny as a united civilization , rather than one which is tearing itself apart as we see at present in Greece, Russia and Ukraine, Syria and so on .

The resolution I believe is to treat everyone and every entity equally , so if we abolished all taxes with the exception of a death tax to redistribute excessive wealth, rather than relying on benevolent Bill Gates and the like. This being replace with a single tax on all natural resources at source, and based on the potential harm their extraction and use does to the planet, This would include all Resources eventually in any changeover , from water to land ,  Fossil fuels to minerals. This then would be the only tax states would use to obtain revenue to enable services to be rendered. The replacement of all existing taxes and replaced with this Natural Resource Tax,(NRT), would empower every citizen and business to rethink the real value of natural resources whilst at the same time reducing Fraud, Evasion and Avoidance at all levels and everyone to be treated equally.

As I write Greece is at another crisis point , but will the politicians have any idea of their responsibility in their deliberations for the longer timeline of a sustainable future for all?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Who is prepared to help the world's climate?

The Rich? The Poor, the Wealthy, The Worker, The Entrepreneur, The Banker. Me?

Just who is responsible for the damage that being done to the planet?

It's all of us equally in various ways, It's the way and how much we consume goods and services in our everyday activities, whether it's going to work and doing as the boss says or do I have any say in how its done, how it's bought in and remanufactured and resold. Do I have a say or am I to frightened to question anything?
The Banker's, do they question the ethical , moral and sustainability of their products, I doubt it very much ,they are more interested in what they can get out of it for themselves in higher bonuses, otherwise they will soon find himself being replaced.

The wealthy with large portfolios of cash or property, Are they really worried about the quality of life of those at the bottom of the investment chain, or the tenant renting a property at exorbitant prices that leave many living in cramped overcrowded accommodations and sucking money from the tenants life that they have little left to enjoy a fulfilled life.

Living on the bare necessities of life is not fun and puts most  people under stress which is  the No1  cause of ill health in the modern world.Why should we put up with this? Can we afford to have so many people ill with stress?

All this and a lot more is draining the so needed resources of hard earned cash away from where it is needed in new and replacement housing, but also from preventative health and welfare, education and vital modern infrastructure of safe cycle paths, roads  footpaths and public transport.

 Having traveled around europe  from east to west north to south , it appears the UK with its history of winner takes all is being severely left behind in having a society that will be at one with itself in the future, unless something very fundamental changes.

This change in the form of more reducing the vast difference between the very poor and the very rich has to be reduced  and the so called middle class  have also to be aware of their responsibility of not always trying to grab everything before the more needy in society, as we are seeing with the private rented sector  buying up all the surplus housing and inflating prices at the taxpayers expense and doing little in improving the quality of the housing stock.

Everyone in the chain of life and consumerism is guilty in causing the problem of climate change , and that is why we must really make a fundamental change in the way we approach the whole problem of the climate but also of the whole social way we all integrate with all the natural resource we employ and consume in our everyday life.

Hung up on Carbon Taxes

Everyone seem to get hung up on carbon taxes, or an individual tax  on a specific problem, It seems to me that what needs to be done is to completely revolutionise the taxation system, the whole lot from bottom to top.

This means in my opinion to take the responsibility  of choice from governments and let individuals choose , by their behaviour of being a consumer.

Consumption is the problem, and it is the reduction of consumption especially the most damaging ones that has to be achieved, This surely can be done by taxing heavily those resources that damage the environment the most. We are so dependant on the scientific community to guide us through this maze of , " what is the damage caused by any one resource".  The answer to this question has been very variable over the years and has been the subject of many debates, and subject to blackmail from corporations also.

That being said , I believe we have only this option left to us . if we are to make good headway quickly enough as we have already seen , there is little change in pollutants  that effect climate change, and with the prognosis very stark , surely we have to grab the nettle and do more fundamental changes.

Taking the regressivity issue of carbon taxes, I agree it is a problem , that is why we have to tax all natural resources as near to source as possible, dependant of the damage they cause or potentially cause the environment, not just carbon dioxide directly but also to all the effects of all the micro flora and ecosystems at all levels of life. It is then that we will begin to make real headway into tackling the problem as a whole. Piecemeal choices of single specific taxes will solve nothing , as the consumer will readjust their habits to the new situation. and that is why it is so important to address the whole system to embody the whole of the planets planets resources and systems.

This is the BIG challenge we face , Are we up to it?

I believe we can make the change , and it has to eventually encompass the whole globe , not just the rich of today or tomorrow , but also the children of all our future generations

Apr 10, 2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Decarbonising Development, 3 steps to a zero carbon future, from the World Bank, a personal comment

I find your report most enlightening , as it is suggesting a methodology that is very useful when in need of a radical  change of circumstances has to occur. 

I have been suggesting for some time now that society has to relook at the way history has lead us to the present situation on the massive overuse of natural resources,  without much due regard to the consequence of all life forms on the planet. 

This opinion is now gaining consensus among the scientific and economic communities, but both are failing to join the two principles together as one problem. 

The need for the financial, both the monetary and fiscal aspects, to be linked directly with consequences of employing  natural resources without looking at the real long term consequences of such action upon the planet as a sustainable living organism maintaining all the various life forms upon and within it.

To this end I have been proposing the abolition of ALL existing taxes and replacing with a single Natural Resource Tax , based on the damage caused to the planets sustainability by the very use of those resources and the methods used in the processes of conversion to end consumable products.

This taxation then would be placing real emphasis on the individual to make real choices based on the actual or potential damage these resource will release by their use and consumption. This new awareness by everyone in the chain of Natural Resource use would hold everyone equally responsible and held to account for their actions and the market place would then determine what is acceptable or not according to price and amount of sales.
By collecting all revenue that governments require by this method , There also would be little room for avoidance, fraud and evasion  thus making this taxation a fairer and more equitable tax to all citizens. 

However that said, I do feel that we all want a compassionate and fair society which we all want to have an equal chance to succeed in. To achieve this we need to make more revolutionary changes to the structures that have been built up over the millenia. 

Firstly that a citizen's wage would be introduced to everyone for life without means testing,

Secondly the welfare and health benefits should be made so as to be paid for by those that use it, with few exceptions, of the severely disabled, and  down and outs who need temporary help to regain their role in society.

Thirdly all education and apprenticeships to all up to graduate level would be free.

Finally a death tax to prevent excessive wealth rolling over from generation to generation and maintaining the gap between rich and poor. 

Your three point plan would be of great benefit in implementing and engaging such a proposal, as it needs to be kickstarted from the top of the governmental institutions on a global scale. There is no state or government that has the vision or the will to implement such a plan, as self interest and greed by all within existing societies will not be given up quickly to make the fundamental changes to stop climate change and runaway global warming within the time span everyone is talking about, let alone the vast quantities of vanishing species on the planet which one day may include us. 

I call on you as individuals, the World Bank as enabler, and other global international institutions, to bring about a real radical change that will change the direction the living systems upon the planet  can work to promote the only sustainable way forward.

The right action is needed and quickly, waiting for the right technology to come along within the existing framework will fail, as greed determines that quick fix solutions will bring big profits with consequences that are unforeseen and unimaginable and probably not sustainable for the planet and all life.

We need Smart Growth where we use less but obtain a better outcome is using less resources, This needs a whole new mind set step change , and I feel it will not happen until there is a direct consequence of our lifestyles, ie , pay dear for products and services that cause damage to the planet on all things from housing, roads, fuel, food, leisure,health and education, we must learn to pay the right price and do it in a sustainable way.  


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Soil, close to my heart

 Soils are the farmers livelihood, their use is critical to the well being of mankind and as a farmer  , I firmly believe we have to , as the old cliche says, we are only custodians and we must protect the land for future generations , and even David Archer has found a new direction in this respect also.

I have been a Green advocate for a long time but have realised that I have not been able to join any grouping as they all fail in various ways in representing what we real need to do , if we are really to address the problem of not only climate change but of massive overuse of all the resources we have on the planet.

Sir, I respect you most highly  as one of a breed  who like me sees that there is not only one solution to be solved , indeed , there are a whole host of solutions to the host of problems we have.
To that end surely we need to address the problem from a completely different approach , and the recent ideas fro Bill Nc gibbon and Naomi Klein   in asking society at large to force the issue is a great step forward , but even this is not much help without a real target  to aim for.

The target surely to to enable all in society to take individual responsibility , whether they are individuals or within a business, they should all have the same aim  of reducing resource use and promoting all living ecosystems.

To enable each one of us to be able to partake in such a vision , I believe we must empower ourselves with the ability to take the right action as an everyday, indeed and every minute event. By this I mean we must let the individuals make the decisions about the the resources we choose to abuse or use wisely.

I firmly believe, to enable all this to happen, that is to revolutionise the tax system, It has been mooted for many years , to have a carbon tax or a resource tax , but they have never gone far enough in enabling each citizen to to equally take an active role through the way we live.
Only by taxing all Natural Resources at source  with a tax that represents the actual and potential damage these resources can cause on the planet's ecosystems and life systems, will we all be able to really understand how our consumption  habits directly affects the planet and future sustainability. This tax must replace all existing taxes , so that each individual has the same responsibilities and will also pay the true cost of the natural wealth they are consuming.

As has just been identified in the case of fossil fuels , that nobody wanted to ask what the true cost of all the damage they are causing to the planet and all the life systems upon it.

This is a mindset change for everyone , and will spawn a vast new era of thinking and action , which is the only way out of the muddle we are in , using mans genius rather than brawn.

The true cost of solar PV or wind power  etc has not really been calculated in terms of ecological costs  and with governments just print money with QE, Just exacerbates the problem and not make us take the real action necessary.

Mankind needs a hard cool look at what we are doing and the likes of the UN and world bank must start to rethink in a whole new direction  to enable us all to partake in the change we must make if we are to have a sustainable future for generations to come

It is the sheer size of the population in the world that is consuming ever more  for less and without constraint that lies at the heart of the problem.

The soils are dying , chemicals not only pollute the soil but kill off the microorganisms that are the soil. A soil without an active flora is dead and produces little.
The  soil is a filter of  contaminated water and air, it also is a store  of vital nutrients, carbon , nitrogen, water and a repository of old plant seeds.

"Long live the soil" man depends on it.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Governance and the future

 A challenge to think differently!

Nations globally sit on two sides of the same fence , the Northern prosperous part and the southern  poorer part , but both have the same potential  to prosper and employ the resources that the planet has to offer?

This may be naive to believe that we are on this planet on an equal basis? But surely we are, are we not ? 

The inequality comes from the exploitation of others and their resources they have to offer, and if the exchange is not fair and equitable, then it is this that really divides the world from being at one with itself? 

 If we are to to have any real effect on changing the equality and fairness of the world , it then becomes the  responsibility of governments globally to have governance at all levels that treat all peoples and resources equally and with respect no matter where in the world they reside.

This fundamental value of governance has to be applied equally and without favour  to all nations.

Governance  means that all resources across the world are treated by all national and sovereign governments in a consistent and fair way that is transparent without favours, bribes and blackmail. 

The governance of any country must also be based on the representation of its peoples in a fair way also, This means empowering the citizens to make the decisions that affect them,so they then can influence and make joint and participatory actions that will enable all to prosper together.

To this end , Taxation lies at the heart of of how all citizens feel and behave, it sets their targets, aims and goals for their future, It also does the same for businesses .To enable a fair and equitable society to prosper in the future we have to reinvent the way taxation is not only collected but also how it changes the way we all behave .

I now believe we have to revolutionise the whole taxation system  to enable a mindset change in all our behaviour, to change towards one of sustainability, fairness to all mankind but also to the planet itself and all its ecosystems.

This new tax system could take the form of taxing all natural resources at as close to source as possible and  not to have any other tax stream except a death tax to help redistribute wealth throughout society and ensure everyone has a fair and equal chance to make best use of the available resources on the planet.

I challenge you to think that climate change is not about technical fixes, but about taxation and economics, Its the way we spend , consume , and its about what influence we have on design , manufacture and sales. Just imagine you have no direct taxes to pay! you choose what to spend it on! not the government? You choose whether to spend on high cost to the environment goods, or more friendly less toxic and damaging to the planet's ecosystems! 

We have no choice , we have to change , but to what? 

One fix is not the answer, we need everyone to participate , not by violent unrest but by being themselves and taking everyday decisions on living that will change society for the better and forever.

David Dunn