progressive tax system where a couple earning £30,000 each will pay far less tax than a couple with a single wage of £60,000. Fix this anomaly (if you dare) and everything falls into place.
If we ensure the cost of administration remains comparatively cheap there is no justification for universal benefits. That the better off more than pay their way isn’t in dispute, however it isn’t relevant. What’s important is the simple logic reminding us that an increased tax liability from giving a benefit to the rich (or indeed anyone) is paid for through the taxation of everyone else. To quote Harold Wilson:
One man's wage rise is another man's price increase.Avoid the word subsidy if you wish, call it an entitlement if you must, but the poor will definitely pay.