Slicing up the social welfare cake

Sunday 24 October 2004

By The Landlord

Q: I was very interested in your reply to the reader who was asking about splitting his income for tax purposes between his wife and himself.

I understand all the pros and cons of this. But as the Government has decided that everyone has to pay tax on his or her own income, can you explain why, when trying to get the unemployment benefit, the first question asked is, "How much does your partner earn?" And that income is taken into account to calculate if any benefit can be claimed.

This seems to me a case of having your cake and eating it.

A: It certainly does.

Keep in mind, though, that when we're looking at taxes and benefits, the Government is actually us.

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