Saturday, 6 October 2018

Free time advocated by the UK Green Party!

It was very heartening to read this weekend that a major political party here in the UK is taking the issue of free time seriously!

Political philosophers and economic researchers have recently been emphasising how this issue has been much overlooked. Bob Goodin's Discretionary Time and Julie Rose's Free time are good examples. In my book Rethinking Taxation I propose a taxation system that takes account of the amount of free time people have.

The Green Proposal is that the state should aim to ensure that people have more free time year-on-year, which I'm not sure about. If people really want to work then that is their choice. However, my concern is that a lot of people have to work very long hours just to get by, not because they really love working in their jobs.

What is needed is an economic system that works for those who work long hours for low wages and something like my proposal would do so.

Measuring the amount of free time that people have, and linking this to their incomes is the first step to taking this issue seriously and I hope the Green proposal gets this point across to a wider audience.