BELLINGHAM, Washington – From the Überstadti consulate here, King Adam announced today his belief that his nation’s welfare and tax system should both be abolished.
This unexpected announcement follows the king’s promise to review the People’s Economic Aid System (PEAS) throughout February, before which Überstadt’s parliament approved a moratorium on income tax collection and payments by the Income Supplement Program (ISP), the kingdom’s system of small monthly payouts primarily to unemployed citizens. The moratorium is set to expire upon the passage of new legislation governing taxes and welfare.
Tax income stopped abruptly when Adam left the American workforce last October to prepare for his move to university. The stewards of the Royal Residency and non-residential citizens of Überstadt were not taxed, so the king’s payments accounted for over 95% of revenue last year. Prince Aaron, the Duke of Edmount lives in Rosewood but is not one of its stewards, and would be taxed if he were employed.
Adam described this arrangement as unsustainable. “We have never burdened with taxes those who do not live in Überstadt or those who spend large sums of their own money to keep up the Royal Residency, and Prince Aaron will need to save all the money he can when he finds employment.” The younger royal is a full-time student.
With a balance of over $100, the treasury is expected to adequately meet government expenses for the next several months, especially since over 40% of last year’s spending was on PEAS.
Monthly ISP payments to one-third of citizens accounted for the largest number of treasury transactions in 2015, but there is little evidence that the sums paid out had any meaningful effect on recipients’ lives, and the Department of the Treasury determined in December that half of all beneficiaries did not technically qualify under the program’s requirements.
King Adam’s most recent Speech from the Throne, delivered at the end of the year, promised to reevaluate the eligibility of all ISP beneficiaries and double the ISP benefits of eligible recipients. This development, to which the king predicts no parliamentary opposition, is effectively the opposite of that pledge, cutting benefits down to nothing. Nonetheless, Adam maintains that shutting down PEAS is ideal.
“The system is disused and its most active program, the ISP, did not yield any real benefits for our citizens. We can always create a better system in the future, but for now, we had best do away with it.”
As for revenue, he favors a voluntary contributions scheme: “There is no reason our people won’t voluntarily pitch in when their country needs it.”