(Original post by 007dunlop)
Guys, if anyone has a spare minute, could they read over this essay? It's real short and it's for section 2 of the TSA. Even if you're not doing the TSA, if you could read the essay and give any comments, that would be great! Thanks!!
[COLOR="DarkOrange"]'Should fines be based on the individual's income?'
I am a wealthy businessman on a night out. I accidently crack a shop windown as I stagger home with friends.
The next week, a group of low income shop assistants are on a night out and the same thing happens again.
In both scenarios, criminal damage has ocurred and in both cases fines for compensation should be issued. The crime is in essence the same for both individuals, so why should one be charged less than the other?
The system of tax in this country is tiered (based on income) and this is understandable, as this is a compulsory fee that has to be paid for living in this country, so it is ludicrous to charge everybody the same level of tax when everyone earns different amounts. A criminal act is not something that affects the majority of people on a regular basis, so there is no need for the same type of system to be in place. At the end of the day, if a crime has taken place, the penalty should be consistent across all social classes and individual incomes. It is this idea that underpins Britain's equal and fair ideologies.
A system discriminating against certain individuals undermines our country's equality and fair policy laws. So what if someone earns less per year? They should still pay the same as everyone else.
One could argue that basing fines on individual income could have negative effects. If someone knows they'll only be charged £10 for littering because they earn less than everyone else, then there's a good chance they'll test their luck and drop it.
This system would also bring grave economic prospects to the police budgets, in a climate a depressed budgets anyway. If a system like this was to be implemented, then databases detailing everyones incomes would need to be established, and inevitably the individual would have to provide proof of their income, meaning police time is taken away from front-line policing and into the office for yet more paperwork.
If I'm speeding through a 20mph school zone then my household income should never even be questioned. At the end of the day, I need to be deterred from doing so, and if my fine would be lowered then (as mentioned previously) there's a greater risk that I'll take my chances.
By taking my chances at getting a small fine, I might deny a child a chance at life.[/COLOR]
I'm not doing the TSA, but you asked for comments, so:
"this is understandable, as this is a compulsory fee that has to be paid for living in this country, so it is ludicrous to charge everybody the same"
This doesn't follow. Elaborate.
"the penalty should be consistent across all social classes and individual incomes."
Ah, but as £50 means radically different things to someone on £50,000pa and someone on minimum wage, is the penalty then the same? For one it's a far greater sacrifice than for the other.
"At the end of the day, I need to be deterred from doing so, and if my fine would be lowered then (as mentioned previously) there's a greater risk that I'll take my chances."
But if you have a lot of money then the fine is probably meaningless, so in this case it would make sense to have the fine set at, say, 10% of a week's wages.
"I might deny a child a chance at life."
I don't know whether any of that's helpful.