(Original post by joker_900)
Firstly going by your first paragraph; assume neither the high or low earner have any money in their bank - the £900 can probably be covered by an allowed overdraft or something. The £20,000 one will require a loan or mortgage increase or something which will produce much higher interest. Thus the amount payed out will still be unequal even in terms of percentages.
if someone on minimum wage needed to pay a £900 fine and had no money they could not get that without paying some kind of fee or interest. it would take them a very very long time to pay back.
maybe it could be arranged like paying council tax or something, in instalments meaning you would not be charged interest.
If both people are living up to their means, it will take the higher fined person a lot longer to pay it off and will require a much greater cut down in spending, something which they may not be able to do if the reason they are living up to their means is to support kids through uni or whatever. Not everyone earning high has an obscene amount of money to spare.
nobody has to support their kids through uni. that's the point of loans and jobs. I'm on the minimum loan amount and receive no help from my parents. i get by just fine.
nobody HAS to have anything more than housing, bills & food (and travel, i did forget travel before). hence disposable income.
it will require a greater cut down in spending, but a proportionate amount. and they could certainly do this seeing as the fines are obviously not going to be obscenely high in relation to their disposable income.
Then you talk about disposable income. This I think is just extremely impractical. Would you have to go to court and prove what your basic necessities are like in a divorce case or something?
like i've said before, i'm thinking of this as an isolated thing, unrelated to anything else.
Plus who can decide what is a luxury and what isn't?
luxuries are things you do not need to have to live. there are already definitions for luxuries and essentials - it's how they work out things like JSA
This would lead to those earning low wages and so living on bare necessities basically getting off free, whilst those higher earners who indulge in a lot of "luxury" would have to take a step down in lifestyle, again which is unfair and would certainly not "hit everyone the same". Only those who can afford to go on holiday and usually do so would now not be able to - thus the fine changes only their lifestyle.
someone on minimum wage and over 25 can save up enough to go on holiday. this way of fining would affect what they have as disposable income each year and mean that they have to cut back on something. be that their yearly holiday, the amount of clothes they buy in a year, buying a new sofa, whatever. so this way of fining still affects their lifestyle.
it would still hit people a lot more similarly than a set amount for everyone would, even if it is tipped a little in different favour.
P.s. high earners can't just "find" 10% of their income lying around, and not all of them have £20,000 in stocks.
it was one suggestion. i'm sure someone earning £200,000 could find £20,000 somewhere. or if they have to pay in installments, so beit. either way, it's affordable.
perhaps the fine could be capped at a certain amount, I don't know how to make the consequences more equal. all i know is that a proportional amount is much more equal than a set amount which would hit the poor (The people who can ill afford it) much harder.