Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Ann Mumford (University of London, Queen Mary) has published Towards a Fiscal Sociology of Tax Credits and the Fathers' Rights Movement, 17 Social & Legal Studies 217 (2008). Here is the abstract:
The case of Hockenjos v Secretary of State (2004) held that a father who was denied the childcare element of Jobseekers' Allowance (a benefit which now has been repealed) had been 'discriminated against'. The case was litigated by a fathers' rights activist, and has been hailed both as an important victory for the wider 'movement', and as a step towards obtaining child tax credits for fathers who live separately from their children. This article argues that efforts by the UK fathers' rights movement to obtain child tax credits, in particular, reflect an attempt to use the tax system to force an allocation of rights. This thesis is advanced through a fiscal sociological analysis, largely because the insights into the role of class in the functioning of economies that are offered by a Marxian analysis are made accessible to tax scholars through fiscal sociology. These perspectives are particularly important in an analysis of tax credits, given that the architects of these 'Third Way' initiatives very much had class mobility in mind.