Ethics and Social Welfare 7 (2):141--154 (2013)

Gottfried Schweiger
University of Salzburg
The Financial Crisis in Europe puts pressure on welfare states and its tax systems as well as on considerations of social justice. In this paper, we would like to explore the status of the idea of progressive taxation and its justification (especially the ‘ability-to-pay’ principle) in times of a financial crisis. We will discuss it within a social justice framework following David Miller—using the principles of (i) need, (ii) merit, and (iii) equality. We will conclude that progressive taxation can be justified in the light of these three principles, even more so in the situation of a financial crisis that undermines decent living conditions for millions. The principle of need has to be given priority even if this move violates the principles of equality and desert.
Keywords Taxation  Social Justice  Redistribution  Crisis
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DOI 10.1080/17496535.2013.779003
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Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Principles of Social Justice.David Miller - 2002 - Political Theory 30 (5):754-759.

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