Income-tied Fines >> Advent Policy Brief #2

My second Advent Policy Brief is a curt "I told you so"that the Finnish have been practicing for years: peg fines to income.

Financial penalties for minor crimes and public inconvenience do not discourage offences equally across socio-economic difference. Fixed-rate fines are remarkably inconsequential for those of affluence and privilege. Calculating the value of a fine as a percentage of personal income ensures that consequences are proportionate across all offences.

Equally, this approach needs to be applied to administrative monetary penalties businesses face for non-compliance. Income-tied penalties for corporations solicit compliance for large and small operators alike. 

Administering income-tied fines would collect data on poverty crimes and ideally enable the creation of effective public health interventions in the prosecution of petty crime.