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Is a tax break for some married couples a good idea?

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Is a tax break for some married couples a good idea?

Post by Ivan on Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:45 pm

This is social engineering, for God’s sake, and when I joined the party we weren’t in favour of it.”
Those were the words of Ken Clarke who, as Tory chancellor in the mid-1990s, started the process of abolishing the tax allowance for married couples (apart from those marriages where at least one spouse was born before 6 April 1935!). The phasing out was completed by Gordon Brown in April 2000.
Now Cameron is bringing it back. He says: “There is something special about marriage: it’s a declaration of commitment, responsibility and stability that helps to bind families. The values of marriage are give and take, support and sacrifice – values that we need more of in this country.” Is this the same Cameron who sent dozens of text messages to Rebekah Brooks, a married woman who had an affair with the married Andy Coulson? Didn’t she tell the Leveson inquiry that Cameron ended his messages with ‘lol’, thinking that it meant "lots of love"?
The Liberal Democrats are against the tax break, saying that "we don't believe unmarried people or widows should pay more tax than other people”. However, true to form, they won’t vote against it, merely abstain. The Tories plan to spend £700 million on this gesture to “send a signal” that marriage is better than any other relationship. The scheme will be worth up to £200 a year for four million couples, including 15,000 in civil partnerships; they will receive it at the end of the tax year in 2016.
Labour’s Rachel Reeves has attacked the plans: “Cameron's so-called marriage tax break won't even help two-thirds of married couples, let alone millions of people who are separated, widowed or divorced. He's so out of touch he thinks people will get married for £3.85 a week." Or as Ken Clarke put it: “I have been married for a long time, and my wife has not put up with me just for the benefit of the old married couple’s tax allowance”.
This £200-a-year tax break will go to just one third of married couples, those with a breadwinner and a homemaker. By introducing it, Cameron is discriminating against the one in four children growing up in a single parent family, widows and widowers, people who leave abusive relationships, working parents and people who choose not to be married.
Just think what could be done with that £700 million instead! For example, this rancid government has cut £430 million from English local authority Sure Start budgets and, despite what Cameron promised during the 2010 election campaign, more than 400 Sure Start children’s centres have closed. Or the money could be used to maintain the real value of child benefit, or in supporting young people into higher education. What do you think - is a tax break for some married couples a good idea?
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Re: Is a tax break for some married couples a good idea?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:21 pm

"Some animals are more equal than other animals"
George Orwell

What makes a civil ceremony more valuable in fiscal terms than a personal contract between two consenting parties?

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Re: Is a tax break for some married couples a good idea?

Post by stuart torr on Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:47 pm

Precisely oftenwrong.
Married couples do not stay that way just for a few measly pounds per week, I am sure if most of the loving couples I know are to be taken for example.
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