Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Oh yikes, the Tory Marriage Tax Break idea rears its ugly head again....

As I was writing my last post, BBC News reported on rumours at the Conservative conference that some sort of marriage tax break was going to be introduced in this Parliament. This, unfortunately, is actually in the Coalition Agreement, tucked away on page 30, where it says:

 We will also ensure that provision is made for Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain on budget resolutions to introduce transferable tax allowances for married couples without prejudice to the coalition agreement

I hoped we'd got rid of that idea when nothing was done in Osborne's emergency budget.

That is an idea that is so wrong in principle that being associated with it in any way makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. Why should the State decide that of  two couples living next door to each other with the same number of children with one partner staying home to look after them, that only one of those is deserving of a £7500 tax break?  

I think it's time to revisit the very strong arguments against such any proposal incentivising marriage, ingeniously produced by Nich Starling, Norfolk Blogger, earlier this year. 


dazmando said...

Im not so sure this will happen, after all the coalition is trying to save money, this will cost more than the Child Benefit cut

Neil M said...

I agree with you Caron that this is nothing other than inappropriate gesture politics. It is now being revitalised in response to the Child Benefit row.

I wish the government were just more willing to stand up to the media and welfare lobby and just say "look, we are in the middle of an economic emergency and this is in the interests of the country as a whole", instead they have fallen into the classic party conference panic that requires a response.

If I had my way I would abolish party conferences. Undoubtedly, the heady mix of politicians, lobbyists, activists, journalists and alcohol all under one roof means that rows blow up like wildfire that never serve the public well. This sadly is a classic example.

Andrew said...

Yes, Dazmando, you're right. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has calculated the annual cost of this tax break would be £1.6 billion, in contrast to the £1 billion Cameron believes cutting child benefit will save.


Related Posts with Thumbnails