Today the Daily Mail reported that David Cameron wants to introduce a marriage tax break within the next six months. This would mean him picking a fight with his closest political ally the Chancellor – who doesn’t want to do it – and, of course, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister.
A Don’t Judge My Family Spokesperson said “Given yesterday’s news that we avoided a triple dip recession by the skin of our teeth, how can Mr Cameron find half a billion pounds to spend on false moralising about marriage? Hard working single parents, widows, and those who choose not to marry will be asking themselves what planet he is on! How dare he tell us one type of family is better than another.”
David Cameron says he wants to “send a message” that marriage is best. Don’t forget to sign up to send a message back: Don’t Judge My Family!
If you’re a journalist and want to talk to us, give Julianne a call on 07976 821 960.
The Daily Mail today features the group Mothers at Home Matter who warn that the non appearance of the marriage tax allowance could force mums to “abandon their children”. They add that the lack of allowance also threatens “‘cohesion of society’ by undermining the family”.
It is the marriage tax allowance that would undermine families as it only rewards traditional families: ones with a married couple and where one of the couple (the “Mother”) stays at home.
The Conservatives described their proposed marriage tax allowance as “sending a signal that we understand the value of commitment”. Which also sends the signal that they do not understand, or approve of, the commitment of families that are not married. That includes the almost two million lone parent families with dependent children, some whose commitment to their children meant that they left abusive partners, as well as 1.8 children who live with in families with a cohabiting couple.
The Daily Mail reports that dozens of Conservative MPs are planning to back a move to amend the Finance bill (the budget) to force and introduction of the allowance. It also states that there are 1.2 million households with children where one member works full time and the other doesn’t earn.
We do not believe that families should be pitching against each other or that the government or any pressure group should judge any family. We believe that the half a billion pounds that the marriage tax allowance would cost should be spent supporting every family – whether that’s on schemes that every child can access such as Sure Start or providing cost effective counselling that would really help families stay committed.
David Cameron today told ITV News that he was (still) absolutely committed to the marriage tax allowance.
In an interview, before visiting a nursery in Loughborough, the PM was asked whether he intended to help mothers who have decided to stay at home by introducing a marriage tax allowance. Despite the allowance not having been introduced, again, in this year’s budget the PM said “Yes we absolutely will. In this parliament we will make sure legislation is there.”
What both the reporter and David Cameron both fail to acknowledge is that the marriage tax allowance will only help married women (or men – although the language, from the pro campaigners themselves, is always about mums) who choose to look after their children full time. It won’t help children of unmarried parents, whether in a cohabiting and committed relationship or a single parent, whether separated or widowed.
We’re not here to judge any parent’s decision – whether to stay at home or work full or part time. And we don’t believe the Government should either. The marriage tax allowance will cost over half a billion pounds. That’s money we believe could be spent on every family, whether through better provision of childcare or family counselling, not just the children of parents who make decisions this Government approves of.
Incidentally, in the same interview the PM said it was parent’s responsibility to ensure their children were never exposed to Page 3. It would probably need two stay at home parents to do that…
Please send a message back to David Cameron, sign the petition.
Brilliant news: this year’s budget was again a marriage tax allowance free zone. It’s now been three years since the Tories made this a manifesto commitment and it’s half way through the parliamentary term. An announcement made in next year’s budget would be at far more risk of being overturned if a Labour or Labour/Lib Dem government were formed in 2015.
We would like to claim the credit; but we actually believe that despite David Cameron saying he is “personally very committed” to a marriage tax allowance he and his Ministers know that this is not a serious economic policy, but some rhetoric aimed at trying to appease his traditional supporters and voters.
But we won’t be resting until a Government that doesn’t have a marriage tax allowance in its manifesto is elected.
In response to an article in the Telegraph about Conservatives using marriage tax allowance and other financial policies to support “traditional families” with stay at home mums, Julianne Marriott from Don’t Judge My Family said:
“The marriage tax allowance discriminates against every child who lives in a single parent family, whether their parents are divorced, widowed or never married, children whose parents are in a loving but unmarried relationship and children who have two working parents. David Cameron has described the marriage tax allowance as a “signal”. We believe that spending over half a billion pounds on a signal, in a time of cuts to childcare and family allowance, is a disgraceful sop to traditional voters disillusioned with his party.”
The marriage tax allowance would be worth about £150 a year to about a third of all married couples – ones that include a breadwinner, paying the standard rate of tax, and a homemaker.
Julianne Marriott continued, “Don’t Judge My Family believes that £500m could be much better spent on helping every child in every family, such as providing access to counselling to keep families together or Sure Start or other schemes to help all of our children, instead of judging families.
Don’t forget it’s Mothers’ Day on Sunday! Do you think your Mum is great? But what does David Cameron think? Find out using our Mothers’ Day Quiz! Please do send us your pictures of your Mum and tell us why you think she’s great.
This guest blog post is written by one of our supporters Jenmumy, who blogs here. Jenny and her partner are waiting for baby No 2 to join their family. They aren’t married.
I’m pleased to see the Don’t Judge My Family campaign has restarted in response to renewed government interest in a marriage tax allowance.
These proposals would see married couples or those in civil partnerships save £150 a year in tax. But this is only if one member of the couple doesn’t work (or doesn’t work enough to have used their full tax free allowance.) Part of this allowance can then be passed to their partner to give a saving on their tax bill of up to £150 a year.
This irritates the hell out of me. I’m not married but am in a long term relationship with children. So I instantly feel judged by those arguing for this change. I resent the implication that my family is some how less valid than another because I have chosen not to get married. (more…)
Today we have launched our Valentine’s Day quiz that you can take to discover if the Government approves of your relationship. Take it here: www.dontjudge.org.uk/quiz
Valentines day is for lovers, so naturally our Valentine’s quiz asks whether you’re in love and if you’re committed to your partner. However, it reveals that as far as the Government is concerned, love and commitment count for nothing without a marriage certificate.
Take our quiz here!
While giving evidence in Parliament today, Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture and Minister for Woman and Equalities, made it clear that she certainly does not think all families are equal.
And in response to a question from Labour MP, Chris Bryant, who is in a civil partnership, about whether they should be extended to straight people she said:
“This bill is all about extending marriage. That is what we believe is the gold standard. That is what people aspire to.”
She explained that she believed that marriage provided “strength of commitment” that society could “thrive on”
Chris Bryant suggested that she “rethink” her language.
Families up and down the country will be outraged that Maria Miller sees fit to judge who has a “gold standard” relationship and who does not. This government is intent on telling us that marriage is better than any other loving and committed relationship. Our campaign aims to tell them something back – don’t judge my family.
Labour Uncut includes an article from our Campaign Director, Julianne Marriott, reproduced here:
It is a truth universally acknowledged by troublesome elements of the Conservative party that men and women should get married, especially if children are involved, and that same sex couples should not.
In an attempt to appease those resisting (and in some cases resigning from) the party’s direction of travel, the Tory leadership has pulled a marriage tax allowance out of the hat. They are, they say, sending a signal that they understand the value of commitment by recognising marriage (and civil partnershps) in the tax system. (more…)