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.
I also find the idea that £3 a week might persuade me to marry quite insulting. There are already plenty of ways the tax system recognises marriage, take inheritance tax and capital gains tax for a start. I’m not best pleased by these either but at least they have some kind of rationale and weren’t introduced purely to send a pro-marriage message to Tory loyalists concerned about gay marriage.
This proposal will favour those who are on above average wages and therefore able to live on one income. Single parents, those on benefits and households where both partners work won’t gain at all. And those in the higher tax bracket won’t benefit either so it’s not even working as a sop to those losing child benefit.
This feels like the worst kind of gesture politics but the cost will be over £500m a year which is obscene in the current climate.
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