Today the Liberal Democrats, longtime critics of the marriage tax allowance, have joined the Labour party in confirming they will scrap the tax break and use the money to actually help families by funding extra childcare.
Nick Clegg has been a frequent critic of marriage tax breaks. Despite this he committed Lib Dem MPs to abstaining at a vote which allowed Conservatives to win the vote and therefore introduce marriage tax breaks.
The marriage tax allowance will only go to one in five families with children – those with two parents who are married and where one doesn’t work (or doesn’t pay tax) and has been widely criticised for trying to stigmatise unmarried, divorced and widowed parents.
Last year Don’t Judge My Family held a call for evidence – asking people, organisations and academics for better ways of spending £700m (the estimated cost of the marriage tax break). Childcare came out top, along with providing relationship counselling, flexible working hours and helping couples make a will.
Julianne Marriott, of campaign group Don’t Judge My Family, said: “We’re really pleased to hear the Liberal Democrats have publicly announced they’ll be scrapping the marriage tax allowance. However if they had voted against, rather than abstaining, earlier this year there would be no marriage tax allowance to scrap. What we’d really like to hear is that the marriage tax allowance is a “red line” issue for the Liberal Democrats – one which they would not be willing to compromise or abstain from if they form a coalition Government in 2015.”