MPs held a debate in Parliament today, later reported in the Telegraph, about strengthening couple relationships. However there didn’t seem much appetite for strengthening any relationship other than traditional marriages.
Speakers cited Daily Mail articles, implied that only married people care for their elderly parents or tell their children that they love them and blamed schools, churches and the BBC for fewer people marrying. All while admitting they were “light on solutions”.
There were also quite a few marriage tax break myths that we respond to here.
However there were a few reasonable comments, including speeches praising Relate and the benefits of relationship counselling. Steve McCabe MP explained that he was divorced and still had a strong role in the upbringing of his children and then clearly demolished the arguments made for introducing a marriage tax allowance.
Edward Timpson, the children’s minister, nearly said it all:
“The Coalition has introduced a marriage tax break worth £200 a year and is putting £30m over the Parliament to support marriage counselling…”
What he doesn’t say is that marriage tax breaks will cost £700m, 23 times more than the Government is investing in counselling.
We set out 24 better ideas than a marriage tax allowance, inlcuding couple counselling, in our report Help don’t judge