Nick Clegg: scrap “unmarried couple penalty” and help workers instead

Nick Clegg today challenged the Tories to scrap the marriage tax break, which he called “the unmarried couple penalty”, in favour of giving tax breaks to basic rate income tax payers in work. Under his plans, instead of spending £700m a year giving a third of married couples £200 a year, 20 million workers who pay the basic tax rate would be better off by £140 a year.

Commenting today, Julianne Marriott, from Don’t Judge My Family, the campaign against the marriage tax allowance, said “Nick Clegg is right to challenge the Prime Minister to scrap his out-dated marriage tax break. The £200 would only go to a third of married couples – those with a breadwinner and a homemaker – and discriminates against single parents, widows and widowers, unmarried couples or couples where both work.  In these tough times, the government should be helping families not judging them.”

Last year our call for evidence received hundreds of ideas of how the £700m earmarked for marriage tax breaks could be better spent. Our report Help Don’t Judge showcases the 24 most popular ideas.