Supporters of marriage tax breaks want to spend £2.1bn

There’s a letter in the Telegraph today from politicians and others arguing that the marriage tax break (to be confirmed in Wednesday’s budget) should be extended to all married couples. Currently, it would only go to a third of married couples: those who fit the government’s “approved type” with a breadwinner and a homemaker. The cost to the taxpayer of the government’s moralising will already be £700m a year – more than the bedroom tax saves. Trebling it would take the bill to over £2 billion, which is about the same amount of money as the Department for Energy and Climate Change spends each year!

Julianne Marriott, Campaign Director of Don’t Judge My Family said “at £700m, the marriage tax break is already a huge waste of money – in these tough times, the government should be helping families, not judging them.  Arguing that £2bn should be spent on ‘sending a signal’ about how we choose to live our lives shows just how out of touch they are.”

Extending the tax break to all married couples would mean that a very wealthy married couple would get the tax break but a cohabiting couple struggling to make ends meet would not. And it would still discriminate against all single parent families, widows and widowers, cohabiting couples and single people. 

We ran a call for evidence about how the £700m could be better spent. You can see the top 24 ideas here.