Tory tax policy on marriage will please no one

By Jonathan Bartley
April 10, 2010

As predicted a few days ago, the detail of the Tory policy on tax breaks for married couples which has just been announced, looks like pleasing no one.

1. Those in the churches, in other religious groups and elsewhere who were wanting marriage recognised in the tax system to send out an important ‘signal’, will be unhappy at the moral equivalence with civil parnerships.

2. Those who feel the state has no business getting involved in such matters will be scathing in their criticism.

3. Those who feel that this is a good way of tackling poverty through supporting families will be unimpressed by the tiny sum involved of just £3 a week.

4. Those actually working with parents and marriage relationships are also unlikely to back it, given that it perpetuates a certain form of lifestyle where one partner works and another stays at home, so increasing pressures on relationships.

5. Those in the City will object because this will be funded by a tax on the banks.

6. Those wanting a modern and progressive policy will see it as looking wistfully back to a byegone age where one spouse stayed at home and the other worked.

[Update: 13.42 10 April Mary Riddell (Telegraph) "Let them eat wedding cake: David Cameron is the Marie Antoinette of marriage" ]

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