Sunday, 11 April 2010

Tory Marriage Tax Plans

German woodcut of a medieval wedding ceremony ...Image via Wikipedia
So Cameron's been setting himself up as the defender of marriage with the release of his plans for tax breaks for married couples. Actually the plans were released by David Willets but Cameron is certainly nailing his colours to the mast. You can read the Tory release on their website.

So cutting through the bumf we can pick a few salient points out of this policy:

  • It's not just heterosexual marriage but civil partnerships as well
  • There's an upper limit on the main earners income to be eligible
  • The lower earner mustn't be earning more than £6,500 or thereabouts
  • It works out at a maximum of about £2.80 a week
  • It will be funded by a levyon the banks
Hardly worth getting up for methinks. Worth 10 Benson and Hedges a week to those eligible. Gesture politics at it's worst.

So what message does this not primarily convey in words? Lots and none of it too good. Listening to the radio this morning and one presenter made the point about widows and widowers.

What if you were a married couple, your husband was in Afghanistan and you received the news that he'd been killed by insurgents? The next bit of news would be a communication from the DWP that your tax break for married couples was being withdrawn and that you'd better not be too hooked on the Benson and Hedges you'd become accustomed to.

And if you are a couple who decide not to get married but are committed to each other? Well the Tories don't give a fig for your commitment.

Or your civil partner's done a runner? Tough!

The Tories have tried to grandstand to too many audiences with this one and it's going to bite them on the bum, bigtime.


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