Archiv für die Kategorie „Marriage Tax Breaks“

Marriage Tax Breaks

Samstag, 9. Januar 2010

David Cameron was attacked last week as lacking conviction and equivocating on whether the Conservatives if elected would still be committed to tax breaks for married couples, perhaps given the poor state of the public finances. Certainly the UK seems to be quite unique in Europe in not recognising the civil status of marriage within the tax code. It is recognised within the French tax system and in Germany the Constitution also protects the rights of the family.
The arguments in the UK against a tax favouring married couples include:
– It would discriminate against the poorest 10% of society, where the marriage rate is disproportionately much lower (i.e. Ian Duncan Smith”s ”Broken Society”) and favour the better-off (e.g. a net benefit saving of £30 for the former versus £300 for the latter).
– It is not the government”s role in a modern, multi-cultural society to try and coerce the population into marriage via the tax system; it should be a matter for individual choice.
The right to individual choice is of course a basic Conservative tenet as well as a respect for tradition including the institution of marriage in support of the stable family unit for nurturing future generations.
The Labour Party views David Cameron as the modern Conservative Party”s major asset certainly when compared with Gordon Brown and, therefore, will try to paint him as shallow, lacking both depth and conviction at every opportunity in front of the electorate. However, to take a stand on this issue is good for the rank and file but not likely to be a real vote winner for attracting new Conservative voters from the centre ground in the key marginal constituencies.