Department for U-Turns

In this recent post I suggested that tax changes were one reason why fewer couples have chosen to marry in the last ten years. The Labour Government has long made it clear that tax policies should not favour married couples as this would discriminate against cohabitating couples, single parents and their children. Until now. In what looks suspiciously like another example of Labour hijacking Tory policies, Andy Burnham, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has hinted in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that the Government is considering tax incentives for married couples. Burnham said that there is a “moral case” for promoting marriage through the tax system, which seems a strange thing for a Labour Minister to say.

Of course, whether any tax changes will have a bearing upon the number of couples choosing to marry remains to be seen.


  1. The government's policies do offer incentives to married couples though when it comes to inheritance tax.

    I am, or rather was, a single parent of two children and feel somewhat aggrieved that having financially provided for my family with minimal support from the state (CB) and my ex-husband our children do not benefit from the couples IHT allowance simply because their parents are no longer married. Sigh......


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