Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tax and marriage (Warning: This post contains politics)

I am generally not interested in politics, but it seems that marriage will be one of the "key battlegrounds" in the next general election, where the two main parties will be fighting over that minority of the population who still exercise their right to vote. Over the last few days there has been quite a spat going on, with David Cameron (apparently, he is the leader of the Tory party) accusing Labour of a “pathological” opposition to marriage, and Children's Secretary Ed Balls-up responding by saying that Cameroon was talking “complete and utter nonsense”. Yawn...

Now, if you've not lost the will to live you can read this article in the Independent today, which sets out both sides of the argument as to whether the tax system should be used to encourage marriage. It seems that the Tories are planning a tax break for married couples (although where they will find the money, when the country is a gazillion pounds in debt, is not explained), which will give married couples an extra £23 a week. Wow, £23 - not much, but I suppose it will go some way towards paying off the huge debts incurred to cover the costs of that expensive wedding, reception and honeymoon. The Tories are hoping that this carrot will bribe entice a few more of those awful cohabiting couples to tie the knot, thereby shoring up our broken society.

On the other hand, Labour are saying that such a policy will treat unmarried and separated families as “second class”, and that it will direct money where it is not needed - the better off, and childless married couples. I suppose that after 12 years in power, they do know a thing or two about directing money where it is not needed: unnecessary extra bureaucracy everywhere, unwinnable foreign wars, immoral bonuses for failed fat-cat bankers, etc...

...and that is quite enough politics for one post. I'm off to lay down in a darkened room.


  1. David Cameron as Prime Minister? No chance. Mind you didn't they say that about Maggie. As a fellow Berkshire lad I am not a fan of his, or the other two, main parties. Indeed, one of the few areas I agree with you, in that I don't understand what they are going on about (especially here as most people are not married now). Now I am off to lie down in a darkened room also.

  2. John,

    I am wholeheartedly behind any proposal to boost marriage, as probably most family law firms are.
    We need the continual flow of new clients in to the future and of course they need to be married.

  3. You have a point there, Mark. :-)

  4. It saves me sending you the links I saw yesterday on this subject, I was too busy sat in front of my coal fire.

    Whilst we are on the subject of politics and the ballot box, don't forget the Prisoners Votes Case. On December 1st the Committee of Miisters in the EU considered the UK's delay in implementing the Court's decision in Hirst v UK(No2). And Latvia which joined the case as an interested party has now allowed prisoners the vote.

  5. Thanks for that, John. Prisoners may be the only ones voting...

  6. Oh no, they are all Tories, Cameron may well get in if they get the vote.

  7. Oh no, Prisoners are all Tories, looks like Cameron may well get in afterall if they get the vote.

  8. Mark
    careful you might let the cat out of the bag

  9. Mark
    careful you might let the cat out of the bag


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