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Cameron’s election manifesto promises tax breaks for civil partners

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  1. ‘Tory leader David Cameron has been careful to include civil partners in remarks about the proposed benefits.’

    there is a reason for that. apparently the CP law forbids discrimination between married and CPed couple in tax matters. If that’s the case it’s rather disingenuous of him to present himself as progressive in that matter if he doesn’t have a choice about it

  2. Is that really all he can do?

  3. Pumpkin Pie 20 Jan 2010, 2:25pm

    Tax breaks should go to people who need them, married or not.

  4. Smoke and mirrors. There is no money for it.

  5. Mihangel apYrs 20 Jan 2010, 2:43pm

    Pumpkin Pie: a married (or CP) couple’s pension is less than that of 2 single people, and they have financial responsibilities each to the other that diminish things like unemployment benefit. A combined tax allowance is fair as it redresses somewhat the financial diadvantages of marriage and CP

  6. the.kitty.channel 20 Jan 2010, 2:48pm

    That won’t make me vote for Cameron. In fact nothing will.

  7. Simon Murphy 20 Jan 2010, 3:07pm

    Tax breaks for married or CP’ed couples are discrimination against single people. The cost of living for single people is already much higher than it is for married (or cohabiting) couples.

    Why do married couples deserve even more benefits?

  8. John(Derbyshire) 20 Jan 2010, 3:09pm

    Most conservatives have no time for gay people-either in a civil partnership or not. Cameron represents less than 30% of his parliamentary party-the rest of them just despise us. Lesbians in civil partnerships will be the first victims- the civil partner will have her rights over the cild just taken away and given to the absent biological father. Thats my prediction.

  9. Simon Murphy 20 Jan 2010, 3:23pm

    David Cameron doesn’t think much of us either.

    He was in favour of keeping Section 28. While he now pretends that this was a mistake, just take a look at the person who he wants to be in charge of family affairs – none other than catholic extremist Iain Duncan Smith – a vile bigot who is already campaigning against gay rights through his sinister activities with the Centre for Social Justice.

    Duncan Smith is clearly a bigot, and Cameron’s decision to have him in a position dealing with families shows Cameron’s true colours.

    A vote for the Tory Party is a vote against LGBT rights.

    Thank goodness Britain is in the EU – at least we’ll be able to appeal when the Tories start dismantling our hard won rights. And thank goodness that Cameron has no notion on earth of pulling Britain out of the EU.

    If the Tories get elected then the EU courts will be our only possibility for appeal when the Tories come after our rights.

  10. My views remain unchanged: nobody should be fooled by Cameron’s desire to extend tax incentives to same-sex couples who have a civil partnership as well as married people. This old Tory idea – that that marriage and the nuclear family are the solution to our ‘broken society’, saving us from everything from paedophilia to gun crime – is complete nonsense. It implies that unmarried and single people are to blame for social problems and should therefore have to pay compensation through higher taxes to anyone living the married-with-children-with-property lifestyle.

    Cameron’s so-called ‘pro-family’ agenda is nothing of the sort: record numbers of marriages are failing and the nuclear family is where women and children are most likely to be physically, emotionally and sexually abused. Ironically the safest place for a child to grow up free from sexual and physical abuse is with two women (but you we have not heard Cameron talking about the merits of same-sex parenting). Cameron’s policy is really a smokescreen for policies that would redistribute wealth from single, divorced and unmarried people (who are more likely to be from poorer backgrounds) to richer married people and as such is shameless theft.

    I suggest that people attend the Progressive London conference: ‘A progressive agenda to stop the right in 2010′ on 30 January 2010,
    Congress House, Great Russell Street, WC1H, 10am-5pm – see http://www.progressivelondon.org.uk/ for more info and to register

  11. BrazilBoysBlog 20 Jan 2010, 4:17pm

    I agree with most of the comments above. Although the combined pensions for a couple are less than for two singles, and this needs addressing, I will not be welcoming with open arms our new-found ´friend and champion´ of gay rights and equality. the same person who was in favour of keeping section 28. Oh what short memories the Tories think we have?

  12. Simon Murphy 20 Jan 2010, 4:40pm

    ” Although the combined pensions for a couple are less than for two singles, and this needs addressing,”

    That is as it should be and it does not need addressing.

    Single people pay more tax per head throughout their lives and their cost of living is higher than for couples.

    Their pension SHOULD be higher seeing as they have to pay more to live per person than a couple does.

    The divorce rates in this country are nearly 50%. This ‘tax-break’ for married couples is going to penalise a LOT of people.

  13. Tim Hopkins 20 Jan 2010, 4:53pm

    Unfortunatly zefrog is not correct in stating that the law on CP bans tax discrimination between married people and CPed people. It doesn’t, but there has been a consensus between the parties since 2005 that the legal effects of CP and marriage should be kept the same.

    It’s good that Cameron is recognising that principle in this case. But whatever Govt is elected in May, one of the areas that concerns me is whether that principle will continue. After all, Govts get influenced by their backbenchers, especially if their majority is small. And there’s no doubt that there are some MPs who would want CP to get less legal protection than marriage.

    Of course, as campaigners, I think we should be more positive, and campaign for equal access to both marriage and CP as choices regardless of gender. Maybe a party that supports that will have Parliamentary influence after the election!

    And personally I disagree with giving tax breaks to people just because they are married or in a CP, but that’s another issue!

    Ho ho – the two words I have to type to post this up are “campier force” – maybe that should be the name of a new LGBT campaign group.

  14. Patrick James 20 Jan 2010, 5:12pm

    Mihangel apYrs writes:

    a married (or CP) couple’s pension is less than that of 2 single people, and they have financial responsibilities each to the other that diminish things like unemployment benefit. A combined tax allowance is fair as it redresses somewhat the financial diadvantages of marriage and CP

    This is not why the Conservative Party wishes to introduce this.

    If they wish to address a perceived financial disadvantage to be married or in a CP then they would be focussing on those actual disadvantages rather than creating this new tax allowance.
    David Cameron has said himself that this tax allowance is not about the money. He has clearly identified that this is about the state actively favouring marriage as a way for people to live.

    The Conservative Party in the Thatcher and Post-Thatcher years has become more and more like the Republican Party in the United States. This means that they are “low state and high family”.

    The perception in the Conservative Party is that the state and the family are opposing loyalties. They want people to become reliant on their family because they think this reinforces the family. To make people reliant on their family they will reduce the benefits etc. possible from the state.

    We see from David Cameron’s Conservative Party a very right wing agenda for which Cameron is putting a progressive sounding spin.

    Now a few other comments about finance and marriage:

    Overall it is considered by many that already the financial advantages of marriage outweigh the disadvantages in the UK.

    In the last few years I have known two straight couples who “married” simply because it was better for them to do so financially. I never enquired as to the specifics but I know they only did this for financial reasons. (I put “married” in quotes because for these couple the institution of marriage does not in any way represent an indication of commitment on their behalf. In both cases they had been in long stable relationships for many years. On pair had grown up children, the other had no children and no desire to have them).

  15. Matt Sephton 20 Jan 2010, 5:19pm

    Well done David Cameron! As Ben Summerskill stated in October, it’s likely that the Conservatives will have more openly-LGBT MPs than all other Parties in the House of Commons after the next General Election. The Conservatives’ Vice-Chair is openly lesbian and is the Parliamentary candidate in the target seat of Stourbridge (the Liberal Democrats haven’t selected any lesbians in winnable seats). Any ideas that a future Conservative Government will start attacking LGBTs are absolutely ridiculous! Get into the real world, guys. Fight the REAL homophobes and let’s all work together to end homophobic and transphobic behaviour, wherever it occurs!

  16. Patrick James 20 Jan 2010, 5:49pm

    Matt Sephton wrote:

    Fight the REAL homophobes and let’s all work together to end homophobic and transphobic behaviour, wherever it occurs!

    Do you think we should be fighting homophobia in Poland?

    The Conservative Party’s tiny European Parliament grouping includes the Polish Law and Justice Party. As the grouping is so small this has lead to a massive boost to this extremely homophobic party.

    I think it would be good for you to read about the situation for many LGBT people in Poland which Amnesty International describe very well.

    I would like to know the Conservative Party’s position on the proposed anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda.

    Why is it that David Cameron, who has so much to say about everything, is so silent on this issue?

  17. Matt Sephton 20 Jan 2010, 7:18pm

    Patrick, we should be fighting homophobia WHEREVER it occurs!

    I agree that European Groupings are not perfect, however, and even the Lib Dems and Labour sit with people who have said or done distasteful things on the issue of homosexuality. The Lib Dems’ Latvian allies in the European Parliament, Latvia’s First Party/Latvian Way (LPP/LC), have banned gay pride parades in Riga, attempted to ban discussion of gay issues in the media (Agence France Presse, 7 September 2006) and one of their leading figures, Janis Smits, whom they succeeded in appointing as Latvia’s human rights commissioner, described homosexuality as a ‘plague’ (Guardian, 1 June 2007). Labour’s German allies recently had to apologise for a homophobic slur against Guido Westerwelle, gay leader of the German Free Democrat Party, by Peter Langner of the Social Democrats (Pink News, 30 September 2009).
    Homophobia and prejudice is NEVER to be defended and people are right to say this. However, I happen to believe that homophobia is not to be defended no matter which Party or individual is responsible. And that is why we ALL need to be working to end both homophobia and transphobia in the UK and around the world.

    As for Uganda, the Conservatives are against any laws that discriminate against LGBT people in the way that the proposed Ugandan laws would.

  18. @ matt
    Just check out Latvian Freedom Party or PIS party in Poland that conservatives chose to associate themselves with in Europe, what great company. No amount of PR will convince me that Torys are gay friendly bunch

  19. We will benefit from this law. But I can find no reason at all to benefit us – a comfortably off middle class gay couple – at the expense of those who have far more need for this money

  20. Its about time that Partnerships were encouraged! The statistics show that children are more likely to have a better life if their parents are in a stable and formal relationship.
    Perhaps the reason that people feel that Gay people should not adopt because the children don’t get a stable upbringing is actually less to do with the fact we are gay and more to do with the fact that we are not committed formally.
    Times have moved on, and so should society.

  21. Patrick James 21 Jan 2010, 6:35am

    Matt Stephton writes:

    I agree that European Groupings are not perfect, even the Lib Dems and Labour sit with people who have said or done distasteful things on the issue of homosexuality.

    To suggest that there is a similarity of “imperfection” between the Conservative Party in Europe and Labour or Lib-Dems is really dishonest.

    I know that Matthew has no doubt read this in some Conservative Party literature, because I know that the party machine peddles this, but it is important to put this right.

    Let us look at the facts:

    The Conservative Party’s parliamentary grouping, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) is tiny comprising:

    Conservative Party 26
    Law and Justice 15
    Civic Democratic Party 9

    In addition there is a small number of individual members.

    We can see that in the Conservative Party’s ECR the second largest party is the extreme right wing and homophobic Law and Justice Party.

    The ECR is chaired by Michal Kaminski who is a notorious homophobe and anti-semite from the Polish Law and Justice party. Michal Kaminski was given this position as chair by the British Conservative Party. As a consequence of his chairing the ECR Michal Kaminski has been made a member of the Conference of Presidents.

    So, the Conservatives are not only in bed with homophobes in the European Parliament but actively promoting them to high positions in that parliament.

    Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) which has very many parties as members. In the PES there will of course be tiny parties with homophobic views but they are of very little consequence because they are such a small part of the PES.

    The Lib Dems are in the Alliance of Liberal Democrats in Europe (ALDE) which like the PES is vast and will contain a few tiny homophobic parties. They are tiny of course and will not have any significant influence in the grouping.

    As part of the programme of white-washing their role in Europe the Conservative Party has played this game of finding some tiny party in the PES or ALDE and saying “there, Labour or Lib Dems are allied with them” but as I have pointed out this is just silly and dishonest.

    The Conservative Party has promoted the extreme right wing and homophobic Polish Law and Justice party in the European parliament in a way that is unprecedented.

    The immediate victims are the LGBT people in Poland. LGBT Poles who in all walks of life will suffer from the promotion of the Law and Justice Party by the British Conservative Party.

    The rest of Europe will suffer because the Conservative Party has been working to make an extreme right wing homophobic party “acceptable”.

  22. Simon Murphy 21 Jan 2010, 11:23am

    No 18: Matt Sephton: “Patrick, we should be fighting homophobia WHEREVER it occurs!”

    Indeed.

    What then explains the lamblike silence of the LGBTory group at the alliance between the Tories and the Polish catholic, extremist homophobe Michal Kaminski and the Polish Law and Justice Party?

    What are LGBTory doing to ensure that homophobic bigot Iain Duncan Smith does not reduce the rights of non-biological gay parents (Centre for Social Justice).

    What is the point of having LGBT MP’s if they are too scared to address the hardcore bigotry that remains in the Tory Party.

    The Tories are the homophobic party – their actions speak a lot louder than the expensive PR spin being thrown about by David ‘PR’ Cameron.

    A vote for the Tories is a vote against LGBT rights.

  23. Unacceptable. If the Tories really want to demonstrate they are gay-friendly, yet still want to promote ‘family values’, they need to drop the religious pretence, and make marriage a legal partnership, not a religious one, and make it for ALL couples.
    Then all married people can partake of any tax breaks he wants to shell out as an incentive to commitment.

    If people want their marriage performed ‘in the eyes of God’, then that is up to the church and the couple, but it should not matter a jot as to the legality of the partnership.

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