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David Cameron: Gay or straight, married couples will be given a £1000 tranferable tax allowance

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  1. Meddling, pointless social engineering. It is more expensive to live as a single person (only 25% discount on Council Tax, same standing charges for utility bills, food coming in large packs etc), yet the Tories want to punish the single, the widowed, the divorced and the abandoned. And in my case, the ugly.

    All you need to know about the Tories is that they’ll make you produce a bit of paper to get your bribe. Labour’s energy price freeze is for everyone.

    1. Well said!

    2. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 6:50am

      England is the only country in Europe in which I have lived where you cannot be taxed as a couple. France, Germany, Spain and Italy all permit you to be taxed as a couple.

      1. Taxes are higher in France than the UK, if you think you’re better off there then why live in the UK?

        1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 8:42am

          What you have written is entirely disconnected from what I said.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2013, 12:52pm

        Be that as it may, it doesn’t mean that single people in whatever circumstances should be taxed at a higher rate to allow married couples to be taxed at a lower rate. Singles are paying for that, no matter where you live in the EU. Whenever there are tax breaks, someone else pays for it. Giving married couples lower tax rates doesn’t resolve instability in any society. You cite Italy in another post where married people are taxed as couples, yet one in three households there are one parent families. There are far more societal issues that play a role in that. It doesn’t make their countries any better than the UK because their married people pay a lower rate which is what you seem to imply.

    3. With your attitude and humour I don’t you could be as ugly as you think. Tories are nasty people who like to bribe the greedy and selfish. Crispin Blunt has experienced unfiltered Tory nastiness and serves him right. There are so many gay Tory supporters here one day they’ll learn

      1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 6:55am

        In which case, I should try bribing you.

        1. Meow bitch. I may be many thing but selfish is not one though I can be nasty to self serving gay Tories. I remember section 21 I remember the great gay left most of whom died in the 1990’s and now we are left with some quite nasty people setting the agenda. I remember reading the rise of the gay right in early ’00 and couldn’t believe it. How wrong was I.

          1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 8:42am

            Long memories seem to create bitter people.

          2. Shows what you think about old people. Age discrimination is no different to homophobia or racism. Well done you

          3. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 11:25pm

            Great post.

    4. Jock S. Trap 28 Sep 2013, 11:47am

      Labour’s energy price freeze is for everyone

      Yes I suspect we all will freeze due to the fact Siliband stated a freeze and not a cut. Now the energy companies will put up prices massively to cater for this freeze that might happen, not on it will happen.

      For a leader who is trying to make issue out of the cost of living… he ain’t ‘alf stitched us all up.

      But then, what do you expect from a leader who uses uses the electorate for his own gain. no matter the cost to us.

      I can Never vote for Miliband… he just isn’t a leader who I would trust with this country.

  2. Excellent news!

  3. I agree Steve- a piece of typical Tory dogma- handing taxpayer’s money to the already well-heeled when millions are relying on foodbanks to stop themselves starving.

    And me and my CP woul actually be beneficiaries of this highly unfair measure.

  4. Less than £4 a week, I can’t wait!

  5. This only benefits couples where one partner earns substantially more than £10 thousand and the other earns substantially less than £10 thousand. In other words, the whole point is to encourage married women to give up their careers, which explains why the idea is so popular with the far right of the Tory party.

    1. Agreed typical patriarchal social engineering from the Tory right as per usual.

      I hope Labour axe this if and when they return to power.

      1. de Villiers 29 Sep 2013, 7:56am

        In the same way that maternity leave and maternity helps women not to have to stay in the workplace and so could be described as patriarchal? Or is it to recognise the value to society of stable families and to recognise that society should contribute to the cost of bringing up children, which has a societal function and benefit?

    2. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 6:50am

      England is the only country in Europe in which I have lived where you cannot be taxed as a couple. France, Germany, Spain and Italy all permit you to be taxed as a couple.

      1. so what?

        1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 8:43am

          England is out of line with the rest of Europe. Perhaps England is wrong and should harmonise its system with the rest of Europe.

          1. What and end up with a currency that is vulnerable and badly maintained – yeah right!

          2. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2013, 12:58pm

            And end up like Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Italy? No thanks. A fat lot of good joining the Eurozone that did for them. France isn’t so well off either as a result and taxes higher than in the UK.

          3. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 11:26pm

            Perhaps you should join UKIP.

    3. “the whole point is to encourage married women to give up their careers”

      I have no idea about the motivation behind, Cameron’s plan, but I really doubt it’s that. The only straight family I’ve spoken to about it has the HUSBAND doing the childcare. I’d be the first to attack something if I thought it was doing down women in some way, but I don’t think this is. Women can and will work if they choose to do so and won’t be manipulated as you seem to be suggesting.

      If this idea specified that it was only the woman who could transfer her tax allowance then your comment would be spot on, but as it doesn’t seem to be that way then I can’t agree with you.

      As an aside, of more importance is the discrepancy between maternal and paternal leave allowances. That dictates to straight couples far more than this tax break does (a tax break which i think is not worth the bother actually as it’s such a small amount).

  6. It’s religious policy, payback to the Christian fundamentalists, the policy was designed by the Center for Social Justice, a right-wing religious thinktank, whose policies have a habit of becoming Tory party policy. They have a great deal of influence over Tory policy.

    As others have pointed out it really only helps married couples where the women stays at home and has either no job, or a low-paid part-time job. In our society it’s more usual for both parents to go out to work. A far better policy is Labour’s extension to childcare. The cost of this policy is, I believe, around £600m – but cheap in comparison to the failed £6.5bn wasted on the NHS IT project, and who knows what Trident replacement really costs .. £10bn, … £100bn ?

  7. I really hope that the Lib Dems and Labour manage to throw out this nasty, divisive proposal.

    It’s discrimination against single people, pure and simple. We’ve abolished most other form of discrimination, so why are singles now in the firing line?

    The state has no business whatsoever meddling in intensely private matters such as the decision whether to get married.

    Is it really supposed to be a bribe to persuade people to tie the knot? If so, will the state then pick up the pieces for all those marriages that go horribly wrong? Marrying just for an extra £200 per year really doesn’t seem to be a very good foundation for a stable long-term result: such marriages won’t last long.

    So if it’s not intended to boost the numbers of people getting married, then it can only be intended to show disapproval of single people.

    If this nasty legislation goes through, it will destroy a lot of the goodwill that Cameron rightly enjoyed in getting Same Sex Marriage on to the Statute Book.

    1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 6:53am

      The state has the right to take steps to ensure the stability of families, which is matter of public policy in all European countries, which is why nearly all countries in the European Union permit couples to be taxed as a couple rather than as two individuals.

      1. Even when the UK had a marriage allowance most people wanted to be tax as singles because their tax bill was lower. That’s why it was changed oriiginaly becuase wives were starting to earn as much or more than their husbands. This change does nothing to ensure the stability of families, are UK families more unstable than other European countries now?

        We’re taxed as singles in Australia , that doesn’t make us more unstable than the rest of the world!

      2. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 8:44am

        UK families are more unstable than in Europe. It has one of the highest divorce rates, family breakdowns and numbers of teenage pregnancies.

        1. Getting married does not make you any more stable then couples who life together

    2. How can you say that the state has no business meddling in intensely private matters such as the decision to get married and then say it destroys goodwill in getting marriage on statute book? On one hand, you WANTED Cameron to get involved (for Cameron read government/state) on the other, you don’t.

      Make up your mind!! (not meant in an aggressive way)

      Cameron-fair play- is at least making good on his promise. I think that nobody will stay together for a smallish sum such as this-but struggling couples may stay together if the money was GREATER as financial distress is a major cause of marital breakdown.

      1. @ sam

        You’ve completely misunderstood what I’ve said !

        I’m all in favour of the state ALLOWING SSM/Equal Marriage, and full credit to Cameron for delivering it despite opposition from the majority of his MPs. It means we’re no longer officially considered second class. No one has to get a SSM, but it will be available to those that do want it.

        But this tax break for marrieds / CPs is plain nasty.

        If it’s designed to nudge people into marrying then that’s wrong. Getting married is a big decision, but it should be up to the couple concerned: the state should not be meddling by applying any pressure, financial or otherwise. Look what happened when Prince Charles was told to get married !

        If it’s designed to ‘send a signal’, then that signal is that single people are second class, unworthy of the same respect, and should be taxed more severely to show society’s disapproval. Nasty.

        So I salute Cameron for SSM, but I despise him for the Single Tax. No contradiction at all !

  8. What happens when one partner dies?

    Will the surviving widow or widower then be penalised by Cameron’s ‘Single Tax’ just to maximise their grief over the loss of their loved one?

    Or does having once married make you ‘Normal’ enough for the rest of your life?

    Nasty, nasty, nasty !

    1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 6:52am

      England is the only country in Europe in which I have lived where you cannot be taxed as a couple. France, Germany, Spain and Italy all permit you to be taxed as a couple. Does that mean all the other European countries are nasty? Is England (again) the only country who knows best (again)?

  9. Make no mistake about this, tax breaks don’t just appear, someone has to pay for it.
    Single people, and unmarried couples, will be paying tax for our government to give to married people.

    This is social engineering, and it’s another form of our government saying that some people are better than others, for nothing more than being what he thinks is a preferred state of existence.

    This is sickening.

    Single people are already treated as piggy banks, while they are priced out of property ownership. Now they’re being used as earners so Cameron can give away money to people he prefers?

    This is the kind of bull*hit that makes me hate our so-called political class.

    1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 6:56am

      Surely it is more of a tax rebate than a tax transfer.

      1. There is no such thing. The spending of governments doesn’t ever go down, it only increases as the population increases, as more kids need education, as more hospitals and prisons are needed, as the elderly require more state care…
        Whenever one group of people has their tax reduced, another is paying for it. When corporations don’t pay what they owe, we pay to make up for it. When rich people are given a tax break, the rest of the population foots the bill.
        The same is happening here. These married couples will be given a “rebate”, and the rest of the population will be forced to pay more tax to cover it.
        It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, and it’s a cynical attempt to force religious beliefs on the population while buying votes.

        Money doesn’t just magically appear from Cameron’s behind, there is a circulatory system (albeit a diseased one) where the flow of money is manipulated and controlled. When one group has more, others have less. This is what economic inequality is built upon.

        1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 11:28pm

          You’re not an economist are you? If what you said were true, we would have as much money and wealth today as in 1300.

        2. de Villiers 29 Sep 2013, 7:46am

          Economic inequality is not built. It is not a cause. Inequality is an effect and a relative concept.

          Also, if married couples are being given a “rebate” then by definition no-one else is paying for it. A rebate is when one receives back some of what one has already paid.

          Finally, money does not “appear”. Wealth is created. Money is merely one medium of exchange that is used to represent wealth. There is no special magic to money or to interest, being merely the price of money.

  10. Boris cut the council tax by 6p a week while putting up bus fares for the poorest by an average of £2.50 per week. Nasty people

    1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 6:57am

      Yes. And do you think that Ken Livingstone would not have raised fares by the same amount? Your naiveté could almost be endearing.

      1. Kens projects Boris cancelled

        Tram extension to crystal palace
        Cross river tram
        Cycle lanes
        Affordable housing on all new build
        Buses running to a time table

        Kens projects Boris inherited

        Over ground
        Bike hire
        Oyster on national rail

        Boris projects

        Cable car

        Boris is a joke a spend nothing Tory. I remember london before ken. The tube was rubbish and falling apart and buses were a joke. Ken is not all good but compared to Boris he is a god

        1. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 8:45am

          I think that they are probably the same. You are blinded.

          1. And you are an opinionated Ass hole who needs to mind his mouth and think before making pointless comments –

          2. de Villiers 28 Sep 2013, 11:31pm

            Pointless comment.

        2. Jock S. Trap 28 Sep 2013, 11:59am

          Boris is the best thing that has ever happened to London and Londoners!

          1. Yeah the cable car changed everything

          2. Jock S. Trap 28 Sep 2013, 2:05pm

            Wow James Blind as well…

            There is massive investment in London thanks to Boris, bringing in businesses and jobs and most to it paid by private investors not taxpayers.

            Boris has done so much good for London and Londoners, more than Ken and his aggressive stance would ever achieve and it’s just a shame that Boris will not run for another term.

          3. Blind as an insult? Charming.

            Bigot much?

  11. Don’t know where to start- does this mean that cohabiting couples will now be treated as single people in the benefits system (they’re currently treated ‘as married’) surely it is unfair to deny THEM the tax break because otherwise it’s treating them as married in one area and not the area?

    I echo that the smallish sum won’t keep people together. Though I find it a bit rich that those who campaign for equal marriage mock it-didn’t you WANT marriage to be special? Well Cameron’s only doing what you said you wanted.

    It’s rubbish ultimately and significant of the nonsense that marriage is now for everybody (gay or straight) – a far far better idea would be to abolish marriage and just give breaks to those with children (be the couples gay or heterosexual) and treat every childless couple as single people.

  12. You all seem to be missing the point that this only benefits couples where one partner doesn’t work or earns less than 10K. It’s designed to encourage traditional stay a home mums (of whatever gender & with or without kids).

    A thoroughly worthwhile reason to increase the national debt a bit more. Myrich friend Carolne, whose husband Nick is a wealthy solicitor & whose only child is away at boarding school, keeps a beautifu home, does the flowers in the local church & helps out with the meals on wheels run will be realy pleased that the nation is finally recognising the true worth of her existence!!

    1. But your rich friend is in a minority surely? Most couples with children aren’t so well off, and young children benefit from having one parent with them – and note that does NOT have to be a mum! My friend’s husband is the one staying at home and the one who’ll benefit from this. Although it IS a tiny amount and hardly worth the bother.

  13. They are right to support marriage but the question is what stops people getting married who want to? It’s the high cost of weddings and the lowest incomes groups are least likely to get married. So the answer would be to give £1000 wedding grants to low income couples to help with the costs of a wedding. This would cost half the price of the marriage tax allowances and boost marriage in the very groups that would benefit most. The other thing to remember is the biggest cause of family breakdown is financial difficulties and this government’s benefit cuts are exacerbating that.

    1. It doesnt have to cost alot. You dont have to throw a huge party. You can do it as loads of people do by having a steak and chips in the local pub after.

  14. Jock S. Trap 28 Sep 2013, 11:43am

    Right or wrong, at least Gay couples will be part of this deal, so all in all it has to be a good thing, Gay couples being recognised.

    1. See wen I was goring up gay people were more aligned to the disposed and had an affinity with black people, disabled people, women ect. Now gay people are unashamedly elitist.

      1. It’s not elitist to want to be part of a married couple. After all, all those other people you mentioned might be….

    2. We did away with patriarchy decades ago in the legal system this is a regressive move by the Tory right not progressive and it will effect women more than men and it penalises couples who choose not to marry, widows and widowers and single people, those who divorce and those who leave their partners through domestic violence especially women. its effectively enshrining discrimination in law.

      The left must oppose this unfair regressive policy.

  15. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2013, 12:36pm

    It isn’t much different in the U.S. either. Married couples there pay less tax than single people but then taxes are lower in general. This Tory proposal is outright discrimination against single people.

    1. Wow. Common sense from you. I thought you were more like jock and devillers

      1. Jock S. Trap 28 Sep 2013, 2:08pm

        Very mature… If you don’t like difference of opinion why come to this place… a place you keep telling everyone you hate?

        Hypocrite much?

    2. Robert, weren’t you one of the people campaigning for same sex marriage? If you DIDN’T (sorry about capitalisation, no bold key) wish marriage to be seen as something special-or see it yourself as being special- why on earth did you campaign for it? Cameron is only agreeing with you and saying that it is special in doing this. It’s either special -in which case it merits a break- or it is not, in which case why bother with it for ANYBODY-gay or straight?

      One minute you’re calling for government to recognise ssm, next you’re getting annoyed for it getting involved!

      A better idea would be to abolish the (now) pointless institution: how many children are born outside of wedlock-at least half- and accept that legal marriage (what people do in churches is up to them) has no purpose and reward those couples (gay or straight) who raise children. Everybody else is seen as single adults.

      Nevertheless, it seems to me that you want to have your cake and eat it.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2013, 1:52pm

        Yes, I strongly support and did campaign for equal marriage and I don’t see what this has to do with my support, but married couples shouldn’t have lower tax rates while single people who aren’t married or who have no intention of marrying should be penalised. Cameron is dead wrong on this one. Income disparity is already bad enough in the UK without making it worse.

  16. CH Brighton 28 Sep 2013, 2:10pm

    Daft policy is based on wishful thinking and pie in the sky. So the money saved by throwing families out of their homes (bedroom tax) is going to be given to people who’ve got a piece of paper? Total waste of money.

  17. @ sam

    “Hello, Class. Today we’re going to learn about sums. I bought you all an Easter egg, so please line up at the front.

    “Sorry, Johnny, go to the back of the class – there’s no egg for you because you’re a foreigner.

    “George with the glasses, go to the back because you’re four-eyed. Lesley, you don’t qualify because you’re left-handed.

    “Daisy, wheel yourself to the back because you’re disabled. Ginger – well, your name says it all.

    “Brian, no egg for you – you’re a right b*stard because your mum and dad aren’t married.

    NOW do you see how offensive and discriminatory this Single Tax is??

    1. Gerry, to be honest, I’ve had enough of the marriage business: ultimately I want to see it abolished and not recognised by government AT ALL. If people wish to have a religious exchange of vows, their choice, but it should be no business of the state.

      Perhaps there should be some break for those people who raise kids, I don’t know, but, ultimately if there is, who they shack up with should not be relevant.

      Otherwise, treat everybody as individuals in their own right.

    2. de Villiers 29 Sep 2013, 7:54am

      In the same way maternity leave and maternity pay discriminates against men? We have that because of the value to society of having children and the production of the next generation.

  18. Sorry – the arguing has lost me a bit. We’re talking about a stupid gesture – yes no doubt political. But for most married couples it’ll make no financial difference next year. The single personal allowance next year is £9,440 and the tax bands alter to
    Basic rate 20% £0 to £34,370 down to – £0 to £32,010
    Higher rate 40% £34,371 to £150,000 – down to £32,011 to £150,000.
    Even if a partner in a higher rate payer marriage transfers the £1000 over it still doesn’t make up for the lowering of the thresholds.
    It’s a Tory media shot to appease the shires – but most of the shires will be using their own allowance either through tax avoidance strategies or investment income.
    I would be very surprised if more than a few thousand people use this stupid offer.
    Most working class families won’t even think about it.
    Its a game and like the school meal offer for kids its not aimed at how real families live. Lets not knock SSM please.

  19. “You have been found GUILTY of allowing your partner to beat you up, break your jaw and leave you for a younger person.”

    “By your own admission you are now a single person, so I SENTENCE YOU TO A FINE OF £200 THIS YEAR, AND A FINE OF £200 EVERY YEAR FOR AS LONG AS YOU SHALL LIVE”.

    1. No – you’ll probably get a job where you need your full tax allowance and keep the £200 a year for you and build a new life.

  20. de Villiers 29 Sep 2013, 7:52am

    This really is a measure targeted towards promoting families as a moral good.

    Having children has both a personal and a societal dimension. Although couples have families for personal reasons, society requires that there are sufficient children otherwise, a population in which the old outnumber the young leads to economic contraction.

    Given that having children is an important societal function, the state recognises that in the form of state maternity pay and maternity leave (which could be said to discriminate against men) but which merely redresses unfairness caused to women by being unable to work.

    This rebate is designed to offset the increased cost to families of being families and having children and recognises the societal value in stable families.

  21. As marriage is only legally recognised if it’s between a woman and a man, a woman and a woman or a man and a man doesn’t this discriminate against people who identify as neither male nor female?

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