Why should married couples get tax breaks?

December 18, 2011

It’s not often I agree with Nick Clegg on anything these days but I agree with him 100% that the Government should not be offering tax breaks to married couples.

I’m not against marriage, but the idea that being married makes you in some way a stronger, more viable partnership is laughable to me. I know so many married couples – past and present – whose relationships are, quite frankly, disastrous, and hugely damaging to the children involved. I totally disagree that there should be a financial incentive to encourage couples to stay together. It is far worse for a couple to stay together because they can’t afford to split.

I also disagree with the concept of marriage as somehow more solid than simply living together. If the commitment and love is there, it’s there, whether you’re married or not.

But most of all I resent any attempt at social engineering by the Government – this one, or any other. We all know how hypocritical, how less than whiter than white many politicians are. They have no business trying to tell the rest of us how to live our personal lives, IMHO. In fact, I’d say that’s overstepping their remit.

Those are my views. But what do you think? I’d love to know.

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  • Rachel December 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I am married and I am actually insulted at the idea that somehow being £150 a year better off is meant to encourage married couples to stay together.

    My best friend is not married but has been with her partner for the same length of time that I’ve been with my husband but I don’t consider her relationship any less important than my marriage.

  • Liz December 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Punishing couples that haven’t signed a form or wear a band of gold is ridiculous. I struggle to believe it’s 2011 sometimes with DCam spouting these antiquated, fascist views. Who is he to say that my 12 year relationship is any less stable than a couple that have married? (And if we did marry it would then give us a 50% chance of splitting up). There is not one religion, or law, that can tell me my relationship is now valid and strong and I get thoroughly peeved at people making such judgements, can you tell?!

  • Another Goldfish December 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Like Caroline, I don’t care for the marriage part – but a transferable tax allowance would be wonderful.

    I certainly don’t think married people should get a special tax break, but as someone who can’t work I wish we could pool the tax allowances we already have.

  • Caroline Gautrey December 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I think a married persons tax allowance is wrong for reasons previously mentioned. A much better ‘incentive’ would be for married/inhabiting couples with children to be allowed to share their tax free allowance.

    My husband is a higher rate tax payer and I only work part time earning under the tax threshold. I’d like to be able to give him the tax free allowance I don’t use.

  • Amanda December 19, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I agree – placing any kind of moral (or financial) weight on the sanctity of marriage is veering dangerously close to bringing religion into politics, which never ends well. Look at the US, where elections are lost and won on abortion rights while the world gradually fries and floods and the economy collapses around them. I’m married but don’t expect to be rewarded for it – not by the government anyway.

  • Nicki Cawood December 19, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I read about this yesterday and couldn’t help thinking it was a huge step backwards. I have been married for 8yrs – does this make our relationship any more valid than my friend’s partnership, where they have been living together for the same time and are in a loving relationship, but haven’t actually married? Not at all and I find the suggestion that it is more than slightly distasteful.

    I too balk at the idea of actually agreeing with Nick Clegg but he’s right here, this is a waste of time and resources that would be better spent elsewhere.

    If Cameron’s agenda is to “correct” the way we are choosing to live then I think he’s in for a way up call.

    Great post.

  • ruth davies December 19, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Hear hear! Even if it is a struggle to agree with NC!

  • Jacqui Burke December 18, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    No they shouldn’t get tax breaks – hope you don’t get lots of comments playing downthe importance of marriage though (ie slagging it off!) it’s what is right for each couple but neither is more important than the other.

  • Mummy's Little Monkey (@Jax2000) December 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Hear hear! From someone has happily lived in sin for the past 10 years (longer that a good chunk of marriages last…) 😉