The Independent View: Tory plan for marriage tax allowance flies in face of what Lib Dems stand for

David Cameron’s policy to give £3 a week in marriage tax allowance to a third of married couples is to ‘send a signal’ that marriage is better than any other type of relationship. Today, a new campaign launched to ‘send a signal’ back: don’t judge my family.

Inspired by JK Rowlings’ attack on the policy last week, The Don’t Judge My Family campaign ( is seeing people sign up in droves. The issue has clearly touched a nerve: in just a few days 1,500 people had signed up to the Facebook page, before the website had even launched.

We’re hoping Liberal Democrats will support the campaign, because the policy flies in the face of everything that Lib Dems stand for: freedom and fairness.

First, the policy is illiberal in the extreme, as it would see the government making a value judgement about what a good family looks like. That picture is very different to what real families look like these days. As Nick Clegg says, it’s a “throwback to the Edwardian era”.

Second, it is unfair. The Lib Dem manifesto has pledged to hardwire fairness into British society. The marriage tax allowance would do the opposite, by hardwiring discrimination into the tax system.

The policy actively discriminates against:

  • the very poorest- couples where both partners earn under £6,555 don’t pay income tax anyway, and the bottom 10% of earners would see about 2% of the cash
  • the 140,000 people who become widows or widowers each year
  • single mums or dads, trying to give their kids the  best start in life
  • the 3m children growing up in single parent families
  • the thousands of people who make the brave decision to leave violent or unhappy relationships
  • couples who both work

The Don’t Judge My Family campaign asks people to pledge that if they’re eligible for the allowance they’ll give it to charity, and is keeping a rolling total of cash pledged. The website links to Gingerbread, Relate, and the National Association of Widows. These charities actually support couples to stay together, and help vulnerable children get the best start in life, rather than judge personal choices.

Check out the website at

The Independent View‘ is a slot on Lib Dem Voice which allows those from beyond the party to contribute to debates we believe are of interest to LDV’s readers. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in contributing.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds and The Independent View.


One Trackback

  • By New film attacks Tory marriage tax plans on Wed 28th April 2010 at 8:21 pm.

    […] week The Voice ran a piece from Eleanor Black of the Don’t Judge My Family Campaign opposing Conservative plans to introduce a tax break […]

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