Tag Archives: marriage

Opinion: Rewarding marriage – with less than the cost of the cake…

There must be better ways for Liberals to support families that the marriage tax allowance.

Politics has always been about compromise and pragmatism and in a coalition Government we are seeing the impact of this in a very public and often painful way. For every moment of joy there are two where I want to bury my head in my hands and weep for the future of liberalism.Don't Judge

Whether we like it or not the coalition agreement set out a commitment to introducing a married couples’ tax allowance. I don’t know what the logic was at the time for agreeing such an obviously un-liberal and expensive gesture. I hope that what we gained outweighs the feeling of nausea that this policy gives me.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Down with marriage

bouquetIt’s always the smallest things that seem to end up creating the biggest noise. Take the current debate over marriage: I know it seems like a big issue, but if you really look, it’s a debate about semantics and contracts that’s become complicated by the fact that history is so unclear about its origins.

The Church thinks that marriage is theirs and that therefore they have a right to dictate who gets to do it. I used to be partly persuaded by the fact that marriage was the Church’s brand and that those of …

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Tory Loughton slams Liberal Democrats for blocking Tory marriage tax break

We know that the Tories went on and on before the election about how they were going to reward marriage in the tax system.

We know that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats don’t think much of this idea.

We know that since the Coalition Government was formed that no such marriage tax break has been introduced.

It was therefore not unreasonable to conclude that the Liberal Democrats have stopped the Tories from implementing their prized policy.

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Lynne Featherstone criticises marriage tax breaks

PoliticsHome reports:

Lynne Featherstone has criticised the idea of giving married couples a tax break, saying such a move would be “extremely unfair”. In an interview with The Times(£), the Equalities Minister said a reduction in tax for couples who tie the knot was a “bizarre concept… and wrongly aimed” and warned it was unfair on those couples and single parents who were unmarried.

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone on marriage – this is not gay rights versus religious beliefs

Writing in the Daily Telegraph Lynne Featherstone says:

I believe that if a couple love each other and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage, irrespective of whether they are gay or straight.

We are not prioritising gay rights, or trampling over tradition; we are allowing a space for the two to exist side by side…

Marriage is a right of passage for couples who want to show they are in a committed relationship, for people who want to show they have

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Clegg repeats Lib Dem opposition about tax breaks for marriage, with added 1950s jibe

Via the BBC:

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said the idea of tax breaks for married couples is wrong, and would not work.

The deputy prime minister told Sky News there were “philosophical differences” with the Lib Dems’ coalition partners, the Conservatives, over the issue.

He said there was a limit on what the state “should seek to do in organising people’s private relationships”…

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Liberal Democrat members support proposed changes to planning rules, just

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

Our latest survey of party members finds a small majority backing the government’s controversial plans for the planning system in England. By a margin of 48% – 39% Liberal Democrat members in the survey supported the scheme to cut central control over planning but also introduce a presumption in favour of development if plans are sustainable and in line with local policies.

However, …

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Think tank slams government, but it’s one for the ‘good news’ files

I think nearly all Liberal Democrats will take this as good news rather than bad:

The highly-critical assessment of the coalition’s first year in power was delivered by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) – which was founded by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

And it comes just months after the former Tory leader himself risked stoking tensions with Liberal Democrat colleagues by renewing calls for the state to reward marriage financially.

In a report to mark the anniversary of the power-sharing deal, the CSJ complained that the tax break plan had “moved off radar” because of opposition from the

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The coalition agreement: social care and disability & taxation

Welcome to the nineteenth in a series of posts going through the full coalition agreement section by section. You can read the full coalition document here.

Although when talking about other parts of the agreement I’ve sometimes being quite critical about the parking of issues with commissions or reviews, the commission on long-term care is a good move. It has a clear remit, has to report within a year and tackles an area which requires policies that have a chance of long term cross-party agreement given the nature of the subject. The failure of cross-party talks prior to the election means the …

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New film attacks Tory marriage tax plans

Last 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 for marriage.

The campaign has now released a new film:

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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 (www.dontjudgemyfamily.com) 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 …

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Lib Dems attack Tories’ tax-war on widows, working couples and jilted wives

A tax-break for married couples, is how the Tories are trying to spin it. The reality could scarcely be different – here are the groups of people the Tories are now officially classifying as undeserving:

  • Two married teachers bringing up a child.
  • A co-habiting couple who have lived together for years but not married.
  • People whose partners have abandoned them and their children.
  • A widow whose husband has died in Afghanistan.

But perhaps I’m being unfair … after all the Tories will reward some people at the expense of those clearly undeserving groups:

  • Those happily married for 50 years.
  • Over a million people in Britain who have separated but are still legally married.
  • Somebody who abandons their partner and children and then remarries.

The Tories’ feeble defence of their Edwardian tax-war on groups in society they regard as unworthy is that it their £150 a year will help solve the much-talked about ‘Broken Britain’ – so what will the Tory policy do for those living in poverty?

Posted in General Election | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

ICM: 59% of Lib Dem voters support marriage tax breaks … Or do they?

The Guardian’s monthly ICM poll, published today, asks a couple of intriguing questions.

For a start, we discover where Lib Dem supporters perceive they sit within the class system (however self-defined) – 50% say they are middle-class, and 48% that they are working-class. This compares with 38% middle-class to 61% working class for Labour; and 56% to 39% for the Tories.

(Slightly bizarrely, it turns out the Lib Dems have more supporters who identify themselves as upper-class (2%) than the Tories do (1%); the poll’s margin of error may explain that finding.)

But the ICM/Guardian question which interested me most …

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Cameron’s confusion over Tory marriage tax plans

It can be hard pre-launching an election campaign, can’t it? Here’s the PoliticsHome rolling news front page from today:

At 3.04 pm, the site reported:

David Cameron said he could not guarantee a Conservative government would be able to offer a tax break to married couples, despite having personally supported such a move. “It’s something within a parliament I would definitely hope to do,” he said, but insisted the state of the public finances prevented him from offering any guarantee. “We’re not able to give people absolute certainty

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