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Should married couples get a tax break?

22:12 UK time, Friday, 9 April 2010

The Conservatives are proposing to give four million married couples and civil partners on low and middle incomes an annual £150 tax break. What is your reaction?

The tax break, designed by the Tories to be a "symbol" that marriage is supported by the tax system, would apply to basic rate taxpayers earning under £44,000 where one partner doesn't use their full personal allowance.

Labour have previously said that all forms of stable and loving relationships should be equally recognised while the Lib Dems have suggested a married couples' tax break would be "immensely unfair" and amount to a bribe.

How important is this issue? How would the proposed tax break affect you? Do you have a personal experience to share?

What would you do if you were prime minister?

Comments

Page 1 of 18

  • Comment number 1.

    Should married couples get a tax break? Absolutely, it's moral correct and just. Labour have created a society where unstable relationships resulting in single parents trying to bring up a family. Reward success, not failure.

  • Comment number 2.

    In our day and age i'd say mortgages are more important than marriages. Whilst the tories may have good intentions, I fear they are living in the past if they think a majority of people find this appealing.

  • Comment number 3.

    So someone who hasn't been lucky in love or a couple who choose not to get married are worth less? Does marginalizing groups for no good reason help with social cohesion? Maybe they hope that a few years down the line all the outsiders will die out because they didn't get the tax break.

  • Comment number 4.

    My opposition to this policy is not because i'm against married couples but we have a DEFEICT of 170 billion. How can we afford to give businesses and married couples tax breaks.

    The money for this is mean't to be from taxing banks which are businesses I thought the conservatives were against taxing businesses especially those which create the largest portion of GDP of any industry.

    if the conservatives were really for supporting marriages then why not spend the money on support services e.g. council ling which will reduce the number of break ups over small things which has just escalated.

    another pre election bribe by the tories im afraid in my opinion

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm married, so of course I am going to say yes. Its about time we got *something* back from UK Government PLC, whoever is running it.

  • Comment number 6.

    I dont see why, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg can complain about rewarding marriage in the tax system, not only do they themselves obviously support the marriage tradition, by being married themselves, along with Darling, Harman, Balls, Cable Huhne, the majority of ministers and Parliamentary Mp's. In fact many of the MP's have gained much from the public purse by being married and employing their spouses as part of their parliamentary staff.

  • Comment number 7.

    Another load of Tory moral-meddling nonsense. The Lib Dems are right, this is patronising. It reminds me of previous hokey and ultimately hypocritical Tory moral crusades as well, and that's the kind of thing that makes me dislike the Tory party.

  • Comment number 8.

    What on earth for? Someone's relationship status is none of the government's business.

  • Comment number 9.

    The government seem to have got this idea that they are supposed to tell us how to live, this is incorrect.

    No, tax should be as straight, simple and clear as possible, and marriage or lack of it is no business of the government.

    They are there to facilitate what the public desires, within limits; not to use punitive taxation to 'encourage' us to follow whatever style of life Harriet might prefer.

  • Comment number 10.

    I may be getting this wrong, please correct me if so. I have been with my partner (husband but just not got round to getting married) for over 20 years. Why am I different from anybody else? Is my relationship less valid than a civil partnership which has been valid for 2 years? Why should a civil partnership or a marriage of less a term be rewarded rather than my partnership.

    Am I reading this wrong?

  • Comment number 11.

    I'd feel a bit less silly if 'Harriet' were read as 'just about every politician' in my previous post, since it's a Tory idea, but it's a rotten idea and always was divisive.

  • Comment number 12.

    Another of the Tory's ill thought out gimmicks. They talk alot and don't say anything, then when they finally say something it is complete rubbish! Firstly, why are single people being penalised with the tax breaks only being available to married couples? We are in a situation of MASS debt, the big debate is how to reduce our debt, and the Tories want to give tax breaks to married couples?!!! Just back up my opinion that the Tories haven't got a clue.

  • Comment number 13.

    Why is it that only married couples and civil partnerships to benefit from the Conservatives tax break. If this idea does not divide the country, I do not know what will!! Also since the number of marriages of the indigenous people will be out numbered by the immigrants e.g. the goans, muslims, hindus, jews, polish, Italians and so on, the taxpayers money will only line the pockets of the few. Also why does the hard working single person always left out of any tax breaks and the same can be said about the pensioners. The Conservatives are barking up the wrong tree with this proposal. If they really want to get elected, then they should consider the raising of the personal allowance so that people earning below the national wage would pay little or no tax. Also the personal allowance of pensioners should be raised so that pensioners on small pensioners will not pay tax, thus helping them out of the poverty trap. Of course this will also benefit the treasury, because less benefits will need to be paid out in the form of pension credit etc. The government are quick enough to adopt the Australians points system to control immigration, why not also adopt their system whereby pensioners are not taxed on their savings. When you boil it all down, no matter which political party forms the next government, we as a nation are screwed and all the so called promises made during the election period will be broken. Can anyone else remember the promise made to the nation by the present government, that we will be given a referendum/say on the European treaty? I wondered if I fell asleep and missed my chance to vote in the fanthom referendum, because the treaty was ratified without us Brits having a say - long live democracy as seen through the eyes of Labour!!!

  • Comment number 14.

    Presumably this is to encourage people to get, or stay, married as part of the conservatives drive to bring back the family unit.

    What about single parents or widowers? Not all marriages succeed and not all single parents are bad parents!

  • Comment number 15.

    Married couples should get a tax break, if the unmarried people want a tax break - get married !

  • Comment number 16.

    This wont 'encourage' marriage, it's naive to think anyone would get married for £150 a year. Whether this tax plan comes in to effect, the only people to marry will be the people who would've married regardless of tax proposals.

    On that basis, I don't think it would amount to a bribe, but it would be unfair. How does being married create a need for financial support? Tax breaks should go to the people who have trouble with earning money, such as those with children.

    This is social engineering. Which is odd, in my opinion, as I have already said - £150 a year wont enourage anymore marriage, and the Conservatives shouldn't need to spend a penny to say they support marriage.

  • Comment number 17.

    Such a policy is not an indication of the awarenees of the dynamics in our society. It is more of an indication of someone who lives in an ideal world where childen are brought up with both parents.

    Secondly how long will these tax breaks last. Are they sustainable, if so,for how long?

    This sounds more like a campaign gimmick. Apolicy that is void of any sustainablity,introduced for the short term.
    I want a sustainable solution to the national fiscus.

  • Comment number 18.

    Just more discrimination against single people.



  • Comment number 19.

    Obviously designed to buy the votes of the religiously challenged.

    If the Tory leadership really believed the teaching of the Christian Church, they would be wanting to do something to help children being brought up in unfavourable circumstances, not offering a reward to the goody goodies who have managed to get married.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm not a natural Tory voter.

    I am a married man with 3 kids who is (virtually) the sole earner in my household.

    The total household income is about £60k.

    Transferable tax allowance for couples with children (I don't care if they are married as long as they aren't claiming discounts/benefits for being single and they are living in the same house) was the one thing that would have made me vote against my anti-Thatcher principles (I can't help having lived through the '80's), because I could see benefit for my kids.

    This policy is a sop and most of the people who would (potentially) benefit won't even tune in to the debate.

    As for anyone who thinks that £150 is a reason to get married or stay married; they have a disfunctional relationship with reality.

    Paahh.

  • Comment number 21.

    Why can't taxation fall under Human rights law?
    Why should someones love life dictate how much tax they pay? Imagine having to pay more at your supermarket because you're single.
    And do you honestly believe it will stop there?
    I think single householders can kiss goodbye to the 25% rebate on their council tax.
    As for me, my other half died seven years ago, so I lost the opportunity to get married or civil partnered. Is there anything else the conservative party wants to batter widows/widowers with?

  • Comment number 22.

    Here we go again,tax breaks for married couples!! Why don't they say we will stop sending aid to China, Pakistan, India - all nuclear states. What about immigration, crime, public transport. I will not take a £3 a week bribe. They really have lost the plot. Confine them all to the waste basket and let us have "other" parties elected instead.

  • Comment number 23.

    As someone whom will probably get married in the next couple of years and is likely to vote Tory, what is on offer here is nothing short of a joke. If the Tories were serious about marriage, the offer would be more generous. However, it appears that they are not, probably because it is a disconnect with the younger voter, which in this case is probably voters under the age of 50, especially if they have been part of unmarried or single families.

    If the offer was 10 times greater, then the situation might be different; but we can't afford that. Therefore, the Tories should drop this offer and use the money on something sensible; paying down government debt?

    Time moves on...

    They say a "week is a long time in politics", perhaps what should be said is "a week is a heartbeat for political parties"; in the fact that some of them stubbornly refuse to change in the light of evidence that society has changed around them.

  • Comment number 24.

    Rather than rewarding people for signing a meangingless female-biased contract that will likely be broken in future, they should be cutting spending on unfit parents. I'm single, I have no intention of marrying and feeding the overpopulation problem which the BBC seem to want to ignore and yet the tories seem to think I am some immoral leech on society. My vote is probably going to the lib dems who seem to be consistently the one party that doesn't try to pander to demographics but rather acts in the interest of the country.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    The idea that married people are morally superior to the unmarried is obviously a joke or perhaps a belated April Fool. Cameron is having a laff.

  • Comment number 27.

    What about single, child free by choice people on lower incomes? Don't we deserve any breaks?

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    This is an example of Conservatism with a big C. I wonder what the purpose or philosophy behind this proposed tax break is. Is it to say to us all 'hark at this wonderful married couple and how they contribute to a pure and civilised society, compared to all those dreadful divorcees who've gone and let the side down, what"? I am a divorced single working mother. I consider my school age daughter and myself to be a "family", albeit not a conventional one. In fact I am worse off in terms of financial pressure than if I was married, as I cannot fall back on a partner during rocky times to help me support my daughter and keep a roof over her head (I don't receive maintenance as I've always been the main breadwinner). Despite having worked hard to support my family and pay my taxes, the Tories appear to deem me unworthy of the recognition they propose to give married couples. If a Tory comes canvassing at my door, I will ask them why. It is not the money so much, as the principle, and what it says about the Tory mindset. After all, how many unhappy couples are going to change their minds and decide they love each other after all, rather than lose £150 a year? I must say I am surprised at David Cameron, I would like to have the opportunity to ask him if he truly believes there is a "wrong kind of family". And where is this extra money coming from. By increasing the taxes of the undeserving lot I imagine.

  • Comment number 30.

    19. At 00:15am on 10 Apr 2010, stanblogger wrote:

    "Obviously designed to buy the votes of the religiously challenged."

    I couldn't agree more.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Marriage is not an essence to good family life. Responsibility, understanding, love, respect etc makes good family life. £150 is not worth the marriage if non of these exist. I feel that Tory leader fails to understand the real needs of the people in these income group.

  • Comment number 33.

    Yes we should get a tax break but the plans will only benefit those where one partner doesn't work. As usual the hardworking majority will miss out. Chance missed Tories.

  • Comment number 34.

    kitekat76 wrote:

    What about single, child free by choice people on lower incomes? Don't we deserve any breaks?

    You're already getting the breaks dear heart by not having to pay to bring up a child.

  • Comment number 35.

    ************************************
    4. At 11:32pm on 09 Apr 2010, Moses's-super-white-army wrote:
    My opposition to this policy is not because i'm against married couples but we have a DEFEICT of 170 billion. How can we afford to give businesses and married couples tax breaks.

    The money for this is mean't to be from taxing banks which are businesses I thought the conservatives were against taxing businesses especially those which create the largest portion of GDP of any industry.

    if the conservatives were really for supporting marriages then why not spend the money on support services e.g. council ling which will reduce the number of break ups over small things which has just escalated.

    another pre election bribe by the tories im afraid in my opinion
    **********************************************************
    Counciling whats that going to cost $$$$$ ! Nany state again... jeeezzzz
    Shouldn't cost anymore if;
    the tories could do what 'Buster Brown' does.
    Take off one (army of deliberate single mums) and distribute to another (married couples).
    Just like he does with car tax. Takes off low Co2 vehicles and hammers higher ones. (Thought road tax was for fixing the roads anyway ?)
    Stop all benefits and free housing for new single mums and watch the pregnancy rates plummet. ( Money saved could buy an aircraft carrier or two)
    Makes perfect sense to me.
    Also sends a message you don't reward deliberate bad behavior.

  • Comment number 36.

    No, absolutely not. What a ridiculous policy. It's stupid policies like this which will make the Conservatives unelectable.

    Give tax breaks to pensioners as they are more deserving.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think this is completely judgemental of single parents, which I am one. My ex lives abroad, never having paid a penny maintainence, but I am much better off mentally without him and the chilren are more balanced.
    If a marriage is not working for one reason or another, the tensions are being picked up by the children. The chances are they will, in the long run, have worse problems mentally to deal with.
    I agree with a lot of the policies David Cameron has, but this is a definite against as far as I am concerned. It is easy to say that most children that offend are from broken homes, but it is also true that children of politicians also commit offences whether it be drug, driving, drink etc and they are from allegedly married and stable relationships.
    Why should divorced parents, like myself be penalised??

  • Comment number 38.

    In the words of that old bloke - "I don't believe it!"
    These are the kind of stories that are circulated at these times by the lie machines employed by each of the political parties. If any aspect of it comes to light, I expect that like so many great-sounding schemes pontificated by all parties in the past, it will involve a minute percentage of married couples who can claim. The rest of us will continue to be screwed by whichever of them gets in.

  • Comment number 39.

    The tories just lost my vote! I'm young, free and single, thank you, and plan to remain so for the foreseeable future, so why I should pay for someone else to get married is beyond me!

    Kinda makes you wonder if they're trying to lose the election to the lib dems on purpose...

  • Comment number 40.

    What a complete and utter crock !

    Do the conservatives think votes can be bought for £150 ?

    Look people let's face facts

    1. This country owes billions in debt which need to be repaid.
    2. We all know that it is US that will have to pay the majority of it.
    3. Whatever is given to us in tax breaks will be taken back elsewhere.

    This entire election is based on which party will actually be honest and tell us how much more we will have to pay. That's it !! no gimmicks, no lies just the truth.

    The debt cannot be repaid any other way, we are all going to have less money in our pockets after the election.

    Any party can make cuts, any party can stop waste but at the end of the day WE the public will foot the biggest part of the debt because cuts and waste cannot pay the debt by itself.

    In my personal opinion the only truth I have heard to date is Labours National Insurance increase, up front and honest... nothing hidden. I have not heard any more truths yet from labour,conservative or liberal.

    Come on !! did you expect to pay nothing towards the debt ? If the increase in NI is not to your liking which tax would you like to have increased, income tax perhaps ?, VAT ?

    Either way people YOU WILL PAY. so who do you believe ??

  • Comment number 41.

    Why should relationship status be tied to tax and finances? This is just giving even more incentive for people to have "fake" marriages (first it was to help illegal immigrants, now people will just be doing it so they don't have to pay as much tax!).

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm married. I'm Christian and I think marriage is a good thing. I think it promotes stability in society and encourages better family life.

    I also think this tax bung is wrong at this time. The public finances are in a difficult state. Job losses are being mooted. I simply cannot, as a Christian, accept a tax bung for simply doing what I think is right and beneficial for my son knowing that the cost of it is somebody's job. No - that's not "Christian" morality or any other kind.

  • Comment number 43.

    So because I live on my own, and am not married, I am somehow less worthy than someone who is married? Why, exactly, is that fair and moral? And why should a couple who've lived together for 20 years, brought up two children and never once split up be viewed as less worthy than a married couple who are in the same situation?

    Marriage is not always the answer, and if the Tories think it is, they are stuck in the 18th century and have no idea what the modern world entails.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hey it's not all bad, atleast the green card marriages might have more benefit eh?

  • Comment number 45.

    I am 35 years old, single, have a good job in the private sector and am not married! I look at all the options when it comes to voting but the Conservatives have just lost my vote! I have been a cash cow under this Labour goverment for years and now I am not good enough to get a piece of the cake on offer from the Tory's as I dont have the morals they aspire to. The Lib Dems will get my vote unless I see changes from this bankrupt goverment or the mindless opposition.

  • Comment number 46.

    "At 01:02am on 10 Apr 2010, Il Pirata wrote:

    You're already getting the breaks dear heart by not having to pay to bring up a child."

    So this bribe the Tories are offering wouldn't apply to married people who don't have kids? Because there is NO indication that that would be the case, either in the description above or the article it mentions.

    It's just a married allowance - not a parental/married allowance.

  • Comment number 47.

    Why do you have to be married to be given a tax break? That's discrimination.Marriage is based on religion which is dyeing out.
    Tax should be decided on how much you earn.The more you earn the higher the tax should be.


  • Comment number 48.

    Well said 27.

    I've been with my partner for ten years, have no children and have one income to the household.

    Anything coming our way? If there is we'll probably have to have a cavity search to prove we are entitled, while junkies, alcoholics and people faking disability get benefits handed out with little scrutiny.

    Fix it folks or get ready for a brain and skills drain.

  • Comment number 49.

    ...hahahahaha ooohH my eyes even water ooohhHH
    kekekekekekooh...gosh ....good lord save us
    boom boom...i cant help it but slap my leg
    hehehehehehehe...oh David...Bless him!!Hmmmmm.
    you mean educated men in touch sat down and came up
    with this...clap clap clap clap...Hhmmm.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    Does this mean that a married Tory MP with a mistress would get a tax break but an unmarried Tory MP in a stable relationship would not get a tax break?

  • Comment number 52.

    Why should married couples have special provileges? What about those that haven't found the someone? Are they less of a person? What about those that don't believe in marriage?

  • Comment number 53.

    On a similar theme to No 50 above

    Average cost of UK wedding is apparently £11.000

    £11,000 / £150 = over 73 years

    You'd be exceptionally lucky to break even unless you married at 16. Maybe it's all a cunning plan to reduce the number of teenage single mums by 'the moral majority' in the Con Party. Get them all married young before they have chance to get pregnant.

    Ill thought out tokenism is becoming a familiar theme from Mr Osborne and 'call me Dave' when will these man demonstrate they have any grip on reality and stop trying to score headlines with stupid frippery that is of no real consequence.

  • Comment number 54.

    Its a no brainer. Of course married couples should get preferenctial tax breaks.

    Since government likes to see taxation a both stick and carrot to push through social engineering objectives its seems pretty clear that both parties have progressively attacked the family in order to atomise society to make it pliable.

    People should wake up to the fact, however "modern" their outlook, that the family unit was, is and always shall be the primary unit within which humans thrive best. That being the case we should promote it not undermine it as have for the last half century.

    One thing is for sure the message sent out by all parties, that the family unit is of equal merit to other lifestyles, is either myopic or wilfully destructful of ordinary human beings to make them isolated, selfish production/consumer units. Its certainly not progress.

  • Comment number 55.

    This is just electoral posturing (they are all doing it). A major blue chip company I used to work for as a student in 1983 gave me a “dinner for two award” of £50. Translate that to today £ and using the RPI that’s now £126 or if we go for a share of GDP then £235. So the tories are saying a meal for two per year at a good restaurant will influence partnerships – What a load of old $£*>%. Come on, look at the BILLIONS spent, and this is 0.5% or less – compare with lost tax by companies and tax avoiders. But the Tax system is a joke and NI (National Insurance) even more so, when someone loses their job and income falls to benefit level it can destroy things, It used to be unemployment was income based and that dropped off over time – the last conservative government took this away and made NI a total tax., they also removed the link from pensions to income. And in case you think I’m a lefty well - ID cards, NHS data, Gordon Browns rob on pensions that was the end of most final salary pension schemes. And lib dems - we know that will not happen.

    VOTE FOR: NONE OF THE ABOVE
    Spoil your paper on polling day. A vote makes no difference you say, WRONG, it does. If everyone who did not vote voted spoiled their paper then NONE OF THE ABOVE would have more votes than any party.
    But yo

  • Comment number 56.

    My pension is £7000 p.a. What tax break am I getting? Couples bring in twice the income, I am single and unlikely at the age of 55 to marry. i'm sick to the eye teeth of being marginalized and ignored. I am voting Green.

  • Comment number 57.

    Ive been married 18 years and been very happy i have close friends who are in relationships who have been together 10 years or more but arnt married does this mean my relationship is better and worth more than theres I dont think so if married couples get a tax break then so should other couples either married living together gay or straight being a couple and happy is the most important thing

  • Comment number 58.

    Get real, we are talking about £150 a year!! How much diffence is that going to make to peoples lives when a tank of petrol is £50 for a small car!!!
    Hardly think it will make people formalise a relatioship.

  • Comment number 59.

    As predicted there are more than a few bitter singles grumbling about this. Read the story singletons and realise that it is merely the transference of tax allowance from one partner to another. At teh end of the day everyone is getting the same tax break.
    While you are at it you might also contemplate that your anger problems may be contrubuting to your relationship status.

  • Comment number 60.

    £150 is a derisory amount. I am married and happily so. But I would rather see less benefits for skivers than this paltry suggestion for married couples. I had hoped the conservatives might come up with something really worth having for marriage but £150 is a tiny tiny amount.

  • Comment number 61.

    I am single but agree that married couple should get tax breaks BUT only for one partner. Unfortunately the benefit system recognises bigamous marriages at present with certain groups whose religion allow multiple marriage, even when one partner isn't living in this country. It should be just for those with one partner, either from a civil or religious marriage.

  • Comment number 62.

    I am happy to see the move towards supporting long term commitment between couples and it is right that the government should have a desire to support this. We often talk of British values but from my recent visit I see that most of them have been eroded away. That was not the fault of immigrants but the British themselves. They stood by while the values were removed one by one. Consider the current problem where you may not be allowed to pick up your friends children after school without being a registered child-minder. Picking the kids after school was a British value for as long as I can remember. If things have reached such a state where this is no longer possible then things have indeed become bad.

    I would hope that the Tories would also examine the problem of long term married couples who are separated by the UK Border Agency by its decision not to allow automatic right of entry to wives of British citizens.

  • Comment number 63.

    This is religion-based dogma that has no place in politics. The Tories are living in the stone ages.

  • Comment number 64.

    Simply 'yes'. Anyone can see that our social fabric is breaking down. Responsibility has become lost in our rush to give people 'rights' Anything that helps, even in a small way, to redress this balance is good. After 13 failed years of New Labour, we will all have to take on more responsibility, marriage being one we all are aware of. This is just the start!!

  • Comment number 65.

    How about families, that is married heterosexual couples, being able to pass any personal allowance that is left to the main earner this would have more effect on the standard of living of couples, especially with children where one person is unable to work fully die to child care considerations, than messing arround with other allowances. More electioneering by the Tories tinkering arround the edges instead of dealing with the main problem in this country which is mass imigration from the EU.

  • Comment number 66.

    People on low and fixed low incomes should get a tax break period.

    More stupidity and tiresome old hat from the land of hisTories.

  • Comment number 67.

    #1 Toad in the Hole

    "Reward success, not failure."

    So I guess that means rewarding a single, unmarried person rather than a remarried divorcee with children? Oh where does one end with such dogma?

  • Comment number 68.

    The bribe isn't really enough to force unhappily married couples to stay together, nor encourage people to get married.

    There are couples who are unmarried who provide their children with a stable and happy upbringing. There are married couples who provide their children with a lot less.

    Personally, I don't see that one is better than the other. Wedding rings don't necessarily mean a happier and healthier family.

  • Comment number 69.

    This is a great move in rebuilding Britain. trying to bring some stability after the mess Labour has made.

  • Comment number 70.

    Tax breaks for couples, I have no concerns about. However, with this should come responsibility, such as raising the children, if any, decently. The case where a couple were jailed for allowing their daughter to die, in squalor, is a prime example of where the State should take action. We were paying these people thousands of pounds to look after this kid, and they failed to do so. There should be sterilisation in cases like this, voluntary or otherwise.

  • Comment number 71.

    You should not need bribes to get married, that is not a very good start to any relationship.
    Whether a tax break is given really depends upon where the money comes from. Probably VAT if I know the tories, so we'll just end up worse off in the long run

  • Comment number 72.

    No. It is an absurd politics of posture.

    Those who would suggest that somehow the "breakdown of marriage" -- an empty notion, if ever there was one -- is somehow the creation of the Labour Party have not spent very long reading history.

    And £150? I would rather the government took my £12.50 a month and invested it in meaningful improvements to the infra-structure, specifically the NHS and education -- not police, war, or any of the other enormous and needless drains on the exchequer.

    Is anyone even talking about the cost of the war and the savings that would be brought about by ending it?

    MysteryTramp.

  • Comment number 73.

    This is cynical conservative claptrap from which hardly anyone will benefit since the vast majority of couples work and have a joint income of more than £44k. For those who do qualify, £3 per week is pretty derisory.

  • Comment number 74.

    Badly played Mr David Cameron! You are showing how out of touch you are with the UK population. I was firm Tory till i read this headline this morning.

    Where I am, in the highly overpriced property market of the South-East, for the majority of couples that I know, both Wife and Husband have to work to support a burdensome mortgage on a very modest property, plus raise children. Therefore, both husband and wife are BOTH already using their tax allowance, and will gain NOTHING from this proposal.

    This policy, like NI, is just minor TINKERING with the tax system, and represents no real change, and of limited interest to the majority.

    When will the parties STOP talking about tax cuts, and get serious about talking how they are going to tax more to get Gordon's deficit cut. Also, is any party going to tackle immigration which is getting out of control... why does my consituency need 10,000 homes built by 2025, if the indigenous birth rate is so low?

    Seriously considering Liberal now. I am aghast at this thought, but it is steadily becoming the only sensible option. Only other option is emigrating, and adding to the brain-drain and remove another high-band tax payer from the UK.

    Mr Cameron, 12 months ago this election was yours to lose, well done on going in that direction.

  • Comment number 75.

    In the 80's we were advised to buy property & shares to feed the economy. As a result both parents had to work. This meant that we stopped looking after the extended family and dumped our old folk into Old People's homes. Our kids were dumped into childcare. Therefore the 'family' system was no more. The extra stress meant that more & more married couples had no quality time and divorce/seperation rates soared.
    It's too little ,too late David!!

  • Comment number 76.

    3 quid a week? The Tories are living in the past! It may have made some sense 40 years ago, couple get married, wife stays at home to bring up the children and have husband's tea on the table when he comes in. We live in a different world now. Oh! and can the HMRC IT systems cope with this? The same system that will have its contract "renegotiated" the same organisation that will have its staff reduced (Sorry staff "freezes" on recruitment). Shouldn't be a problem, computer experts go off to highly paid jobs in the private sector, just move some admin staff, who are doing "useless" jobs over to replace the experts. Simple. The reality is if the experts move out then they will have to be replaced by highly expensive temp workers. It will keep the permanenent headcount down but the wage bill will increase significantly. Tory economics? Dont make me laugh!

  • Comment number 77.

    So... what about those of us who want to be married but cant afford to and dont have the luxury of mummy and daddy to pay!

  • Comment number 78.

    Our Christian society is based on moral principle and support of institutions such as marriage and whilst the liberals and labour party defragment and dilute our society with spin doctoring and immoral issues it pleases me to see that at least one party supports good solid family moral principles.

    In the not so distant past we had a seperate tax rebate for married couples which was a fair system. However, that was removed and the money has been frittered away on supporting non family core values. Yes I am married and obviuosly believe in the strong christian principles that I have been brought up with in the UK from a strong familiy tradition. However, my wife and I are do not have children and would question the validity in argment to those that oppose giving married couples a tax break why should both of us who have worked and paid into the system be penalised for not having children whilst both married and unmarrie dcouples whether married divorced or just single get benefit of a failing system?

  • Comment number 79.

    No they should not. It is extremely unfair to other taxpayers. Everybody should be treated on an equal basis.

  • Comment number 80.

    I hardly think £150 a year is a good reason to stay together in a loveless and/or abusive relationship. The impact on the children can be more costly that the break-up. Despite common belief children actually cope very well with break-ups, far better than in a "dead" marriage.
    The money would be better spent paying off the national debt.

  • Comment number 81.

    One hundred & fifty pounds is barely enough to cover the cost of the first hour of consultation with a divorce lawyer.

    Besides, my wife is worth much more than 50 pence per day; according to my fiscal policy, she's worth at least 67p & that's not including all the work done organising laundry, cleaning the house & making trips to the shops for groceries & cat food.

    And she gets a bonus at the end of the week if she feels unseasonably frisky.

  • Comment number 82.

    Excellent idea.. If only to register he principle that a COMMITTED loving partnership is historically proven to be essential for a Health nation.
    Without a good Family Foundation , children find it difficult to build their lives.
    Reinforcing marriage and separating it for other forms of sexual bonding contracts is a statement ,just how important a stable family unit is.
    History shows regardless of nation that most traitors ,spies and trouble makers are not family or nation builders ,but nation and family wreckers..
    In bringing back family Values ,the nation's pride and industry will follow .
    It's not the tax break it's more about getting back on the track of national well being..
    Marriage makes a responsible nation builder a future for the Nation's children .
    What other relationship can achieve that

  • Comment number 83.

    Another kick in the teeth for those of us who choose not to go through the pantomime of marriage. Me and my lovely partener have been together for more than 30 years, which makes our relationship much more the bedrock of society than most here-today, gone-tomorrow marriages, and what recognition do we get? Well, we get to subsidise tax breaks for everyone else, and that's it.
    No party that proposes this kind of discriminatory, reactionary policy is going to get my vote, and nor will any politician who blithers on about "hard-working families", as if that's the only kind of social unit that matters.

  • Comment number 84.

    This mad policy just shows how backward thinking Cameron is. I am married and have been for nearly 30 years but to stigmatise those that do not want or believe in a marriage certificate is lunacy. The divorce rate is so high it makes marriage irrelevant in today's society.

    This is a knee jerk vote grasping policy from a party sliding in the polls.
    Cameron and his school chums will be a disaster for this country if they were ever to govern this country.

  • Comment number 85.

    We do not live in the 1960's anymore. The labour goverment have been taking from the married couple to give to the "minoritys" for 12 years maybe it's about time that changed and people who follow Britains traditions like going to work only having a few children paying their tax, perhaps they deserve the rewards of the tax system instead of immigrants drug addicts and those "choose not to work!" why should the taxpayer have to support these people and be critised when a scheme to reward them is metioned? Our goverment needs to get a grip on who there priorites should be. Tom S    

  • Comment number 86.

    What about single, childless people? Without a combined income, living can be tough. Have you ever tried grocery shopping for one person? Give these people a break for once!

    (I am not single, but have been!!)

  • Comment number 87.

    As a single individual, this type of proposal infuriates me. It is punitive and discriminatory. David Cameron smugly talks of family values and assumes that only those that are married are part of a family. No Mr Cameron...I may be single and child free but I remain part of a family. Are you going to 'reward' me for working all my life? Are you going to 'reward' me for not being a burden on you or society, for paying my taxes so others can be gifted at my expense? I think not! How about a tax break for those that have worked constantly, 6 months paid leave to do something special (just to cover maternity/paternity leave) But no, as usual we become the prayed upon. Will I vote for you? Never!

  • Comment number 88.

    Yes of course they should, but better still give the politicians a break - preferably the neck.

  • Comment number 89.

    Although I agree that encouraging traditional values is a good thing I'm not sure that this is a sensible way to go about it.

    I'm afraid this is just political posturing with little real value. As usual the major Parties are tinkering around the edges and not dealing with the real issues :-

    We're broke and need to sort the mess out...

    Our traditions, heritage and culture are being eroded by policical correctness.

    Our borders leak like a seive.

    We still waste billions on wars in places where we have no right to be.

    Our benefit system is over-complex and abused by millions while not providing support for those who deserve it.

    We pander to the every whim of the EU without question.

    THESE are the issues Mr Cameron, please tell us what you intend to do about the above...

  • Comment number 90.

    What a good idea! I'm married myself, so it would help. It makes a change that married people are singled out for something positive & good. Usually its those who are single & pregnant who get money given to them.

  • Comment number 91.

    So where exactly is the money coming from to bribe the married section of society?

    I don't believe a word that comes forth from Camorons mouth or any other Tory for that matter, i'm old enough to remember the previous Labour then Tory governbents and i really don't want more of the same.
    People need to wake up and smell the coffee its time for REAL CHANGE and neither the Tories or Nu Labour will deliver it, i don't want a trident replacement and I DON'T WANT AN ID CARD, i do want real electoral change.

  • Comment number 92.

    To all those people who ask why their long unmarried relationship shouldn't get equal treatment: "Get married". How can you prove that you've been in a relationship for so long without a certificate? Do right by your kids if you have some, take your tax break and use it wisely and let all the kids with lots of disposable income pay for your tax break.

    Tory government: Expand the tax break please. All married couples should get a percentage of their wage back and a lot more than £150 please. Finance this by charging extra tax to unmarried people. Maybe then a few more relationships will stay together and we'll get more tax from the children for when we become pensioners. I lived in Germany paying 49% a few years ago. I got married and this dropped to 33%. Bring it over here.

  • Comment number 93.

    Another flip-flop in the Conservative policy. They started the year claiming reducing debt was their no.1 priority and have been going softer on this with every opinion poll.
    We need a party with a backbone to get through this economic crisis, and the Conservative's have none - as soon as the poll's went against them it has been non-stop bribes and giveaways. If this money is spare it should be used to pay off debt.
    The idea is flawed anyway. If someone who would not get married anyway chooses to because of a £150 annual tax break - if that is what makes the difference to them - then it's probably not a great basis for the marriage.
    And the transferance of the allowance is a clear election bribe to stay-at-home Conservative wives. More money for those who can already afford it.

  • Comment number 94.

    Everyone should get a tax break. Fire Goredoom and we might get one in 20 years or so.

  • Comment number 95.

    I am not sure the Conservatives measure will fundamentally change anything, whether it is a good thing or bad.

    What seems to me an injustice that is not addressed is that couples are assessed by the Government for benefits (student support etc) but when it comes to tax, a couple with just one of them earning has only one tax allowance pays more tax on the SAME family income than those who both earn and can use both allowances. Surely the simple thing to do is have a transferable allowance - or forget family income assessments all together.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    This Idea isn't new. Up until I think it was the late 70's there always was a married allowance. I think it was the Tories that scrapped that then. Yes I think we should go back to the age old tradition of tax incentives for the married. How ever in this day and age, will that mean tax breaks for gay marriages as well? Not sure if that is going to be so popular with the religious among us! We will have to see.

  • Comment number 98.

    No no no - absolutely not. Living together is already much cheaper than living on your own. The parties should be offering tax breaks to people who are single and who have no children. These people are the cash-cow of the modern age. Why should I subsidise people who choose to co-habit? I will be voting against this.

  • Comment number 99.

    At present Labour's benefits system actually penalises married couples and rewards couples who divorce or live apart. This will go a small way to redressing the balance. However married couples will still remain worse off.

  • Comment number 100.

    I am presuming that it is hoped that this £150 'gift' per year (or 12.50 per month)will encourage people to get married? What absolute rubbish - all it does is marginalises us single people who, through no fault of our own, have not married.

 

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