Further Tory u-turn on marriage tax

The Conservatives have announced a u-turn on marriage tax. They now appear to discriminate against couples without children, including many civil partnerships.

The Conservative party’s increasingly discredited plans to reward marriage in the tax system now appear to discriminate against couples without children, including many civil partnerships.

The Daily Mail this morning followed up Paul Waugh‘s exclusive yesterday:

“But former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the plan would only cost £600million a year if initially limited to married couples with children under three, who are most likely to take time off to care for children.

“He said yesterday: ‘It’s absolutely affordable and it’s right. David Cameron has said so to me in private.”

The new position is a direct contradiction remarks made by the Tory leader in an interview with the Daily Mail in December:

“Mr Cameron told the Daily Mail that ‘celebrating’ and ‘encouraging’ marriage was the norm in most European countries and a Tory government would follow suit by changing the tax system.

“He dismissed speculation that the Conservatives might limit their long-standing commitment to support marriage to couples with children, or those on low incomes.

“All those who tie the knot or enter a civil partnership would qualify, he insisted.”

Restricting the marriage tax break to couples would cost considerably more than the £600 million estimated by Iain Duncan Smith. Since IDS touted the policy in 2007, tax allowances have risen. Treasury estimates of the cost of the policy put the figure at £4.9 billion, over 50 per cent higher than Duncan Smith’s own estimate of £3.2 billion. A similar uprating would place the true cost of the new policy at over £900 million.

Jonathan Finney, Head of External Affairs at Stonewall, the gay rights pressure group told Left Foot Forward:

“We’d expect Mr Cameron to honour his publicly-stated pledge to treat civil partners on an equal footing to married couples for the purpose of any future tax breaks, however they might be introduced.”

Meanwhile, a grassroots campaign on facebook has called for civil disobedience if the Tories bring in a policy. The ‘Marriage tax breaks – no thanks Dave‘ group says:

“David Cameron wants to give me and Mrs McG a tax break just because we got hitched. But he won’t give a tax break to our friends who live together, or our mates who got civil partnered…

“Join this group to tell David Cameron to stop being creepy – and if you’re married too, to be alerted when the time is right to hand over your ill-gotten tax break pounds!!”

UPDATE:

An earlier version of this story quoted only the Daily Mail who had not give due credit to Paul Waugh for his exclusive yesterday. Shame on them.

21 Responses to “Further Tory u-turn on marriage tax”

  1. AndyG

    RT @leftfootfwd Further Tory u-turn on marriage tax as policy set to discriminate against childless couples http://bit.ly/7E5HTH

  2. johnhalton

    A good day to bury bad policies: another Tory u-turn on marriage taxes gets missed amid Lab self-immolation. http://3.ly/8yX /ht @nicktheowl

  3. Tom

    RT @tom_watson: Meahnwhile, another Tory U-turn gets missed in all the fuss: http://bit.ly/81PIXY (marriage taxes)

  4. Ama Uzowuru

    RT @KatieCurtis: Meahnwhile, another Tory U-turn gets missed in all the fuss: http://bit.ly/81PIXY (marriage taxes) (via @tom_watson) &l …

  5. Peter Boyle

    RT @tom_watson: Meahnwhile, another Tory U-turn gets missed in all the fuss: http://bit.ly/81PIXY (marriage taxes)

  6. Close, but not close enough … « Joshua Chambers' Political Review

    […] from a strong Prime Minister’s Questions. Left Foot Forwards has also picked up on a further Tory U-turn on marriage policy, which is now completely buried by Labour infighting. It could have been quite a good day for […]

  7. Vino Vethavanam

    RT @tom_watson: Meahnwhile, another Tory U-turn gets missed in all the fuss: http://bit.ly/81PIXY (marriage taxes)

  8. Michael

    The left really are in a pickle here – arguing against that which most people accept is generally… A Good Thing. People will simply scratch their heads and wonder at the frenzied efforts of some on the left to rebuff that which most people recognise as socially beneficial – especially when there is so much else that requires attention.

    Civil disobedience over the recognition of marriage in the tax system – I ask you.

  9. Mary Maguire

    RT @tom_watson: Meahnwhile, another Tory U-turn gets missed in all the fuss: http://bit.ly/81PIXY (marriage taxes)

  10. Bex Bailey

    RT @KatieCurtis: Meahnwhile, another Tory U-turn gets missed in all the fuss: http://bit.ly/81PIXY (marriage taxes) (via @tom_watson) &l …

  11. The progressive blogosphere should ignore the #KerryOut campaign | Political Scrapbook

    […] every day with increasing efficacy: derailing narratives from the right and exposing the Tories with verve and […]

  12. Luciana Berger

    RT @tom_watson: Meahnwhile, another Tory U-turn gets missed in all the fuss: http://bit.ly/81PIXY (marriage taxes)

  13. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by leftfootfwd: Further Tory u-turn on marriage tax as policy set to discriminate against childless couples http://bit.ly/7E5HTH

  14. Josh

    This issue is probably one of the rare occasions I will side with the Left, but for entirely different reasons. Cameron has often stated his opposition to social engineering, yet trying to prioritise a specific social arrangement is blatant social engineering. The Left only oppose it because they are afraid of a stable family unit, because they like to get individuals addicted to the state, and a weaker family unit means it is harder to wean people of their dependence. The Left shouldn’t have no problem with marriage tax breaks however, as they are very favourable towards social engineering. As I said, you guys only oppose it because the family is one of the first lines of defence against an oppressive state.

    Hayekian Josh*

    *Friedrich, not Salma

  15. Tory NHS aims downgraded as midwives praise Government on maternity care | Left Foot Forward

    […] David Cameron’s u-turn yesterday on marriage taxes, reported by Left Foot Forward, holes have begun to emerge in the Conservative party’s draft NHS […]

  16. Look Left – The Week in Fast Forward | Left Foot Forward

    […] Forward has reported, the Conservatives this week u-turned on Educational Maintenance Allowances, marriage tax and scrapping NHS targets, with the Independent today revealing further volte-faces on extra prison […]

  17. More evidence of the public's dislike of disunity | Left Foot Forward

    […] the Tories’ marriage tax plans – which Left Foot Forward examined last week – 57 per cent of the public think it “would be unfair” for government […]

  18. Will Straw

    RT @AndrewSparrow: How Cam could 'recognise' marriage for £600m <– CSJ's estimates do not include tax credit uprating http://bit.ly/7E5HTH

  19. Thomas Byrne

    What really confuses me is how those on the so called left rail against marriage, but then go on to support things like universal child benefit.

    http://byrnetofferings.co.uk/2010/01/universal-institutions/

  20. Will Straw

    Thomas – we’re not against marriage; we’re against daft policies that will do nothing but transfer money from poor to rich.

  21. Thomas Byrne

    You mean exactly like universal child benefit?

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