Thursday, September 19, 2013

The marriage tax break embarrasment 

OK we LibDems have got something we want - more funding to support families with children in their earlier years.  The price to pay for us is our MPs having to support the Tory dream of a 'Marriage Tax Break'.

Time to prepare for the justifiable derision about to be unloaded on that proposal.

Back in the 2010 Election J.K.Rowling delivered a withering analysis of the small tax break idea which will no doubt be repeated gleefully shortly.

How can we help our MPs deal with the nose-holding they will have to do under Coalition duties?

Rowling said:

"Maybe you know people who would legally bind themselves to another human being, for life, for an extra £150 a year? Perhaps you were contemplating leaving a loveless or abusive marriage, but underwent a change of heart on hearing about a possible £150 tax break? Anything is possible; but somehow, I doubt it. Even Mr Cameron seems to admit that he is offering nothing more than a token gesture when he tells us "it's not the money, it's the message. 
Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say "it's not the money, it's the message". When your flat has been broken into, and you cannot afford a locksmith, it is the money. When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money. If Mr Cameron's only practical advice to women living in poverty, the sole carers of their children, is "get married, and we'll give you £150", he reveals himself to be completely ignorant of their true situation. 
Half a billion pounds, to send a message - would it not be more cost-effective, more personal to send all the lower-income married people flowers?"


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