Friday, 27 September 2013

David Cameron wants to award the wrong sort of married couple

One thing I've learnt from looking through my family history is that even when there was the so-called married for life example that David Cameron so insists on not all families fit into the model he is advocating for a tax break. Not every family is quite so clear cut as he makes out.

Indeed I don't have to go all that far back to find a family that doesn't fit into the remit of one breadwinner and one stay at home parent. My paternal grandmother was widowed with children of 14 and 9, she never remarried but went out to become the breadwinner and went without much that others took for granted. Both my paternal great grandfathers were widowed one with seven surviving children under 16, the other with two, both remarried and produced even more children.

But the fact that the prime minster wants to "send a signal" that marriage is better than any other type of relationship ignores those that have no choice:
  • Those who are widowed
  • Those whose partners are abusive and flee with the children
  • Those who are single parent families because one of the partners doesn't want that "better type" of relationship (or any relationship) when it brings them children
  •  families where even this tax break isn't enough to encourage one partner not to work as they need to make ends meet
  • families where neither parent is able to find work
It may only apply to one third of all married couples, but as I pointed out it is not necessarily the married couples with families that need such support, especially not when the caveat is that one of the parents is a stay at home parent. My own mother went back to work part time when I was 8 and my brother 6, and full time 3 years later as the family couldn't continue to maintain the Edwardian ideal of the mother staying at home.

Times have moved on and it is time that out tax code recognised that, not take a step back into the past.

See also check out the Don't Judge My Family website

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