Marriage Tax Breaks For Four Million Couples

30 September 2013

David Cameron says four million couples will benefit from the Government's new £1,000 marriage tax allowance.

David Cameron says four million couples will benefit from the Government's new £1,000 marriage tax allowance.

Ahead of the start of the Conservative Party conference, the Prime Minister said the scheme - starting in April 2015 - will be worth up to £200 a year for married couples, including 15,000 in civil partnerships.

They will receive the benefit at the end of the tax year in 2016.

It will work by letting people transfer £1,000 of their personal tax allowance to their spouse or civil partner - an increase on the £750 allowance promised in the Tory manifesto, which would have seen couples gain £150.

The new allowance, which is not available to couples which include a higher rate taxpayer, is aimed at couples where one partner has not used all of their personal allowance or does not work at all.

Bride-to-be Jo Herbert told Sky News at a west London wedding show that she did not think the proposals were fair and that she felt they would do little to encourage marriage.

She said: "Personally I don't think that it's very fair that they (married couples) are receiving financial rewards and couples that just that just choose not to get married for any reason cannot benefit as well. 

"I don't think that it would actually incentivise anyone to get married because £200 - I mean yes thank you very much I will take that -but it is not going to go too far especially in the grand scheme of things, in how much weddings cost."

The announcement comes after a trade-off that allowed the Liberal Democrats to announce free school meals for all children under eight earlier this month.

The proposal, which Downing Street said shows the Government values commitment by recognising marriage and civil partnerships in the tax system, makes good on promises Mr Cameron made when he was running for leadership of the party in 2005.

In an article in today's edition of The Daily Mail, he said: "I believe in marriage. Alongside the birth of my children, my wedding was the happiest day of my life.

"Since then, Samantha and I have been a team. Nothing I've done since - becoming a Member of Parliament, leader of my party or Prime Minister - would have been possible without her."

He said that the new measures would apply "if you're gay or straight - and in a civil partnership or a marriage. This summer I was proud to make Equal Marriage the law. Love is love, commitment is commitment".

Labour's shadow chief secretary to the treasury, Rachel Reeves, said that the marriage tax break would not even help two-thirds of married couples and said he was out of touch if he "thinks people will get married for £3.85 a week".

She said: "And even for the minority who might benefit, it will be far outweighed by what David Cameron's Government has already taken away in higher VAT and cuts to child benefit and tax credits. In most cases, the extra payment will be paid to men, even though it is women who have disproportionately lost out so far."


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