Friday, 5 March 2010

Should marriage be recognised in the tax system? YES YES YES!

Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman, Alistair Darling, David Miliband - they are all married. They sneer at attempts to 'promote' marriage, yet recognise the benefits of it for their own families.

Why has marriage become 'middle class'? Well, for people on low incomes, there is often a significant financial benefit through the tax and welfare system for people to remain unmarried, especially if they have children. The 'few pounds a week' that the lefties like to sneer at, can be quite important for people in that situation.

I am a teacher and I can speak from first hand, and second and third hand, experience. The better behaved, more contented, successful and healthy children tend to come from parents who are married. The children with ADHD and other behavioural issues; who are poor attenders or who have learning or emotional problems, tend to come from unmarried, usually single, parents. Yes, there are exceptions. However, that is no reason to ignore the overwhelming evidence that marriage tends to be good for the children of the marriage.

Children from broken homes often get far more taxpayers' money spent on them: special needs teachers and auxiliaries; social workers etc etc. It is time that we targeted a tax break that will disproportionately benefit people on modest incomes who struggle against the odds to raise their children decently. Support for marriage is one of the key reasons that I shall vote Conservative, and I am deeply uncomfortable about any attempt to water down the party's commitment to it.

Children from married families tend to cost less in terms of welfare etc than those from broken homes. They are often healthier, and use the NHS less. They get into crime more rarely, therefore saving money in the criminal justice and social work systems. They are more likely to get jobs and contribute to society when they grow up. As a Conservative, I believe there is a clear financial benefit to the country, which ought to be recognised in the form of a significant tax break

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