...a good reason to vote for David Cameron.

I'm really pleased to see that the idea of marriage is being supported by politicians, and that it has been recognised that 'the current tax system "does not recognise the benefits of marriage" and "disincentivises adults from openly living together..."'

Labour of course are whinging:

'Ed Miliband said Mr Duncan Smith's proposals would "discriminate against some children" in its tax policy, adding: "I don't think it's right for politicians to come on and preach."'

Discrimination, discrimination. There are very few circumstances in which laws can be set which don't favour some slightly more than others, and I don't care much for the unnecessary and fruitless beauracracy trying to avoid it brings.

On the subject of whether or not politicians should "preach", Mr Milliband perhaps has a point at one level. But on the other hand, politicians should be prepared to stand up for their views, and lead by example. Apparently Christian Gordon Brown decimated any chance he had of my voting for him when he commented that 'religion is a private matter' and wouldn't be drawn on his beliefs. How sad that the country is in the hands of someone so gutless.


Alasdair said…
£20 a month is as likely to save the institution of marriage as 7p on a pint of lager is to halt binge drinking.

I disagree with using the money to reward marriage instead of targetting the poorest kids. If a marriage is stable, then I'm not sure what the gain is for the taxpayer, if the marriage is unhappy then it probably requires more subtle help than stuffing the parents' pockets with gold.
JP said…
Isn't it £20pw? Anyway, you're right, money on it's own won't solve the problem.

What I am pleased about is the fact that politicians have finally woken up to the fact that marriage is A Good Thing and it has been publicly recognised that the current tax system if anything discriminates against it rather than supports it.

The financial side of things might be small (though I can't see how or why it could be bigger) but the shift in principle is the important thing.
Alasdair said…
Indeed it is £20 per week, not month. My bad, but I don't think that changes my point.

Fair enough if you like the message that marriage is a good thing, but I think the policy will be much more effective at winning over voters like yourself than tackling our 'broken society'.

Finally, are you sure that marriage is discriminated against by the tax system? Inheritence and capital gains tax rules make marriage look pretty tasty.
Mark said…
I wish I was as rich as alasdair; I'd love to be able to have nothing but contempt for an extra £1,000 a year.
Gareth P said…
I'm not sure I agree that it is gutless to say "religion is a private matter", infact I think it's wholely appropriate. So long as GB has a good and decent moral compass why should religion matter. Would he be any less effective (or not as the case may be) if he were Jewish, Muslim or any other recognised religion (Don't get me started on cults like scientology mind!). One of the traditions of english governement (since Henry VIII and his disolution of the monestaries) is the separation of church and state within politics (Perhaps not completely succesfully but that's for another day). I would not want to under Sharia law so it's hardly fair to expect all those non-Christians living in the UK to be lead by a religious view that isn't their own. Of course it is the right of the individual to believe what they wish, but isn't it also the right of the individual to keep it private and the right of the individual to expect that they won't face discrimination if their views oppose another (say someone in government). Just a thought.
Starkey said…
Interesting thoughts. I'd suggest that "disincentivise" is not a word; it sounds horribly clumsy. James, I think that you should have put it in quotes, and I think that they should have used the less pompous word "discourage"!
JP said…
Gareth, as a Christian, I wouldn't force my beliefs upon you, in the same way that, like you, I would object to Sharia Law.

In that sense, religion is a personal matter.

However, I don't think it should be a private matter. Firstly, the Christian faith doesn't do relative truth. So, like other faiths, if it's important for me, it's important for you. I'm therefore not prepared to keep schtum on my beliefs, especially since my faith has made such a positive difference I feel it's worth sharing.

Secondly, for most people of faith, faith is so important that it is bound to influence their decision making. Don't you therefore think that it's right that we understand where the leaders of our country are coming from, if nothing else?

Finally, I stand by my original statement. He is gutless. I also think it a little odd that on one hand he will promote religious discussion and tolerance and yet on the other hand he won't share his own beliefs.

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