Family and Tax
CARE believes that marriage between a man and a woman is good for the family and therefore good for society. Our faith tells us that marriage is a high calling that should be respected and honoured. The book of Hebrews states that;
“Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure[i]”
The social science evidence strongly underlines this wisdom, demonstrating the overwhelming benefits of marriage to both adults and children. Please click here to read more.
Governments cannot intervene and fix broken marriages but they can create a public policy framework that supports marriage and makes getting married no harder in this country than is the case across the developed world. This is done principally by recognising marriage in the tax system and through investing in marriage support services (i.e. marriage preparation, marriage enrichment and marriage guidance counselling).
Recognising Marriage in the Income Tax System
Since 2000 the UK income tax system has been very unusual amongst large OECD economies in not recognising marriage in its tax system.
In this context not surprisingly marriage has been relatively unsupported in the UK compared with other jurisdictions.
CARE’s consultants have undertaken research which demonstrates that that the tax burden on one-earner married couple UK families with two children on average wage was a staggering 45% greater than the OECD average in 2013.
CARE has campaigned for the recognition of marriage in the tax system and after fifteen years, recognition of marriage will be re-introduced into the UK income tax system from April this year thanks to the 2014 Finance Act. This is a very significant development.
However, the problem is that the level of recognition of marriage in the tax system that will come in April is very limited. CARE has campaigned for recognition of marriage in the tax system through a full transferable allowance allowing a stay at home spouse to be able to transfer their tax allowance to their working spouse. The provision that will be introduced through the 2014 Finance Act will allow the stay at home spouse to transfer just 10% of their tax allowance.
There is also a very real concern because both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have said that if one or both forms the next government they will immediately abolish the transferable allowance.
Questions for Candidates
- Do you support the reintroduction of the recognition of marriage in the tax system that takes effect/took effect from 1 April?
- Will you commit to fight hard for the level of recognition of marriage to be raised from the current 10% transferable allowance to a fully transferable allowance?
[i] Hebrews 13:4, the New International Version Bible.