Saturday, April 10, 2010

£3 a week to get married

The new Tory incentive of less than £3 a week to be married does not sounds like much, although my wife observed that the annual benefit of £150 is the equivalent of a case of good bordeaux. Personally, I'd call it half a case of good stuff, but I probably have more picky taste in claret than she does.

It is not about the money, the defenders of the policy say, but the message that it sends. It may be a trifling amount but it shows the Tories think marriage is good. I support this.

But... isn't it a rather sexist policy? You will only be able to claim the money if one partner (which in most circumstances will be the wife) earns less than the tax-free allowance of just under £6,500. So effectively the message the Tories want to send is that marriage is good but only if the woman stays at home to raise children and keep the house tidy rather than having her own career.

Furthermore, how will you claim your £3 a week? If it involves filling out forms and proving your salary, I wonder how many people will think it is really worth it.

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