News from Grassroots conservatives
3 Dec 2013
“Transferable allowances for married couples was a key commitment in the Conservative Manifesto at the last election, and also in the Coalition Agreement. Yet, after 3 years of a government led by David Cameron, we’re still waiting; while ‘gay marriage’, which was in neither the Manifesto nor the Coalition Agreement, is now law. What kind of accountable democratic government is this?” asks Bob Woollard, Chairman of Conservative Grassroots, a network of local Conservatives across the UK.
Conservative Grassroots supporters are very concerned that September’s Treasury announcement, heralding Thursday’s Autumn Statement, commits to make people ‘eligible’ for the transferable allowance from April 2015 but does not actually deliver it until April 2016, a year into the next Parliament. Conservative Grassroots supporters are urging the Chancellor to introduce the full transferable tax allowance proposed in April 2010. And they want him to do it now, so that people receive it in this Parliament, as promised.
Mary Douglas, a spokesperson for Conservative Grassroots, said “Family breakdown costs the taxpayer an estimated £46 billion a year. For that reason alone, quite apart from the personal heartbreak it causes, it is clearly in the interests of government and the taxpayer to do everything they can to counter the devastating trend of family breakdown. Backing marriage in the tax system is a sensible first step.”
Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation, said earlier this year that the allowance should be raised to “thousands, not hundreds” of pounds. He said, “The government is paying families up to £7,100 to live apart, so the marriage tax break needs to compete. A marriage tax break needs to counter this perverse incentive and help couples to formalise their relationship.”
James Joshua, Conservative Grassroots Executive Director, said, "Marriage is at the heart of our society. Yet the Conservative Party has not only bowed to pressure from Labour and the Liberal Democrats to impose an arbitrary ‘redefinition’ on the entire nation, but has also reneged on its promise to give it due recognition in the tax system. Eligibility and delivery are not the same thing. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor must deliver on a key manifesto promise.
“We want to see a majority Conservative government elected in 2015 but, if we do not do what we said we would do, how can we present ourselves to the country with any crediblity?”