Today the Conservatives have outlined a plan to give tax benefits to married couples (that, on an average income, would amount to about £20 a week) in the hope of promoting family values.
Here is the story in greater detail for anyone who is interested:
Personally, I think the idea is reasonable, despite the fact that is may not make a lot of difference to a large number of families, but the 'reasons' for it are appalling. The idea that a tiny reduction in tax simply for being married does not 'promote family values' and 'help to keep families together' as he tried to argue - it will make a small impact on current, stable marriages, but does not encourage marriage and family development in couples in any more than a financial sense.
He said "Britain's high rate of family breakdown was linked to a tax system that did not recognise marriage and a benefits regime discouraging couples from living together." - this 'idea' will not solve divorce rates or single parenthood, but simply encourages people who live on benefit and the state to adopt this route as well.
In my view a bigger incentive for family values would be the scrapping of inheritance tax, and the better teaching of our children. The other question is, where is this extra money being taken from?