Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, commenting on Conservative proposals for tax breaks for married couples, said:
“David Cameron’s so-called marriage tax break won’t even help two-thirds of married couples, let alone millions of people who are separated, widowed or divorced. He’s so out of touch he thinks people will get married for £3.85 a week.
“And even for the minority who might benefit, it will be far outweighed by what David Cameron’s Government has already taken away in higher VAT and cuts to child benefit and tax credits. In most cases, the extra payment will be paid to men, even though it is women who have disproportionately lost out so far.
"David Cameron also needs to explain how this policy will be paid for. Will he be raising taxes or making cuts elsewhere to fund this?
"At a time when millions of people are facing a cost of living crisis we should be helping all families and not just some. That’s what Labour set out this week with plans to freeze energy bills and expand free childcare for working parents."
1. A transferable allowance means that married couples on a combined income of around £20,000 (£10,000 each) will see no benefit, while a single earner couple on double that would benefit in full.
2. Only around a third of married couples where one partner does not work or earns less than the income tax personal allowance will see the full benefit of this policy.