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April 11, 2010    

Conservative party proposes tax breaks for married couples

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by Kay Murchie

The Conservative party is continuing with its election campaign by proposing to make four million married couples and civil partners £150 a year better off.

The tax break would apply to basic rate taxpayers earning under £44,000 where one partner does not use their full personal tax-free income allowance.

Speaking about the married couples allowance, shadow chancellor George Osborne said: “I don’t preach about people’s lives, and many marriages fail, but I think we know now from years of evidence that a society where more people are married is a stronger society.”

However, the marriage tax was criticised by Prime Minister Gordon Brown who said families with children would lose out under the Conservatives.

“I am a believer in marriage, and the institution of marriage is absolutely central and fundamental to our society,” said the PM.

“But what this is about is giving a little with one hand and taking away a lot, because child tax credits for middle class families are to be cut, child tax credits are to be cut, child trust funds are to be cut, Sure Start children’s centres for our children are to be cut, the schools budget is to be cut,” he added.

Furthermore, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg who is currently campaigning with wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez said: “Miriam and I got married for love, not for three quid a week, it’s patronising drivel.”

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Tags: , civil partners, , election, married couples, tax break