Not only do we have possibly the most dishonest UK government since 1945 (see previous post https://extranea.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/coalition-government-is-this-the-most-dishonest-uk-government-since-1945/ ) to compound the coalition’s lies they now seek to make policy and redistribution of wealth on the basis of morality. Who’s morality?? Well the dishonest coalition’s of course.
Today we are going to see Iain Duncan Smith begin the ramping up of the moral crusade for the married couple. Of course this is all to do with pure politics to prop up the traditional support within the aged middle classes in Conservative seats – cynical to the last.
The proposal is to recognise the married couple in the tax allowances.
Statistics show that those that are married are more likely to stay together. However, there are many flaws in these statistics as many couples who co-habit may do so as a trial before getting married and then decide not to marry and split. This counts as a black mark against co-habiting couples apparently.
Not only are the statistics flawed, but they also show that those that are married tend to be wealthier than those that are not.
Iain Duncan Smith wants to recognise the married couple in society, in some kind of approval from the state. He also wants to encourage marriage and to encourage marriages to stay together.
Now there are only 3 reasons that tax should be employed in society.
- Raise revenue
- Change behaviour/ give incentives
- Redistribute wealth on the basis of need
What the moralising policy of the coalition seeks to do is none of the above. Instead to re-distribute wealth from those that have less to those that have more.
He believes that a “tax break”, for being married will a) encourage people to get married who would otherwise not have done so, and b) encourage people to stay married when things go wrong.
The very idea that anyone thinks that more people will get married or stay together as a result of a few hundred pounds a year is ridiculous. I would also suggest that any marriage undertaken in order to get a tax benefit is made on rocky ground to start with!
We should be formulising policy on pragmatism and not ideology. The current tax and benefit arrangements actually penalise married couples, and this is reprehensible and should be changed. However, at the same time we should not penalise those that are not married.
A recent article by Peter Oborne in the telegraph ( see here http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100074678/david-cameron-has-caved-in-to-those-waging-war-against-the-family/ ) and especially some of the comments made about the article indicate the ignorance of many in our society.
I understand that some feel that marriage is good for our society and people believe in it either from a cultural or religious point of view. That does not mean that policy should be made to discriminate against those that do not believe in the same moral code. Actively seeking to redistribute wealth from all tax payers including those on small incomes to those who are married who are more likely to earn more in the first place.
Much of the opinion coming from this moral direction come from the notion that the last 50 years can be reversed. That there was a golden age of the 1950’s that meant couples lived in blissful middle class communities as married couples with 2.4 children. The rose coloured spectacles of the right wing conservatives ignores the reality.
There was no golden age. Reasons for less marriage break have more to do with economic dependency and difficulties in obtaining divorce than any great moral period in history.
The only way to reverse the trend of marriages would be to make one partner dependent on the other, meaning the weaker member would not be able to leave the relationship. This is surely not a world we wish to go back to.
We need to look forward and not back. The problems with relationship breakdown are complicated and societal in nature.
It is all the more puzzling that the coalition is peddling such moralistic policies when we were told when they were in opposition that they no longer wanted the “nanny state”, the “micro management” of society by government. Yet this appears to be exactly that!
Government making policy on moral grounds to micro manage peoples behaviour due to the dissaproval of how people behave in their own homes.
Do people want to be told how to live their lives or if they should get married or not? I think not.
Another U-turn on policy or lie depending on how you look at it, from one nanny state to another. This policy makes no sense and will cost money the government does not have.
My advice to the government is take your head out of the sand.