Recognising marriage in the tax system
I'm not married. But I've lived with my partner Linda for longer than almost all our married friends have been together and watched lots of people our age marry and then split up while we've stayed together. Both of us have given up correcting people who describe us as husband and wife because the distinction no longer seems relevant.
Much as I like weddings and can understand the appeal of marriage I doubt I shall have one as Linda's feminist principles make her a bit queasy about the institution, and after so long together, with a mortgage and a child, the idea that we need a certificate from the town hall (we're both atheists so there wouldn't be a church involved), a ceremony and a big party to give credibility to our relationship seems ridiculous.
We provide a very happy and stable home for our four-year-old son as parents, and I gather that it's this stability that the people who write "family policy" want to promote.
So why is it that the Tories think Linda and I should pay more tax than a couple who met very recently, married in haste, have no kids, and will divorce as fast as they met?
Can someone explain why they deserve a tax break and we don't? I could buy young Jed even more Star Wars toys, Thomas wooden railway engines and Playmobil sets than he already has if Mr Cameron thought it was me that was worthy of a tax break.
If civil partnerships were opened up to non-same-sex couples we would go and sign-up to ensure we got existing benefits regarding transfering tax allowances and automatic inheritence rights. It's a shame that when Labour introduced civil partnerships it didn't allow the whole population the opportunity to formalise their relationships legally without having to be married. I think as an established couple with a family we've earned the right to be recognised as a unit for tax and benefit purposes and shouldn't have to marry to claim it or Mr Cameron's "might never happen anyway" tax break.