Posted by Simon Bassett, Partner
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MPs accused of hypocrisy over policy
Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman has said it is “hypocritical” for ministers to espouse the virtues of marriage, when many are divorced themselves.
The MP was commenting on a £1000 tax break for married couples, which is due to be introduced in April next year. Announcing the measure last year, David Cameron said: “I believe in marriage.”
Ms Harman has concerns about introducing a tax policy to encourage people to stay together; when many in the cabinet themselves are divorced.
In a chat with users of the popular Mumsnet website, she said that families came in “all shapes and sizes” and were equally deserving of support.
“Government shouldn’t have a policy to try and make people get into or stay in nuclear families,” she said.
“Their married man’s tax allowance won’t cut the divorce rate or mend any marriage which is breaking.
“I don’t agree with government using tax policy to ‘send a signal’ about the importance of people staying in a nuclear family. Especially when there are many ministers who are themselves divorced.”
Despite Ms Harman’s criticism, the Conservatives have said that they are proud of the tax break policy, which it is expected will benefit four million families.
If you have any queries regarding the tax consequences in your particular circumstances, or to discuss any other divorce or financial matters, contact Patrick Hart in our Family Law team.
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