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Scottish National Party Attacks UK Marriage Tax Break

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

30 December 2013


Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament Eilidh Whiteford has criticized the UK Government's plans for marriage tax breaks, claiming the plans will disproportionately benefit men.

The tax break, announced in the UK's Autumn statement to enter into force in 2015, would allow the lower-earning partner in a marriage to transfer up to GBP1,000 (USD1,650) of their unused tax-exempt allowance to the household's highest earner. In a statement, Whiteford highlighted a report that estimates that only 15 percent of the tax break's beneficiaries would be women, on account of the fact that males are statistically more likely to be the highest earner in a UK household.

Whiteford contends: "Quite simply, the UK government marriage tax break is short-changing women. The policy reinforces other measures that discourage 'dual-earning' couples, by making those who benefit lose if their partner takes a job for more than a few hours a week. The Women's Budget Group has recognised that it will dissuade women from going back to work because the husband could lose their allowance if his wife gets a part-time or low-paid job that takes them over the earnings threshold."

"UK government benefit cuts already mean that many women are struggling financially, and the GBP700m price tag could be better spent elsewhere. Even the Institute of Fiscal Studies has recognised that the Westminster policy is symbolic and would be of little benefit. Westminster's tax-breaks which only benefit the traditional nuclear family shows how out of touch the UK Government is," she argues.

TAGS: individuals | tax | United Kingdom | tax breaks | individual income tax

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