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The married couple's allowance is supposed to address the fact that tax/welfare system is skewed in favour of single parents. So why not deal with the real problem (i.e. beefing up the CSA) instead of this?

There are plenty of single people - whether young, not interested, unlucky in love, divorced or widowed - who are NOT single parents, and thus entirely innocent in all of this - who would be hit by the proposal.

Let's look at the maths ...

Two-thirds of adults are married. Let us assume that the cash value of the MCA will be £1,000 per year. To make each married adult £500 better off than a single adult means an additional £333 tax per adult has to be raised; each married adult then gets £500 from thye pot (so is £167 better off than before) and the single adult makes a net contribution of £333, so is worse off.

Ah well.

... to add insult to injury, half of single parents won't pay the extra £333 either, as they are living off benefits and don't pay tax.

"Conservatives should be the party of personal liberty, not traditional family values"

Where is the conflict? The family is a bastion of personal liberty and nobody is suggesting people should be forced to get married.

It is a mistake to lump all single parents together as automatic beneficiaries of compassion and taxpayers' money. For those who have become single parents involuntarily both are in order, but not for those who have become single parents through their own preference, irresponsibility or sheer stupidity. In such cases of voluntary single parenthood, the children should be supported by grants, but the parents should only be offered loans, recoverable once their children have grown up. The refusal to discriminate between different cases since the 1970's is one
of the main reasons why the number of single parents, particularly young single mothers, has exploded, with all the well-rehearsed social ills which have ensued.

The only business that the government should have over family life is taxation, and then only to ensure a level playing field. "Favouring the family" is not social engineering when all it means is a return to a fair system. If marriage is encouraged, this happily coincides with empirical evidence that children will be better off.

Of course such a policy would be not be "favourable" to lone parents, but neither should it be seen as lacking compassion. If anything, you could call it marriage-neutral.

I did think that the "Conservatives should be the party of personal liberty, not traditional family values" question was rather strange coming from the website which aims to promote the 'And' theory!

Tax policy is not to be decided by the wisdom of crowds.

An article in today's Mail is excellent in highlighting the roots of this problem.


I particularly liked the following part of the article:
"Both David Cameron and Tony Blair have laid the blame on absent fathers failing to provide the all-important role model for boys. But this misses the point.

Accusing men of abandoning their families presupposes that a family exists in the first place.

But the benefits system in Britain has systematically destroyed the family.

A study by Barcelona University found a correlation between the high benefits in the UK - nearly double those of Germany and three times those of France - and the high proportion of young single mothers in the UK (again, almost double or more of other European countries).

The only option for too many young women with limited education and self-confidence to get on in life is to get pregnant.

As mothers, they are immediately entitled to housing and benefits and, once in their own flat, they too often dismiss fathers as superfluous to family life.

Thus, the father is excluded and limited to occasional visits, which hardly helps the situation".

Camneron's family policy is keeping me in the party.

If we had found that tax causes family breakdown then, yes, tax-relief for families would a good idea. Is there any evidence to show that tax-relief will bring people together (except on paper)? Without this link and evidence, tax relief has a strong whiff of moralising.

IDS says on the cover to his Breakdown Britain report “The welfare society has been breaking down on the margins, and the social fabric of many communities is being stripped away”. He’s absolutely right. For more than a generation the state has dished out an education that doesn’t suit and a welfare package that means it doesn’t matter. For good measure it’s rounded it off with discipline that doesn’t work and a compensation culture that make it somebody else’s fault.

We have been so successful at diminishing consequences and personal responsibility that you might think it was deliberate.

The erosion of responsibility has taken more than a generation and so will its repair, but I hope it’s what Cameronism becomes known for.

- Children should come away from school having discovered things that they can do, not things that they can’t; we need much more diversity in education and to do away with this ridiculous idea that everybody’s academic.

- On matters of discipline, the benefit of the doubt should lie firmly with the adult and not the child.

- I'd be tempted to make parents liable for certain of their children’s actions, even after their children have reached 18. These commitments would include court fines, benefit fraud and childcare costs.

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