Planned tax breaks for UK married couples rapped as 1950s throwback
By Estelle Shirbon
LONDON (Reuters) - Activists and opponents accused Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron of discriminating against single parents and promoting a fantasy 1950s lifestyle through his plans to give tax breaks to some married couples.
Fulfilling a long-standing pledge by his Conservative party to "recognize marriage in the tax system", Cameron has proposed married couples in which neither spouse is a higher-rate taxpayer should get breaks worth up to 200 pounds ($320) a year.
If approved by parliament, the measure will come into force in April 2015, just one month before the next national election. It is expected to benefit around 4 million couples.
"All we're saying is that marriage is a good thing for our country - it's the ultimate form of commitment under the law - and we want to show our support for it," Cameron wrote in an article published in Saturday's Daily Mail newspaper.
The measure will also apply to same-sex couples in civil partnerships. From next year, same-sex couples will be able to marry under a new law passed by parliament in July.
"This summer I was proud to make equal marriage the law. Love is love, commitment is commitment," Cameron wrote.
The main opposition Labour party said the measure would benefit a minority of married couples to the detriment of other groups, and any benefit was outweighed by a range of welfare benefit cuts introduced by Cameron's government since 2010.
"He's so out of touch he thinks people will get married for 3.85 pounds a week," lawmaker Rachel Reeves said for the party. Continued...