Jul 26, 2023

Dear marriage supporter,

Families are being penalised by the tax system and marriage should play a key role in addressing this, a leading think tank has said.

new report from the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) argues that married couples should be allowed to transfer their tax-free personal allowance to one another in full, rather than just 10% as it is now. Currently, every UK taxpayer may earn £12,570 tax free. Under the proposals, a married person would be able to earn up to £25,140 tax free as the couple would be permitted to pool their personal allowance.

The report, written in conjunction with the Conservative Growth Group of MPs, notes that Britain is an international outlier in taxing individuals and taking no account of household income. The consequence is that families where one parent stays at home can pay more than £8,000 a year in extra tax compared to a household on the same income but where both parents work.

“The UK tax system is unfair towards families, focusing almost exclusively on individual incomes without reference to household income,” the report says.

The result is that “we’re actively discriminating against too many families”.

“We need to reform income tax to make it family-friendly,” co-author and Conservative MP Ranil Jayawardena told the Telegraph (£). “Let’s celebrate, not penalise, people who are trying to do the right thing.”

At C4M, we couldn’t agree more. Marriage is crucial for a healthy, flourishing society and Government should be encouraging people towards it, not putting families at a disadvantage. Letting married couples transfer their tax-free allowance to one another would be a great way of both removing the family tax penalty and incentivising couples to get married and stop putting it off. We hope the Government is listening.