If I had £550 million of government expenditure…

…you can bet your life that I would not be using it to promote my personal idea of idyllic family life in some sort of bizarre throwback to the 1950s. But then again, I am not a Tory.

Enough derision was poured on Cameron for promoting gimmicky crap such as this. I, as a committed feminist, athiest and lefty deplore such a gimmick on the following grounds:

1. The state has absolutely no right to dictate what it sees as the perfect family set up with economic gimmicks. People’s relationships and family set ups are not subject to favouritism or judgement by the tax system.

2. Surely the Tories can accept that this policy sends out a clear signal that marriage is better than any other type of relationship – even Cameron himself stated that he wanted to promote commitment “loud and proud.” This works on the assumption that marriage is the only form of commitment. I see that as highly judgemental.

3.In these times, surely there are far better things to direct government funding towards. This policy is frivolity we can ill afford.

Family policy should be directed at all of Britain’s families, not just the ones where the parents are married. The Tories are being a little bit elitist here in my opinion – does it really matter if the family unit is based on marriage or cohabitation? Surely the immediate concern is that the parents have stable jobs, a good quality of life and the children are getting the best education possible?

Try as I might, I cannot fathom how the Tory leader thinks that marriage needs to be promoted by the tax system. £550 million could be spent improving the lives of many, not just those who choose to be married. In fact, I believe that only 4 million married couples out of the 12.3 million marriages in the UK will actually benefit?

Commitment is so much more than an official ceremony, a ring, a legal agreement and tax breaks. But it shouldn’t be dictated by economic means.


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