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Promote couples but not through tax!

Comment 7th September 2010

A single parent on £30k+ would be generally entitled to working tax credits, child tax credits, child benefit, child maintenence off the non resident parent and a single persons council tax reduction.

Two mouths to feed, utilites for two etc.

However, a couple on 15k each would be expected to live off potentially less add on benefits with three or more mouths to feed, utilites for three or more and full council tax rates.

As an example myself and my girlfriend live in seperate houses. If we lived together she would lose her childcare benefits, all my wages would disappear into funding childcare and her wages would have to stretch to feeding three people and covering the cost for additional utility bills etc.

If it was financially viable for couples in our situation to live together, there would be extra houses for sale, boosting the housing market, a lower C02 footprint and if David Camerons theories are right then children would grow up in a stable household and would be more likely to progress academically

I dont think the government promotes enough incentives for families to live together. And i don't think the tax proposal break for married couples is such a good idea. I would rather the government promote living together as a family through re distributing financial support to couples to encourage cohabitation.

This is not a dig at single parents by the way so if any read this please dont take offence.

Why does this matter?

There will be couples out there who cannot afford to live together, let alone get married. If the PM wants to encourage cohabitation then a reform of benefits is what is needed in part. Having people live in one house rather than two is good for the upbringing of children, the environment, the housing market and the economy. If benefits are looked at and reformed in the proposed way, more couples could afford to live together without one having to give up work to care for children. That means that parent having money to spend helping our economy. Also money could be saved along the way. It must be cheaper for the government to help out two working parents in the same house than support them if the only way they could live together was if one gave up work.

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