Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Logic of the £3 a Week Decriers

This is aimed at all those patronising gits who think that £3 a week is nothing.

Tell that to the pensioner whose pension goes up by £2.40 this month. Perhaps those who think that £3 is nothing to most people think we should abandon small pension rises, because that's where their logic leads.

To be honest I am fairly agnostic on the married tax allowance but I can see the arguments in favour of it. Ken Livingstone tried to pretend he was expecting a huge whack of wonga and professed to be disappointed at the extent of it. Well, in these economic circumstances it was hardly likely to have been a huge sum, but £156 a year is better than nothing if you're on a fairly low income.

Apologies that I can't seem to approve comments at the moment. Hopefully it will be rectified soon.


Libertarian said...

so us pensioners should get married if we want more than £2.40 ?

Here's an idea, why not stop taking our money in the first place and squandering it on French farm owners, diversity coordinators, business links, regional assemblies,etc?

JoeF said...

The other critique is that tax system should not benefit marriage. However currently tax and benefits (and pensions) systema actually benefits people who do NOT get married- and indeed even more who live apart.

Now that really is perverse.

Don't hear much about that though do we.

Dan Brusca said...

There's no doubt that £3 a week is a significant sum to many people, but it's insignificant to many more.

If the Tories want to help families on low incomes they should just increase tax allowances or credits. If they want to help pensioners they should increase pensions.

What they shouldn't do is create a clunky new allowance mechanism that discriminates against the unmarried or the widowed.

Laurence Boyce said...

Patronising gits? Steady on Iain, it's only an election. Simon Titley said it best on Facebook:

"The Tories think that a tax break of £150 a year will persuade people to marry. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is about £20,000. Stay married for at least 134 years and you'll be quids in."

Chris said...

You fool...

Nobody is arguing £3 a week is 'nothing' *full stop* as in: "£250,000 is chicken feed"...

We're saying who in their right mind would *get married* for this amount of money?!?

Anonymous said...

I do n t like these gits because they turn their noses up at people who actually make a commitment and get married. Shock horror to actually give a bit of help to them.

But these are the same gits who want to pull apart the traditional building blocks of our society so they can push us all under the imprint of their own thumbs.

Oliver said...

Of course £2.40 a week will be gratefully received by many pensioners. That doesn't mean that it isn't completely ludicrous to suggest that £3 a week might persuade someone to get or remain married.

subrosa said...

Iain, surely you know by now that pensioners don't matter. No party cares.

But I do agree that £3 a week matters to many pensioners, even those who have had their long-term pensions stolen by Gordon Brown.

We once had the best pension system in the western world. Countries copied it (and they don't do that unless it's well proven).

Now we have the worst and nobody is concerned.

Us coffin dodgers really just ought to sit in a corner to take up as little room as possible and wait silently for death. Some do. Fortunately there are still plenty about who continue to fight against injustice.

dazmando said...

Agreed £3 is not nothing. however we have a massive deficit to pay back. The Tories have a real chance of power so they really should stop promissing tax cuts and safeguards on spending.

Paddy said...

It would be better to give the extra £3 a week to pensioners (married or not) on top of the £2.40. They need the money more.

I don't think it is fair either to say that those who are disappointed at £3 are patronising. It's just that it smacks of tokenism.

I also worry that it sends out the message that far from marriage itself being desirable, it is a marriage in which one partner stays at home keeping house and raising children rather than having a career that the Tories are really keen on, which seems rather sexist.

If the Tories can only afford to find £3 a week, then why not stick that money somewhere where it is needed, even if that is just paying off debt, than where it would be useful.

Gallimaufry said...

I am disgusted by politicians who claim that £3 per week is insignificant. As those people could claim £400 of food monthly on their expenses, their judgement and grip on reality is severely impaired.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Like you I'm agnostic on this proposal though like "motherhood and apple pie" I am in favour of marriage and the family. Something that socialists, with their collectivist leanings, would prefer to destroy.

However I do feel that this money should have been targeted to prevent, or limit, the encouragement for people to separate that exists within the benefits system.

Anonymous said...

As a pensioner who rather welcomes the £2.40/pm increase, even if it does absolutely nothing to address the huge 'green' rises in utility bills & petrol, but will help with the increased cost of cat food, until cats are declared unfriendly to the planet and banned, I agree with your 'patronising gits' comment.

But what really gets me about the opposition to recognition of marriage in the tax system is that those who oppose it are saying it's quite fine for a woman to throw out the father of her children in order to increase her benefits. For that is how it is scewed. Stay partnered, lose out. Get single, benefit. What kind of unutterable moral degradation would devise a tax system that makes it tax advantageous to deprive children of their father?

Brian said...

I remember when Gordon Brown, as Chancellor, expected pensioners to be grateful for an increase of 75p per week!

Mark Pasola said...

It's pathetic dog-whistle politics.

The reason for using the the tax system to reward marriage is presumably because children are known to do better when brought up by both parents.

But where is the evidence that the good done by living with two parents in a happy stable relationship is further enhanced by a marriage certificate?

And why should I, who struggled to bring up a child alone after my wife ran off with her fitness instructor, be relatively disadvantaged (aka disapproved of) by the state by comparison with my married neighbours, who, for all I know are fighting cats and dogs in front of their kids?

And worst of all, that Tory high command thinks that this sort of pointless tokenism is a better use of revenue from the new banking tax than paying down the deficit.

Alasdair said...

But if you're on a low income, you're probably both going to be working anyway, so there's no benefit. Yay for subsidising middle-class stay-at-home wives, eh?