From Left Foot Forward
Harriet Harman does extremely well at Prime Minister’s Question Time
As Left Foot Forward explains
the Institute for Fiscal Studies published research before the election showing that “encouraging parents to marry [is] unlikely to lead to significant improvements in young children’s outcomes”. As Left Foot Forward documented before the election, the outcome gaps in cognitive development between children born to married and cohabiting parents are relatively small compared with the outcome gaps associated with a range of other factors. The finding is consistent with a recent paper by Ruth Lister and Fran Bennett for Renewal, which concluded:
“As a number of commentators have pointed out, it is not possible to conclude from the statistics that marriage itself causes the positive outcomes associated with it and that therefore the stability of a society is a function of the support given to the institution of marriage. In particular, social scientists suggest that the stability associated with marriage can be attributed to the kind of people who choose to get married or to cohabit and to the values that they hold.”
Finally, Labour’s decision in 2007 to allow inheritance tax allowances to be transferable between married couples and civil partners remains contentious with many on the left but marriage was already recognised in the inheritance tax system. This is completely different from introducing a new (and expensive) tax break.
Mr Cameron did not explain why his policy discriminates against lone parents and widows, excludes 11.6 million married people where both husband and wife work, and does nothing for the roughly 600,000 married couples of working age who do not earn over the £6,555 tax threshold.