Brexit leader Nigel Farage has hit out at Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to take away a small tax break presently afforded to married couples, telling Breitbart London “the family has been under assault from our political establishment for a very long time” and that it was a subject that deserved more attention.
While Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left Labour manifesto launch promised the increase in taxes to pay for the party’s proposed spending rises would be levied purely on the richest in society — what Labour characterises as billionaires but actually includes anyone earning more than the distinctly less-than-a-billion wage of £80,000 a year — he subsequently admitted taxes would also rise for ordinary married couples.
The so-called married couples allowance would be scrapped under Labour’s plan, one of the few financial benefits left to actually getting married in a UK tax system that already heavily penalises traditional single-breadwinner families. Mr Corbyn defended making married people pay more tax as a “step towards equality” because cohabiting unmarried couples do not get the same advantage, which is worth about £250 a year.
Speaking on Monday, Brexit leader Nigel Farage told Breitbart London that he was “astonished” by Labour planning to penalise married families and that family life was just another area where the political left dominated the conversation. He said: “I think the family has been under assault from our political establishment for a very long time, and this is almost the Labour Party saying the family unit doesn’t matter any more… the evidence is that children brought up in a stable environment do better, and why should we fight against that?
“I don’t want to be absolutist about this, we do live in a different world, I accept that, but to downgrade the importance of marriage is a mistake.”
Hungary: We Will Make Our Country Family Friendly So Population Can Grow Without Mass Migration https://t.co/LOeeaMucNl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 22, 2017
When pressed on what the British government could be doing to help rather than hinder families, Mr Farage said the deck was so stacked against married households, it was time for someone to stand up in their favour. He continued: “[Improving the] tax situation [is one way to help families]. Secondly, just somebody just talking about families, the family unit. Just an acknowledgement that it matters. At the moment you won’t get any of it because you have this very metropolitan conversation on all social issues.”
While Mr Farage has undoubtedly gone through relationship troubles himself, he is routinely the most socially conservative of the party leaders. Perhaps because of that, in this election, Mr Farage is focussing on leading his party in northern and midlands English seats held by the Labour Party — areas where voters may have left-wing economic views but believe Britain should be independent of the European Union, and who may hold broadly socially traditional views.
It has been a long time since any mainstream British political party has enacted or promised policies that promoted single-earner families, stay-at-home parenting, or even marriage. As long ago as 2006, the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph reported the party was avoiding promoting marriage as government policy out of fear of alienating unmarried voters, despite an independent study commissioned by the party finding marriage to be the best environment to raise children. The report stated children from married households enjoyed the most stable upbringings.
That was contrasted to parents from unmarried families being five times more likely to break up at the time, a phenomenon Iain Duncan Smith said led to “higher levels of crime, anti-social behaviour, education failure and mental and emotional disturbance”.
Subsequent studies have confirmed that married people are happier and healthier than live-in partners.Kurt Zindulka