It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship today, Mr Hoyle. I rise to speak to the Opposition’s amendment to clause 11 regarding the coalition’s proposed tax relief for married couples and civil partners. Before I begin, let nobody be in any doubt that the Opposition believe that marriage and civil partnerships are a force for good in society. Making a binding lifelong commitment to a partner in that way is truly to be celebrated. Let us not pretend, however, that the Government’s marriage tax allowance, introduced by clause 11 of this year’s Finance Bill, is anything other than a complete and utter dud of a policy.