Clause 11 — Tax relief for married couples and civil partners

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 9th April 2014.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Conservative, Peterborough 1:45 pm, 9th April 2014

I will give way later, because I am sure the hon. Lady will not forget my comments.

The purpose of clause 11 is not to try to make people get married, but to remove the obstacles to those who wish to marry, which is different. Marriage should at the absolute minimum be a credible, accessible option for all eligible couples. However, the failure of our income tax system—unlike that accessed by the majority of people living in Europe—to recognise marriage means that the fiscal obstacle to marriage is a real concern. The size of the couple penalty in this country, as outlined by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, is deeply worrying.