Clause 11 — Tax relief for married couples and civil partners

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 9th April 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 2:30 pm, 9th April 2014

I am pleased to follow Fiona Bruce and I certainly will not yield one inch to her in the value I place on the importance of marriage. Like her, I am a member of the Mothers’ Union, the Church of England organisation that promotes and supports stable family life in this country. However, she is making a mistake. The undoubted benefits of stable relationships could be far better encouraged by the Government in several ways: if, for example, resources for tackling domestic violence were not being reduced; if, for example, we had compulsory sex and relationship education in schools that prepared people for healthy adult relationships; and if, for example, we had a decent child support system that did not incentivise the non-resident parent to ignore their responsibilities to their children, because that is what is happening. Instead of tackling those real problems, or looking at the factors that put families under stress—debt, long hours and zero-hours contracts—the hon. Lady ignores them. She does not understand that those factors are the cause of rows, tension and stress in families. If Government Members turned their attention to policies that would make a real difference, instead of faffing around with this fatuous married couple’s allowance, families would be a lot better off.