Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Is Cameron crawling back to Daily Mail readers?

One of the proposals from Iain Duncan-Smith's report on "Breakdown Britain" is to give £20 a week (yes, the BBC says "a week") as a "transferable married couples' tax allowance", aimed at making it easier for one parent to stay at home to look after children.

In receiving the report David Cameron said: "If we get the family right, we can fix our broken society".

I fear that the £20 will come as a nice little bonus to people who were going to get married anyway, while being out of reach to single parents who have the most vulnerable children in their care. As Polly Toynbee suggests, Cameron seems to be crawling back to Daily Mail readers after a flirtation with the woolly Observer-reading liberals.

If a marriage is going to fall apart, or never take off in the first place, £20 a week is hardly going to help. If £20 a week does entice more people to stay together, then one has to ask: "What sort of marriage is founded on an enticement of £20 a week?"

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