Firstly I'd like to thank Dave and the Conservatives for bringing in this policy. With the cost of living
(and commuting) rising, my wages at a 1% rise well under inflation and my job looking fairly uncertain after next April any extra pennies are greatly received.
However - it is still bollocks.
I'm not sure what the Conservative high command were thinking about when this idea was floated. Is it a return of traditional values? Is it to try and build up marriage as the stable relationship for bringing up kids? Is it an attempt to return to the golden era of MacMillan? Eden? Or even Baldwin and Bonar-Law?
Society has moved on. With the decline in religious belief and people being more secular and with a lot of people unable to pay for weddings now they cost so many thousands of pounds people are just staying in committed relationships and what really is the difference?
Does the tax break cease if you have a divorce?
My Dad left us when I was Eight years old and my Mum had to bring myself and Gemma up on her own yet would have needed a tax break! Further to that both my Sister and I understand commitment and both of us have families of our own and are married - Not to each other obviously, I grew up in Kent not Alabama!
Many children from "broken" homes grow up to fine by society's standards, in fact no worse than children who grow up with both their parents.
The foundation of family life is not marriage it is commitment between people and that doesn't have to be ratified by a church or the state - after all you can get married and the relationship can break down in a year or two, you can stay a couple and be together until the day you die. In deed I never wanted to get married. As far as I was concerned it was just a piece of paper that sealed what my family and friends already knew - that I loved Sam and wanted to be with her. In deed we were together for five years before we tied the knot and we've been married almost five years and my feelings have not changed for her at all in that time, indeed I would have brought my children up in the same way had we not been married. This thin strip of white gold on my left hand would not stop me from being a bad parent or from being a bad husband or even cheating (was I that way inclined).
But I should be clear to say once again, I love my wife now as much as the day I married her and the day we got together.
But that should not entitle me to a tax break.
It is fairly discriminatory (despite Jeremy Hunt's protestations here). Why should one set of people get it and not any one else in similar situations not? It really does ascribe a certain weight to an ideal too. What of those struggling single parents whose partners have walked out? Or been abusive and they have taken a stand and left them now found themselves cut off?
Relief from Taxation should be based on financial situation not on family setup. Should we hand out tax relief to those who are confirmed in their religious faith as religion traditionally set people up with values for life and let the atheists suffer?
Jeremy Hunt says this is not a judgement... he says Love is love yet unless you get the piece of paper in what the State is now dictating is the only way they accept that you are committed and in it for the long haul - you won't receive the benefit.
Clearly this is not a well thought out policy and the cynic in me says that this is an attempt of the Conservative party to recapture votes from traditionalists and their original core of voters who may have been turned off by the Equal marriage bill.
Oh and Jeremy, if you are reading this, rather than Love is love (which I think I read on a fortune cookie once) I'd like to offer up the German writer and philosopher Johann von Goethe's definition:
True love is love that stays constant for ever, whatever its fortune:
Whether requited or scorned, filled or sent empty away
Without a doubt, the only thing that makes Man's life on earth essential and necessary is love