Get married. It's a bargain.

14 February 2011

Being as it is THAT day of the year, you know, the one where cute teddies, red underwear and roses all rise in price by approximately 1000%, we thought we would do some investigative work into the benefits of marriage. After all, there have to be some…

weddingcakeIn the latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics, marriages in 2008 fell to just 232,990, the lowest figure since 1895. Of course, this probably comes as no surprise, but what was a little more unusual was a recent pairing between the UK’s Chief Rabbi and The Bishop of Chester.

No, not that type of pairing. A political pairing – less exciting, but also less offensive to the mind’s eye. Said Rabbi and Bishop appeared in the House of Commons last week, demanding Ministers increase the tax advantage of being married in a feeble attempt to combat the amorality of British society.

Far be it from me (happily married, or so he tells me) to comment, but surely trying to convince people to get married purely for the tax breaks is a bit, well, desperate? And although the good old married couple’s allowance is now only available if one or other party to the marriage is over 75 (and still alive) is the few hundred pounds a year tax credit really worth a lifetime of trouble and strife?

In fact, there are a number of tax breaks available to married couples, and most could be worth far more than the trifling income tax allowance that was. Married couples can transfer assets between each other free of capital gains tax or inheritance tax, and therefore use both spouses’ annual exempt amounts. Since 2009, spouses have also been able to make use of their erstwhile partner’s nil rate band for inheritance tax purposes, saving up to £130,000 in tax. Assuming, of course, you are rich enough to need more than one £325,000 nil rate band.

But still, in order to force more people into marriage we need more tax breaks. As the Chief Rabbi himself put it, without them “we will not have a big society." Bless.

3 comments

  • Alexis
    Why do we need more marriages? It's just a contract between two people agreeing they won't go off with anyone else, that's all.
  • Craig
    If anyone wants to know, that cake topper is called "now I have you", and you can get it on ebay. I know, it's the one I had at my wedding! (mine had a kilt on, mind.) @Alexis: Putting the "Bitter" in bitterwallet?
  • Paul C.
    It's a terrible state of affairs that these oppurtunities are not presented in civil partnerships. I'm not attracted to men ( sorry boys) but I'd just like to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage with my girlfriend. I don't respect the sanctity of mariage as it stands within any religion, but I'm wholly commited to being bonded in the legal sense to someone whom (for all intents and purposes) I intend to be with for the remainder of my days on this mortal coil. Why shouldn't I be entitled to the same rights as a married couple?

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