This is a discussion on Britain's relationship with marriage is on the rocks! within the Politics, Government & Economics anti misandry forums, part of the Closed Forums category; This article was written in the latest New Statement magazine. Although, on the whole is well written, the writer have ...
This article was written in the latest New Statement magazine. Although, on the whole is well written, the writer have missed on some essential facts as to why a marriage slump exists.
The Economist January 23rd 2010.
Britain’s relationship with marriage is on the rocks. The number of couples slogging down the aisle these days is about half what it was in the 1950’s and each year sees almost as many divorces as first time weddings. “Illegitimate children, once a cause of scandal, will become the majority on maternity wards within five years. The falling out of love with matrimony mirrors what is happening in the rest of Europe, where marriage rates has declined at about the same pace over the past 50 years.
To the surprise of many, marriage and its place in family life have become a battleground in Britain’s forthcoming election. Flying the flag for wedded bliss are David Cameron’s Conservatives, who say they would recognise marriages and civil partnership in the income tax system, which currently does not give two hoots whether couples are wedded or not (unless they were born before 1935, in which case an ancient bonus still applies). Labour and the Liberal Democrats promise more help for families via parenting advice, free child care and other goodies, but refuse to favour married over unmarried folk.
Does marriage matter? Wedded couples and their children tend to be healthier, happier and more successful than unmarried ones, and are much less likelier to break up. This “marriage bonus” remains when one controls for age, income and other variables. But the direction for causation is unclear. Mr Cameron says that married couples are more stable than unmarried ones. But one could also infer that stable couples are more likely to marry than unstable ones. The present divorce rate, at its lowest in England and Wales since 1981, may be attributed to the fact that only the hard core are still getting married in the first place. If that is the case, offering tax breaks to encourage others to tie the knot might not result in the same happy unions.
There are other, deeply unromantic reasons for a government to encourage its citizens to marry. Though it is not recognised in income tax, marriage provides shelter from inheritance tax, which wallops unmarried couples, often to their great surprise. And unmarried partners owe each other nothing if they split-no joke if one partner has given up his career and have no claim to the family home or pension.
A desire to protect these unfortunates has persuaded some (the statutory Law Commission, for one) that the law should impose on cohabiting partners a financial responsibility to each other after a given period together, whether they like it or not. Mr Cameron’s plans to temp people down the aisle with tax breaks may be paternalistic, especially for somebody who claims not to want a bossy state. But they are less intrusive than forming a bond between individuals without their consent.
But would the Tories’ tax plans work? Married Couples’ Allowance, a subsidy that was cut by the last Tory government and killed off by labour for all bar the pre-1935 vintage, was axed because it didn’t seem to have much impact on behaviour. The conservatives’ front running idea now is something similar: spouses would pool their tax-free allowances, as they may in many European countries, leaving couples with a single earner better off by £1,295 a year, at current rates. The desperate public finances mean that the plan may apply only to married couples with young children to begin with.
Though the policy has been billed as a way to “bring down the burden of tax on families”, most of the poorest families would not benefit. Couples in which both parties work would see no improvement, nor would those where both are unemployed. Figures from the Centre for Social Cohesion, the Tory-minded policy laboratory that came up with the plan, show that of the 3.9m children living in poverty only 11% would stand to gain from it. Even if their parents took the bait and married on the spot, only 15% would qualify.
There is a pink ray of hope for those who long for the resurgence of marriage. Some 70,000 gay people have formed civil partnerships since they were given permission in 2005, in what may be remembered as Labour’s most important family policy. Now, unexpectedly, some heterosexual couples want to do the same. A civil partnership-which comes without marriage’s godly whiff-appeals to some people who want to entrench their legal rights but think a wedding sound too stuffy. A similar option already exists in France. Perhaps the way to rejuvenate marriage is not to subsidise it but to secularise it.
One of the most striking omissions is that it makes no mention of the **financial bonanza** awarded to women when they divorce their husbands. As recent cases from celebrities who have been extorted in the courts of a small fortune proves, it is one important factor, often the main factor, in the decision of a woman to seek a divorce.
Another important fact the article shows is that all would be prime minister for the UK. are woefully unaware, if not deliberately ignoring it, taxes in whatever form it takes, will not change anything unless and until the financial rewards are removed completely from a divorce settlement.
The Statutory Law commission can only make matters worse by deciding to impose the family law to unmarried couples. It is an intolerable curtaling of civic freedoms and choices which are, rightfully, people's entitlement.
This is the way the UK. is withdrawing freedom and liberties from people who are being railroaded into a fascist State.