The general election on Thursday will determine whether the Conservatives remain in power, or the Labour Party wrestles the keys to 10 Downing Street, with Jeremy Corbyn ousting Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. Success for the Labour leader would see him launch a tax assault on tens of millions of Britons in a desperate bid to pay for the party’s huge spending plans. Labour has insisted its multi-billion tax proposals would only impact on the rich and big corporations.
But the party is planning to scrap the £250 tax allowance for married couples, with the Tories raging it would punish 3.6million people n low and middle incomes.
Currently, people earning £12,500 can transfer a portion of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner, therefore reducing the amount they pay in income tax. The beneficiary has to earn between £12,501 and £50,000 (or £43,430 in Scotland), ruling out high-earners.
Around 1.8 million people took advantage of the tax break during the 2018-19 tax year – although a further 1.5 million failed to claim their allowance.
But cutting the benefit will effectively penalise couples where one person earns the majority of the income, while the other works part time or is not employed at all.
Earlier this month, Mr Corbyn was challenged on Labour’s plans during a BBC interview with Andrew Neil, with the veteran journalist claiming removing the marriage allowance would hit lower-income taxpayers.
He said: “My point is that these people, there’s almost two million of them, are going to lose £250 and they earn a lot less than £80,000.”
A defensive Mr Corbyn replied: “But they will also be getting a pay rise when we bring in a living wage.
“They will also be getting improvement in free nursery provision for two to four-year-olds.”
“If they’re working for the public sector, a £1,600 pay increase on the five per cent we’re giving them.
“Do you know why it was unfair when it was introduced? It was introduced as a tax allowance for married couples but not people living together.
“Why discriminate in that way? Do you mean to tell me people are getting married for £250? It doesn’t make for much of an incentive, does it?”
The Tories raged Labour’s plans to scrap the allowance amounted to a “marriage tax”, claiming it would punish 3.6million people on low and middle incomes.
The party said: “Labour would introduce a Marriage Tax by scrapping the Married Persons Allowance.
“That’s another 3.6 million middle and low income earners who’d be hit by this.”