Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cheap love

Our Prime Minister has announced his support for the institution of marriage - and he intends to put our money where his mouth is.  He draws on his own experience in the most touching way:
"I believe in marriage. Alongside the birth of my children, my wedding was the happiest day of my life. Since then, Samantha and I have been a team. Nothing I've done since - becoming a Member of Parliament, leader of my party or prime minister - would have been possible without her."
I'm not sure this counts as a selling point for most people, but we'll park that one for now. What annoys me about conservatives these days is that they aren't proper conservatives - and even when they're these neo-liberal types that deal in the economistic reduction of social issues masquerading as conservatives, they can't even do that properly.

 There is already a considerable financial incentive to marriage, once you've got over the cost of the wedding itself. Where you had two houses, you only need one - and you sit in a room with one TV when in the past you needed two - this room being warm at half the cost you experienced when you were single. Your council tax is only 25% more than it was before you got hitched, not double... 

I could go on, but you get the point. And then when you get divorced, the whole cost-saving joy of matrimony is thrown into reverse. You're talking thousands of pounds here. You go from "I will love you until the mountains fall into the sea" to "must you breathe like that?" in a few short years. How to avoid this tragic waste of human suffering? Give them a couple of hundred quid of their own money back. For shame. Perhaps if you eliminated income tax altogether for married people and put all single people on an emergency tax band it might have some kind of impact on people's behaviour. Would this be desirable? Only to those who put too low a price on institutions that can't always be justified with such narrow utilitarian cosiderations.

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