You can’t redistribute love.
Love is the most important thing in life. It is what keeps us strong, makes great children and build good citizens.
The government cannot take away someone else’s love and use it on other people. Love is bound up with real human relationships, commitments and families.
However, while the government cannot redistribute love it can tax love and often does so in ways that are highly damaging. In the UK system we find love taxed in many ways:
- If you are in poverty and live together then you lose benefits
- A family where one partner is working loses the tax allowances of the non-working partner
- If you need care or support you are often deemed ineligible if you have family in your life
So we punish people for love, impose taxes on families, means-test family strength. For example, disabled people have sometimes found social workers encouraging them to get a divorce in order to be entitled to higher levels of benefits or social care.
The design of the current tax-benefit system is anti-love – it punishes and penalises people for being in relationships and it incentivises family breakdown. The answer is not to reduce benefits but to design a system that does not punish love.