London: (2nd of October 2013) The Director of The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) Lord Singh was signatory to a letter to The Sunday Telegraph last week, encouraging the government to set a higher rate for planned tax breaks for married couples. The signatories said marriage is a “fundamental building block” for society, highlighting the financial implications of “devastating” family breakdown. The signatories included Rt Rev Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, President, Oxford centre for training, research and dialogue, Lord Singh Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, Dr Majid Katme, Muslim member of the Alliance for the Family (and six others; see telegraph.co.uk) The full letter is reproduced below:
Coalition of Faith Leaders, Campaigners and Activists Ask Government For More Generous Tax Break For Married Couples – Prime Minister RespondsOctober 27th, 2013 | Posted by in Press Releases
‘Sir – As representatives from some of Britain’s leading think tanks, political activists and faith leaders, we strongly welcome the proposals to recognize marriage in the tax system, via the introduction of a transferable tax allowance. This is long overdue. We believe that marriage is the fundamental building block of human society and provides many tangible and non-tangible benefits to our communities and our children. Family breakdown costs the taxpayer an estimated £46 billion a year. It is therefore clearly in the interests of government and the taxpayer to work to counter the devastating trend of family breakdown. Backing marriage in the tax system is a sensible first step. This is why we urge all political parties not only to back the new transferable tax allowance, but also to ensure that it is not dismissed as an empty gesture. At £150, it has been set too low. To be meaningful it must be paid at a higher rate, even if this means a phased introduction or application of other conditions.’
Lord Lawson the former Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher’s government and the politician, who first proposed to introduce the allowances 25 years ago, welcomed the group’s intervention. In advance of the Conservative conference this week, David Cameron announced that some married couples would benefit from tax breaks worth up to £200 a year. The prime minister said four million couples would benefit from a £1,000 transferable tax allowance from 2015.