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HomeNewsMatthew Walsh: Tories stay toxic as Budget blanks marriage

Matthew Walsh: Tories stay toxic as Budget blanks marriage


Married couples will no doubt be rejoicing at today’s Budget announcement on the transferable tax allowance rising from £1,000 to £1,100. The decision taken by the Chancellor means that married couples will be a whole 38 pence a week better off.

It has been almost ten years since David Cameron became Conservative leader and attempted to detoxify a supposedly poisonous Tory brand to form a newer, more modern compassionate Party.

In that time, he has made no attempt to promote the importance of the family or take into account the overwhelming benefits marriage has on society. In fact, it could be argued he has actively implemented policies which undermine the traditional family unit.

The figures are startling. If you are a couple with a child, you are £7,000 better off if you pretend NOT to live together and remained unmarried. Five years of Coalition Government has done nothing to address this. It is understandable that the Liberal Democrats, for their part in the Coalition, have done everything in their power to dismantle the institution of marriage but surely the Conservative Party, once upon a time THE pro-family Party, should  have done more.

Family breakdown costs taxpayers almost £50 billion a year. Children who do not live with both natural parents are far more likely to experience negative outcomes throughout their lives. A child of 16 is more likely to have a TV in their bedroom than a father at home.

The role of marriage in keeping couples together is astounding. Of those parents still together at their child’s 16th birthday, only seven per cent are unmarried. The other 93 per cent are married.

It is absurd that mainstream political parties have such contempt for married couples. It is not as though married couples are a rarity – of the 18.2 million families in the UK, 12.3 million of them consist of a married couple. So why does the Conservative Party, a party with a rich history of supporting marriage, now have no regard?

When David Cameron became Tory leader in 2005, he was obsessed with detoxifying the party brand, getting rid of the ‘nasty party’ image and broadening the support base.

The party failed to identify the truly toxic aspects of the Tory brand. The leadership chose to abandon traditional conservative values, including the much cherished family unit which was at the heart of the Thatcher Government, all the while maintaining the core of the party’s toxicity – the party of the privileged.

The public look at the Conservative Party and they see a party run by the Oxbridge/Etonian elite, advised by the Oxbridge/Etonian elite (who will one day run the party). It has maintained its fundamental flaw of being perceived as elitist whilst totally abandoning its core strength – the party for family values.

That is why the Tories failed to secure a majority in 2010, will fail to do so in 2015 and require rapid readjustment after May if is to win back its core vote.

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Matt Walsh
Matt Walsh
Matt is Corporate Director at Media Intelligence Partners

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