Reform the Marriage Allowance

Think tank: Civitas

Author(s): Frank Young

November 12, 2022

This report from UK think tank Civitas looks at the case for recognising marriage in the tax system and why we should keep the Marriage Allowance.

Marriage is disappearing in Britain. 2021 was the first year on record that the number of children born to unmarried couples exceeded the number of children born to married couples. New research by Frank Young, head of the Children and Families Unit at Civitas, predicts that there will be almost no new marriages in England and Wales by 2062. This Civitas publication reviews the Marriage Allowance and trends in family formation, arguing that we urgently need a plan to rescue marriage. Across Europe the UK has one of the lowest marriage rates. Since income tax was first introduced in the UK in 1799, the British tax system has always recognised marriage. There are growing concerns that a future government will abolish the Marriage Allowance by stealth and become the first government in 223 years to remove any recognition of marriage from the tax system.