Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): Does the hon. Lady agree that although this marriage allowance is not going to persuade people to go or not to go down the aisle, it does recognise what marriage and stable relationships really bring both to children and to the couples? Does she think that in 13 years the Labour party might perhaps have considered it?
Catherine McKinnell: Today, we are discussing the merits of this Government proposal in this Bill. We think it is a dud of a policy, and the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary seem to think so, too. I will set out all the reasons why it is a dud, but talking about whether the previous Labour Government considered this policy does not address the issues we are debating today—this policy and our amendment to it. If Government Members are so keen for there to be genuine support for families, for children and for marriage, they should welcome our amendment proposing a proper review on the impact of the tax relief that the Government are suggesting as part of this Bill and exploring alternative tax reliefs that could benefit a greater number of families and, potentially, a greater number of married couples, given the Government’s proposition’s clear deficiencies in recognising most marriages.
Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 9 April 2014, c273)