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Labour accused of aping Tory policy by promoting marriage

Labour were yesterday accused of raiding Tory policies again after a Cabinet minister said the tax system should recognise married couples.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Andy Burnham signalled a shift in government thinking by arguing there was a “moral case” for promoting marriage.

His comments led shadow chancellor George Osborne to seize on the move as further proof that the Conservatives were setting the political agenda, while Labour left-wingers accused Gordon Brown’s team of “disgracefully” aping the Tories.

Last night a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Glasgow said any moves to recognise married couples in the tax system would be welcome.

“All the statistics prove that a stable marriage-based family offers the best start in life for children,” he added.

The Rev Sandy Horsburgh, vice-convener of the Church of Scotland’s church and society council, said the kirk shared Burnham’s opinion on the value of marriage and welcomed support for married people.

“Tax advantages, however, are never going to be a good reason for couples to become or stay married,” he added. “Marriage should be about giving love, commitment and care.”

• Full story at the Sunday Herald.

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