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Married couples tax allowance announced

‘Shocking waste of money,’ says Gingerbread

The Prime Minister has announced plans for the introduction of a married couples' tax allowance.

The tax allowance will apply to couples who are both basic rate tax payers of which one is earning less than the personal allowance. The Prime Minister estimated that four million couples would benefit from a £1,000 transferable tax allowance from 2015.

BBC News has calculated that since the basic tax rate of 20% is currently in place for up to £32,010 of taxable income, at current rates people would have to earn less than £41,451 a year to be eligible.

The Prime Minister has tweeted:

"The £1,000 marriage tax allowance will apply to straight and gay couples, as well as civil partners. Love is love, commitment is commitment."

For more information, visit the BBC News website.

Responding to the announcement of a tax break for married couples, Gingerbread chief executive Fiona Weir said:

"Introducing a marriage tax break is a shocking waste of money. Child poverty in the UK is set to rise by a further one million by 2020. The £600 million a year that will go to just one in three married couples could - and should - be spent instead on helping families of all shapes and sizes to make ends meet.

"A quarter of all families are headed by single parents and one in six by cohabitating couples – but this tax break won't help them, or married couples where both parents earn enough to pay tax. Modern families come in all shapes and sizes and the government should support them all, not just a select group."