The Liberal Democrats have branded the Conservative’s Flagship Married Couples Tax Allowance policy a ‘pathetic failure’ after figures revealed that only a fraction of eligible couples had bothered claiming the allowance.
Only 330,000 people have taken advantage of the allowance, equivalent to 8% of those eligible.
The Tories had believed over 4 million would take allowance.
The Liberal Democrats also revealed that the Government had launched an advertising campaigning around the allowance in a desperate bid to increase take-up of the scheme.
The Married Tax allowance was extracted from the Liberal Democrats in coalition in exchange for the Free School Meals for infant school children.
Commenting, Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron said:
“When the Conservatives demanded to introduce their allowance, Liberal Democrats said that it was a needless gimmick. These figures show that their plan is indeed a pathetic failure.
“Unsurprisingly, it turns out that people don’t choose to get married in order to secure a tax break. Rather than spending taxpayer’s cash trying to promote their flop, the Tories should abandon the policy and put the money into something useful.
“Liberal Democrats in Coalition chose to spend our time fighting to give hot healthy meals to young children, not on gimmicky giveaways. Now the Tories are governing alone it’s time they too started trying to do some good rather than clinging to half-baked ideas like the Married Couples Allowance."
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