'Commitment is commitment': Married couples will get tax breaks worth up to £200 a year – and it's open to gay couples and civil partners too, David Cameron tweets

£1,000 transferable tax allowance that will benefit four million

Whitehall Editor

Married couples will be given tax breaks worth up to £200 a year from 2015 under plans announced by David Cameron tonight.

Ahead of the start of the Conservative Party conference, Mr Cameron said the Government would introduce a £1,000 transferable tax allowance that will benefit four million couples.

The announcement makes good on a Conservative manifesto commitment as well as promises Mr Cameron made when he was running for leadership of the party in 2005. It will also be available to people in civil partnerships.

Mr Cameron tweeted: "The £1000 marriage tax allowance will apply to straight and gay couples, as well as civil partners. Love is love, commitment is commitment."

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Cameron said he believe there was something “special about marriage” and described it as “a declaration of commitment, responsibility and stability that helps to bind families”.

The move was opposed by the Liberal Democrats but as part of the Coalition agreement Nick Clegg agreed his MPs would abstain on the issue – effectively allowing it to go through Parliament.

The scheme will start in April 2015 and will apply to the 15,000 couples in civil partnerships. They will receive the benefit from the scheme at the end of the tax year in 2016.

Mr Cameron added: “When I ran for the leadership of my party back in 2005, I said that I wanted to do more for marriage in the tax system: a personal pledge that I made right at the start of my campaign - and I then backed that up with a pledge in our manifesto at the last election.

"From April 2015, if neither of you are higher rate taxpayers, you will be able to transfer £1,000 of your tax free allowance to your spouse.

"In effect, if you pay the basic rate of tax and your partner doesn't use all of their personal allowance, you'll be able to have some of it. Most couples who benefit will be £200 a year better off as a result.

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