Letter: Families still count

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The Independent Online
Sir: Polly Toynbee's courageous confession ("Why my blow for women was bad for the poor", 18 September) that tax reforms she and others (myself included) supported in the 1970s and 1980s have had a deleterious effect on families is to be welcomed.

But why does she go on to argue for the abolition of the married couple's allowance which in its nugatory form is the last remaining, if faint, fiscal signal emitted from the Treasury that families and marriage still count? Over two decades, Tory tax law targeted families and marriage and thus helped contribute to social atomisation. Further fiscal engineering undermining families and marriage is the last thing we need.

DENIS MacSHANE MP

(Lab, Rotherham)

House of Commons

London SW1

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