Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TAX CUT FOR HOUSEWIVES; Green Tax Benefits: George Osborne

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TAX CUT FOR HOUSEWIVES; Green Tax Benefits: George Osborne

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY

WIVES who give up work to bring up children will get a [pounds sterling]1,000 tax cutfrom the Tories.

The Evening Standard has learned that the Conservatives will announce the boostfor married couples as a flagship policy for the general election.

Wives will be allowed to hand over their unused tax-free allowance to theirspouse, enabling the family to keep up to [pounds sterling]20 a week out of the grasp of thetaxman.

The disclosure comes as Tory leader David Cameron prepares to make the speechof his life to his party conference in Blackpool.

With Gordon Brown set to decide within the next four days whether to gamble ona 1 November election, the hope in Tory circles was that a strong performancewould lift the opinion polls and give the Labour leader cold feet.

In an address unashamedly light on policy detail, he will present himself andhis party as going "forward to the future".

Challenging Labour for the mantle of change-makers, he will declare his troopsto be "a new Conservative Party with new priorities" while dubbing Gordon Brown"the old politics".

Family life will be at the heart of three core themes, along with boostingaspiration and opportunity, and promoting the environment and security.

Mr Cameron will say: "I believe that we will only deal with crime, poverty andsocial breakdown for the long term if we make families stronger and societymore responsible and that means a bigger role for society, not the state." Theidea of a transferable tax allowance for married couples was floated by apolicy review body earlier this year but there had been heavy speculation itwas being dropped as too risky. Labour relentlessly attacked the idea offavouring children raised in marriage at its conference last week. But a seniorparty strategist said: "The transferable allowance is in the draft manifestoand is one of 50 pledges we will be making." In an interview today, shadowchancellor George Osborne confirmed that tax cuts for families, individuals andbusinesses are likely to be in the manifesto, on top of cuts in stamp duty andinheritance tax unveiled this week. …

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