Tax advantages for married couples


Madam, – Last week I spoke in the Dáil on the Civil Partnership Bill during which I addressed tax implications that may arise from the introduction of civil partnership. I drew attention to the fact that the tax system can require a single person to pay considerably more tax than a married couple that earns more, despite the high cost of living alone.

I pointed out that this tax advantage is also given to married couples with no dependent children and even married people who do not live together. The major beneficiaries of this anomaly are wealthy couples with no dependants.

I said this was unjust and that extending the tax benefits of marriage to civil partners would result in further disadvantageous treatment for singles. This aspect of my speech was picked up in an article on Page 6 (January 28th).

I went on to argue that the State should instead, give the tax benefit to the “family unit” to recognise the cost of raising children and the social good of family life. In fact, the tax system barely recognises families at all and only does so through a special tax credit for families headed by a single parent and a small credit for the stay-at-home spouse. This was picked up on Page 8 by another reporter.

Unfortunately, some stay-at-home parents read the article on Page 6 but not on Page 8 and got the wrong end of the stick, totally. I wish to have the matter clarified and to restate my support for favourable treatment for families. I do not, however, believe that single people should be treated less favourably than married couples or civil partners where there are no dependent children involved. These views are my own. – Yours, etc,


Leinster House,

Kildare Street, Dublin 2.