THE Christian charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) this week condemned the UK tax system for being anti-family. It said that there was particular discrimination against families where one parent stays at home to look after the children.
In a report published on Tuesday, CARE said that many British families paid a far higher rate of income tax than those in other advanced countries.
The report states that in 2006, a single-earner married couple with two children on average earnings of £30,800 a year paid 40 per cent more tax in the UK than in comparable countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It also reports evidence that in other OECD countries the tax paid by single-earner married couples on average wages is about 50 per cent of that paid by a single person on the same income. In the UK the figure is 75 per cent.
CARE is campaigning for “fairer” tax treatment of families. Since the 1960s, it says, the tax paid by a single-earner married couple with two children, earning 75 per cent of the average wage, has trebled; tax on a single person with no dependants has risen by 16 per cent.
The report estimates that reducing tax for single-earner couples could take as many as 500,000 children out of poverty.