Faith leaders have said that a marriage tax break of £150 is too low.
The measure is due to come into effect in 2015 but the faith leaders
argue that the allowance should be "in the thousands" if it is to have
any impact on the rate of family breakdown.
They said that the Government should make the tax break more generous
if it does not want it to be "dismissed as an empty gesture".
Signatories of the letter include Bishop of Chester, the Right
Reverend Peter Forster, former Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend
Michael Nazir-Ali, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, Lord
Singh, and former general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain Sir
The letter states: "Family breakdown costs the taxpayer an estimated £46 billion a year. It is therefore clearly in the interests of government and the
taxpayer to work to counter the devastating trend of family breakdown
and backing marriage in the tax system is a sensible first step.
"This is why we urge all political parties to back the new
transferable tax allowance and go further by ensuring that it cannot be
dismissed as an empty gesture, because it has been set at the low level
"To be meaningful it must be paid at a higher rate even if this meant
a phased introduction or application of other conditions. "