Tax break 'a turkey of an idea'

The £1,000 tax break for married couples is "a turkey of an idea" that Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne disagree on, Ed Balls has claimed.

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Shadow chancellor Ed Balls responds to George Osborne following the Autumn Statement

The £1,000 tax break for married couples is "a turkey of an idea" that Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne disagree on, Ed Balls has claimed.

The shadow chancellor sought to open up reported dividing lines between Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne over the PM's "flagship" £1,000 transferable tax allowance for married couples.

Mr Balls seized on claims in the Daily Telegraph that the Chancellor thought the tax break was "a turkey of an idea" and said it would not benefit the people Mr Cameron said it would.

He also pointed out that Treasury minister David Gauke had said just under one third of married couples would get the allowance and that one sixth of families with children would benefit.

Responding to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, Mr Balls said: "As for the Prime Minister's flagship policy for families, a tax break for marriage.

"Why won't the Chancellor admit the truth and tell the Prime Minister that the policy won't even help the family the Prime Minister says it will?

"Because your own Treasury minister has let the cat out of the bag. I have it here in black and white.

"The Exchequer Secretary says 'just under one third of married couples will get the married couples tax allowance'. Just one in six families with children will benefit.

"And contrary to the Prime Minister's claim in this House a few weeks ago, a married couple where both are paying basic rate income tax will get no benefit at all.

"No wonder his own Chancellor of the Exchequer has this week told the Daily Telegraph he thinks the Prime Minister's policy is 'a turkey of an idea'.

"A turkey. The Chancellor thinks the Prime Minister's policy is a turkey.

"Merry Christmas Prime Minister, merry Christmas.

"I think on this one, the Chancellor is right - it is a turkey of an idea."