Taxing problems

Joseph Bulmer

SIR - David Scott, of Southampton, accuses the Government of blatant discrimination (the Gazette, February 16) by altering the age at which women will qualify to receive the state pension.

It is quite a well-known fact that people are tending to live longer nowadays and, therefore, potentially, could receive a state pension for many more years than pensioners have in the past.

Unless the rules are changed, future governments could find the cost of providing state pensions overwhelmingly costly.

A better example of blatant discrimination was the axing of the Married Couples’ Allowance, by the then Labour Government, in 2000. From the date of our marriage in 1960 I was able to claim the Married Couples’ Allowance but then, at a stroke, that allowance was axed with only those people born before April 6, 1935 remaining eligible to retain the allowance.

The absurd thing is that a relative continues to receive that allowance having been born before April 1935, whilst I lost the allowance, because I was born after that date! Small wonder that many couples decide not to get married because, from an income tax allowance point of view, they are better off to be taxed as a single person.

Robin Harman, Roundswell