Pocket Money for Married People

We are not married. We have no intention of getting married. We are happy as we are. We are still a family without that piece of paper.

I have no criticism of marriage and those who opt to do it, it is a matter of personal choice. And we choose not to.

So because of our personal belief that we do not need to take part in a public declaration of our private love, and that we don’t need a legal document to validate our commitment, we will be a few quid worse off.

Is that fair? Not really. I don’t think it is governments job to dictate people’s lifestyle choices. And is money a reason to get married? Not a good one in my mind.

I have been married, so has my other half. Did those bits of paper ensure those relationships lasted? Obviously not. I just cannot see the point of this policy, at most people will be four quid a week better off. Forgive me if I am not running to the registry office to make sure I don’t miss out!

So assuming there are two people in a marriage, (unless they are counting the crazy internet stories about people marrying dogs/statues/fictional characters), the tax break amounts to under £2 each a week. Is that even enough pocket money to buy a copy of the Beano these days? Assuming you can still buy a copy of the Beano that is.

Also in my house growing up, pocket money was on the proviso of ‘being good’, are all married people good? Will they get it stopped if they beat their spouse for example? Or if they indulge in other socially/legally unacceptable behaviours? Is David Cameron putting those who are married on a morally superior paid pedestal based solely on their relationship status?

How about instead of pennies for being married, we all get them for being nice instead, whatever our marital status. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be rewarded for being a friendly member of society with enough cash for a bag of blackjacks and a lollipop.

What do you think of this plan? If you are married are you excitedly planning what to do with your windfall? If you are not married would it make you consider it? Or would you rather the cash was given to an area of more pressing need?

I am on the edge of my seat with excitement to see what other brilliant ideas are forthcoming from the Tory conference. I should imagine they are busy inventing new ways to give money to bankers and take it from the NHS, and I am certain Mr Gove will be pushing for Latin on the national curriculum to continue his attempts to recreate the schooling of his childhood, and we will no doubt see the continuation of plans to bolster the overpriced housing market further alongside oxymoronical schemes to reduce the housing benefit bill. Oh and the return of slave labour, probably to be shortly followed by the re-introduction of workhouses. Oh joy.

Love Miss Cisco xxx



  1. Marilynn
    September 30, 2013 / 8:05 am

    Like you, I’m not married. However I was curious to find out exactly how much money I was missing out on by living in sin. Was very shocked to find out just how measly the amount of money actually was!

    I feel hugely uncomfortable that the government is placing a financial value on relationships. It saddens me that my valid, loving and committed relation of 11 years is viewed as worthless by the government (quite literally WORTH LESS). People already get married for all the wrong reasons, why give them another reason?

    I suppose my most pressing worry is what comes next? If the government really want to encourage people to marry then will they go further than just incentivising it? Will there be taxation of unmarried/cohabiting couples? I shudder to think…

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 8:13 am

      Great comment, and I agree, it is a statement that our relationships are worth less. How insulting! In my social group not one marriage lasted, but I have lots of friends who have been in committed unmarried relationships for 10, 15, 20 years. That is far longer than my marriage lasted!

  2. Suzanne Whitton
    September 30, 2013 / 8:20 am

    Oh my goodness, look at your fancy new look – I love it! Sorry got distracted there….I think this marriage ‘pocket money’ (obviously that’s all it is) is a total waste of time. As you say, what’s £4 to anyone these days? I honestly don’t think anyone should be paid for staying married and some people probably shouldn’t be married in the first place. What’s their reasoning behind it? To encourage marriage? Why? As you say, marriage can be great….but it can also be really bad, depending on the two people in it. Why bribe people (if £4 floats your boat?!) to stay in an unhappy marriage? Nonsense!

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 12:36 pm

      Thank you, glad you like the new look! And £4 a week doesnt seem enough of an icenntive for anything- not really sure what the point of it is!

  3. Marilynn
    September 30, 2013 / 8:27 am

    Well exactly. All our friends got married and we were the odd ones out (did you ever see my Smug Marrieds blog post). Well anyway, most of those friends ended up having divorces, separations and/or affairs! I’m not saying marriage isn’t lovely and there are amazing marriages out there, but marriage isn’t something to be put on a pedestal. There are all types of relationships out there. Everyone is different, and what works for one doesn’t work for another. In my mind this tax break is just a way to encourage people to conform, not about building good, strong relationships.

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 12:37 pm

      Yes, the tories love a bit of conformity! But is £4 a week enough to influence anyones behavior anyway? Such an odd policy!

  4. September 30, 2013 / 8:46 am

    I love the party conferences because they always manage to top the idiot ‘we are doing this for you’ that the last bunch came up with. I love Marilynn’s last sentence – yes, it does rather smack of ‘do as you are told or we will take your sweets away from you!’.

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 12:37 pm

      Yes, I think this policy is just attempting to make a good sound bite rather than doing anyone any real good!

  5. Katie Walker
    September 30, 2013 / 9:21 am

    If so many marriages end in divorce is really sensible to create a system whereby married couples get more cash. I am not married I don’t want to get married but I probably would if there was something like that out there. I am in a committed relationship but see no point to marriage for me.

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 12:38 pm

      It would take a lot more than £4 a week to persuade me to get married, but I am not sure it is a good reason to tie the knot anyway!

  6. Claire Evans
    September 30, 2013 / 9:27 am

    Hi, we’ve been together 13 years, and have four kids together, but aren’t married. I know so many people who are with someone for a year and get married and then divorced by the following year. It does seem odd, that while they are married they will get tax breaks and an extra £ (up to) 4 a week lol. Will hardly pay off the wedding will it? Nice pennies would be lovely! 🙂 xxx

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 12:39 pm

      The relationships amongst my friends that have lasted the longest are the unmarried ones! Why have a policy that dismisses many peoples happy and very committed relationships.

  7. Anonymous
    September 30, 2013 / 1:21 pm

    We’ve been together 12 years and have one child (and a mortgage and a cat). We’re not married, neither of us is bothered enough. Both are the product of “broken homes” and have little faith in the sanctity of marriage, we have wills – although updating these is on the top of my to do list. That said, we’re not against marriage and happily support many (well, all) of our friends as they’ve merrily made their way down the aisle. We’re now in the the realm of divorces and marital problems. Interestingly, when offering support/advice we both sometimes get “you wouldn’t understand, you’re not married” as a response! As though our relationship isn’t valid as a result.

    I find Cameron talking about the children of unmarried couples being ASBO wielding thugs really offensive. He’s talking about MY boy, my gorgeous, well behaved little boy, he’s been labelled already because his Dad and I aren’t married.

    I think if we did get married, it wouldn’t be for tax breaks (urgh!) it would simply (and yes, rather boringly) be to tie up our loose ends. There would be no hoo ha, no fuss, just something quick and efficient (and boring!).

    A final word from my gorgeous Grandma who one might expect to be affronted by my living in sin and spawning a thug but who actually speaks the most sense: “it’s not the being married that’s important, it’s the staying together” – she’s been married for over 70 years, she should know! 😉

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 3:07 pm

      Being married isn’t the only sign of a healthy, committed relationship. In fact it certainly doesn’t guarantee you are in a healthy, comittes relationship. What a shame so many people can’t see beyond that bit of paper.
      As you rightly say it is insulting to both our relationships and our lovely children to be portrayed as somewhat feckless and second rate.

  8. September 30, 2013 / 3:02 pm

    15 years. 4 children. Mortgage paid off. And I notice you predicted the slave labour too. Nice.

    • Sonya Cisco
      September 30, 2013 / 3:09 pm

      Congrats to you and your partner! As for slave labour, I despair. I wish they start making policies based on facts rather than daily mail headlines, the numbers of long term unemployed are far smaller than certain areas of the press would have you believe!

  9. September 30, 2013 / 5:11 pm

    I’m a single parent so I’m hardly flavour of the month with the Tories anyway, but the £200 tax break is laughable. The country is in a mess, prices are higher than ever and they think £200 is going to improve people’s lives? God help us.

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 1, 2013 / 8:23 am

      Yup, it is money that could be better spent in my mind- £4 a week isnt really going to help anyone, and unfair not to distribute it to all.

  10. September 30, 2013 / 6:43 pm

    A desperate policy to appease the Tory right wing. My husband of 15 yrs left me and his 13 year old daughter because he did not want to stay in the marriage after I became disabled after failed surgery, despite the fact that I had been the main wage earner in the 18 years we were together and funded both Uni and a business venture. He is now with a woman who has left her husband and 3 young children. In the Tory world when they get married later this year they will be entitled to the allowance and the partners who have been left to raise the children, in my own case my daughter having a major caring role, too, will be seen as less worthy. They can stick there £4 a week where the sun doesn’t shine, it would be much better spent on the NHS and the decimated Welfare State. Sorry, rant over 🙂

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 1, 2013 / 8:25 am

      Sorry to hear you have had such a rough time, your story perfectly highlights that this policy isn’t fairly directed at the worthy. The notion that being married alone makes you somehow worth more is ludicrous.

  11. Shiv Ferguson
    September 30, 2013 / 8:07 pm

    I enjoyed being married and it enabled me to buy a washing machine with wedding pressie vouchers when we were skint. I found that during tough times the memory of making vows in front of our friends did help to focus the mind on repair rather than running. Being married did make things simpler when he died I guess. Will people who stay together but don’t get married be entitled to bereavement payments should the worst happen? That isn’t the reason we got married. I just wanted to feel like a princess for a day, albeit one on a very strict budget! Being someone’s wife made me feel secure and wanted. Mal saying his vows to me is one of the most precious memories I have. And we have nice photos. The tories being in favour of it would have most likely put me off though. Had they announced this in the run up to our wedding we probably would have cancelled. Tory boys don’t think anyone will do anything without a tax break in it!

  12. Shiv Ferguson
    September 30, 2013 / 8:11 pm

    PS I didn’t get any bereavement allowance because Mal stayed home with Callum while I went out to work and he didn’t have enough of the right kind of stamps.

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 1, 2013 / 8:37 am

      Your wedding was lovely, have seen the video. Shocked you didnt get any help when he died tho, a stay at home parent still has enormous value to the family, financial worries must have bee the last thing you needed. xxx

  13. September 30, 2013 / 9:07 pm

    I believe the reason they’ve done this is that they don’t have a flippin clue. Not one ounce!! Someone has sat and actually thought this ip and probably waged hundreds of thousands of pounds coming up with this idea to “reward” married people. They need to just lift that whole pot and give it to the NHS.

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 1, 2013 / 8:38 am

      I quite, quite agree x

  14. Older Mum
    October 2, 2013 / 12:36 pm

    Brilliant post, and I couldn’t agree more – what a ridiculous policy…. now I wouldn’t mind an extra fiver a week for being a nice person though! So there fore they should introduce the Karma Bill…. can’t wait until they are shunted out of government. X

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