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The right to be single

(29 Posts)
VestalVirgin Sun 06-Dec-15 19:18:55

Interesting article:

I mostly thought about this in terms of discrimination of homosexual people, but on the other hand - why should people even HAVE to get married to enjoy all those privileges? What about those who didn't find someone?
Or those who simply want to stay single?

winterswan Sun 06-Dec-15 19:20:28

I don't think it's very well written. Was I missing the main point(s)?

VestalVirgin Sun 06-Dec-15 19:29:06

Winterswan, I don't know, what did you miss?

I think the complaining about people pitying singles is a bit superfluous, I don't really mind that, but the tax stuff is very important - it is adding insult to injury that those who are unhappy single also have to pay more taxes. (It would be different if it was people with children vs people without, but that's not the case where I live.)

winterswan Sun 06-Dec-15 19:29:46

I thought I had missed something!

I completely agree re the taxes.

GreenTomatoJam Sun 06-Dec-15 19:44:37

Isn't this a (I agree, not particularly clear) argument similar to one I read in a newspaper, pointing out that whilst marriage and civil partnership were all well and good, there were both inextricably linked to romance.

His example was two sisters, who had literally lived their entire lives together, but, because they weren't in a civil partnership or married (what with them being related and all), when one died, they had to pay inheritance tax on half their house etc. He felt (and it does sound fair to me too - although I don't know how it would work in practice) that there should be some way to support relationships like this - as close, or closer than any marriage, yet unable to share any of the benefits marriage allows.

onahorsewithnoname Sun 06-Dec-15 19:50:41

I quite agree, I knew new some elderly twins who were in that position, very unfair.

squidzin Sun 06-Dec-15 19:51:47

America is ruthlessly right wing though, so Quelle surprise.

redbinneo Sun 06-Dec-15 19:54:26

GTJ I'm not aware of any benefits that marriage allows.

squidzin Sun 06-Dec-15 19:57:32

The UK has various judicial precedent to define civil partnership and can be far more case-by-case than the USA.

VestalVirgin Sun 06-Dec-15 19:59:09

squidzin, it is not just America. Germany is discriminating against unmarried people, too.

I would be surprised if there was a country that didn't do this, actually. Is there a country where tax exemptions, rights to see someone in the hospital, etc, are not linked to marriage?

OneMoreCasualty Sun 06-Dec-15 20:00:15

Redbinneo, the spouse/civil partner can inherit without tax, for one.

redbinneo Sun 06-Dec-15 20:06:49

OMC, I didn't realise that civil partnerships are treated the same as marriage. I stand corrected.

OneMoreCasualty Sun 06-Dec-15 20:35:52

I think that's right...

OneMoreCasualty Sun 06-Dec-15 20:37:45

GreenTomatoJam Sun 06-Dec-15 20:57:16

red - communal property is the biggie - especially given how much houses are worth now.

GreenTomatoJam Sun 06-Dec-15 20:58:52

I think the hospital thing is a bit of a red herring for most people - I'm not married to DP, so for both kids I double checked that he'd be allowed to make decisions for me if the worst happened, and in each case I was assured that he was, and that I didn't need to write or sign anything.

I don't know if I was worried or comforted by that now that I think about it.

VestalVirgin Sun 06-Dec-15 21:00:57

I don't know if I was worried or comforted by that now that I think about it.

Great for you, bad for anyone who is in an abusive relationship.

EBearhug Sun 06-Dec-15 23:01:51

There are lots of things about tax and inheritance which happen automatically when you marry in the UK. Most of them (not all) can be done separately if you're in a relationship but not married/civilly partnered.

I mostly don't think the law needs to change for that, but I do think that inheritance laws should be extended include close relationships like siblings who live together, and I also think that some people who live together wrongly think that gives them rights over property or children which they might not have - I think it's fine not to marry if you know what that means legally when you buy property or have children - but many people don't. I'm not sure how you force people to have knowledge, though.

I have a German colleague who said the main reason he and his spouse married was because of the tax benefits.

I'm not sure I should get any benefits because I'm single (although I quite like my 25% council tax discount.) I do think I shouldn't have to be charged extra for being single when I go on holiday and so on. There are some benefits to being single in that I mostly don't have to do things I don't want socially, but there are also a lot of things which are crap about being single, and paying single supplements are one of them.

OneMoreCasualty Mon 07-Dec-15 00:19:46

For the hotel, isn't a room, say, £100 to rent for a night and breakfast, say, £10 per person, so a "fair" rate for a couple in the room is £120 and for a single occupant £110? Space is usually the most valuable/scarce commodity.

OneMoreCasualty Mon 07-Dec-15 00:20:36

The 25% council tax discount seems v logical as you create less rubbish, only have one library card etc etc vs a couple or family.

OneMoreCasualty Mon 07-Dec-15 00:22:38

I think we should all be able to nominate a significant person to share our IHT bands etc - maybe with suitable checks to ensure it wasn't a con artist at work (so a sibling would pass straight away).

Destinysdaughter Mon 07-Dec-15 00:27:36

I agree society discriminates against single people in lots of ways. I'd love to go on holiday on my own but all deals are for 2 people sharing a room and there's a massive premium for single people. ' Singles' holidays, although a big market, are also massively overpriced. It sucks Tbh!

VestalVirgin Mon 07-Dec-15 00:52:35

You can share a double room with a female friend, though, can you?

I am most annoyed by the tax thing, to be honest. It rewards people for being married. The assumption behind it seems to be that married couples will have children and single people will not, but that is really outdated.

There should be tax benefits for having children, but not for being a heterosexual couple.

EBearhug Mon 07-Dec-15 01:28:19

You can share a double room with a female friend, though, can you?

Yes - if they are not busy with being a parent or partner, and if they want to do the same sort of things that you do, and can get leave at the same time, and have the same sort of budget.

TBH, I've given up trying to organise holidays with other people. If I don't go by myself, I wouldn't ever go anywhere.

EBearhug Mon 07-Dec-15 01:30:57

There should be tax benefits for having children, but not for being a heterosexual couple.


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