Happy Thursday! I have been really inspired by the campaign that Pregnant Then Screwed have run to get the childcare crisis in the UK onto the political agenda. For those in other countries, childcare ended up forming the most important part of our chancellor’s Spring Budget yesterday. Back when Joeli Brearley first started the campaign nobody wanted to know.
Anything and everything that removes the singles "tax". The govt can't affect our love lives. But they can treat us as whole individuals and not penalise us for it. GIMME MY MONEY!!
Either discount for solo (akin to council) or remove couples allowances. Either I count as 1 or not. I'm not 1/2 a person sometimes and 1.5 others.
2. Outlaw single supplements charges across any business / service.
Govt can do this in some areas. Biz will likely hide it somewhere but worth a go. Again, either I'm a 1 or not.
3. Replace "couple" for "pair" in memberships and the like.
More and more memberships have no physical elements that require a solo address. And sharing a name / house / marriage certificate doesn't affect what the service provision is (eg. A couple's gym membership doesn't mean we have to go at the same time). So make them be open to "pair" whatever that means for a person. Your neighbour. Your colleague. Your friend. Your therapist. Whatever. Pair. Not couple. If we are doing this +1 is better, then *any* is valid.
It matters. Stop saying families. Say households. There's too many solo households and growing to keep saying families.
5. Employment benefits.
If any are offered for family /coupledom, they must be for solos. What's my mat leave equivalent? Allowing for the usual (role / biz needs etc), I should be able to take x months off to "birth" whatever I like. Pregnancy is a choice. So is self improvement.
So much! We’re forgotten people. More tax breaks for single households, especially single parents. Eg. Better council tax discount; more generous personal tax allowances as you end up paying more tax than a couple who have the same income while having similar fixed outgoings.
More around public safety, as a women living by myself i often fear going out by myself after dark / people not knowing where I am unless I share my location.
Would love to hear ideas about housing - in the past I’ve been stuck in flatshares as not able to afford somewhere for myself.
More generous pension allowances as we may find it harder to rely on children when we’re retired. I know they’ve just raised the maximum amount, but would be nice to have benefits for those of us that aren’t touching these limits (harder with extra single costs!)
To echo what Peps said below, any way in which we are financially penalised for being single, despite being functioning, contributing members of society.
The one that instantly springs to mind is the Council Tax. They claim singles get a 25% discount but actually, we receive a penalty of at least 50%. This is how much more we have to pay than those living as a couple and sharing the Council Tax bill between them. A family of 5 adults would split a £1000 Council Tax bill between them, paying a mere £200 each, whereas a single person is supposed to jump for joy at being given a 25% discount and only having to pay £750(!)
In terms of usage of public services, I'd bet my I-teeth that the family of five uses way more than the single person living alone, yet the single person pays almost four times as much as one of them.
It's sickening enough that we have ALL the bills and mortgage to pay on one salary, but the Council Tax is yet another 'stick' to beat single people with and make us feel demoralised and ostracised.
I stand by my theory that single, childfree people are, by far, the most marginalised demographic in society. The government do nothing whatsoever to dispel this theory. There's even a marriage tax allowance (not to mention the 15 different available benefits to those with children)! So, in essence, the government financially rewards some for one lifestyle choice whilst penalising others for an alternative lifestyle choice.
Another thing is the single supplement when it comes to going on holiday. I haven't been on holiday for 6 years. Why? Because I'm unable to afford to go as a single person. If I'm honest, I don't foresee that I'll ever be able to go on holiday again simply because I'm single.
I could afford to go if I was one half of a couple, but as a single person it's not feasible for me financially. I feel really aggrieved that in order for me to travel or see the world, I have to be in a couple to be able to do this. I genuinely feel like I'm missing out: there's so much of this world I'd love to explore but it appears that would only ever be within my reach (and budget) if I was one half of a couple. It really gets me down.
Grocery shopping. Expensive for everyone right now, but cripplingly-so for single people. I understand and appreciate the premise of economy of scale, but surely retailers could fathom some way to have offers that appeal to single people? There are, after all, 13 million of us out here, and that's a massive cohort that they could tap in to. The 'Dine in for 2' deals, the buy one get one free, the family meal deals etc etc... How about supermarkets are encouraged by the government to think of the millions of us out here for whom those offers aren't applicable!?
The same goes for loads of other things. Insurance - discounts offered for multi-car policies or if you add your partner or family members, for example. It's like we are invisible in our own right, we are only recognised and seen to have value (or be worthy of a discount) when we're one half of a whole!
Finally, we all enter the world alone, and we leave it alone, we are sole beings, so why is society a place that is so unwelcoming and unaccommodating to us!?
Self esteem is the feminist cult leader we all need. A spiritual experience for sure. What a show. An icon for all single child free women. All the days you get to have are big!
I’m not sure exactly how it would work, but some sort of income tax relief for single person households, as singles pay disproportionately more. They could find out who qualifies by linking to council tax.
More help with utility/energy bills. We have to shoulder them on our own and it doesn't cost less to heat a house with one person in it.
As a flat owner who 'd like to leave it to my only child, I'd like the same allowance as a couple. My kid can only get 325k tax free. If I were a couple it'd be double. I live in London and a modest 2 bedroom flat is worth a lot more than 325k. It means that my kid will have to pay enormous inheritance tax. We are Londoners, we are from here.
Better financial and emotional support for older singles who are ageing without children. Better support for vulnerable people with no family / dependents for inheritance, making arrangements for making a Will etc.
More flexible working arrangements for single people including the option of a career break or sabbatical for childless women.
Pressure on travel firms, hotels and hospitality industry to ban single person supplements and create better, more welcoming environments for single people such as more ‘meal deals’ for one person and treating single people as valued customers.
Overhaul of domestic adoption procedures to make the process of adopting a child as a single person easier and removing the barriers imposed by local authorities that prevent single people from adopting.
Council tax discount should be more generous. I think tax cuts in general, as other people have said - why should a couple have tax relief when a single person does not. Other discounts on fixed bills like broadband/tv subscriptions would also be great.