The Government’s taxation system is “nonsensical” and brands families where one parent stays at home as “the real economic enemy”, says UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage.
Mr Farage wrote for The Telegraph online that the Chancellor’s plans to offer childcare vouchers for working parents showed “contempt” for the traditional family structure.
George Osborne said last week that up to £1,200 per child would be given to families where both parents go out to work and earn up to a salary of £300,000 between them.
He also said those parents who decide not to go out to work are making a “lifestyle choice”.
But Laura Perrins, from the Mothers at Home Matter group, said the Chancellor’s comments were “pejorative and patronising”, and that the scheme in general was “deeply insulting”.
Daily Mail columnist Peter Hitchens said Mr Osborne had “airily dismissed the embattled minority of traditional families as indulging a ‘lifestyle choice’, like smoking or owning an allotment”.
He added, “actually quite a lot of couples view it as a stern duty”, giving up “many of the pleasures of life” to do so.
Mr Farage said the current tax system “penalises those who are married with only one earner to the tune of up to and over £10,000 per year”.
He said the Conservative administration is “deliberately undermining” the institution of the family.
The UKIP policy is for workers to have a tax free allowance that can be transferable between couples “recognising that if one spouse remains at home to bring up a family they are an equally valuable member of society as a working partner”.
Last month it was revealed that the number of stay-at-home mums has fallen to the lowest point since records began in 1993.
According to the Office for National Statistics, two million women are at home looking after the family, a drop of nearly one million since 1993.
The number of stay-at-home mums fell by nearly 50,000 over the last year.
Lynne Burnham for the campaign group Mothers at Home Matter said: “In the UK, we have a very family unfriendly taxation system, with couples paying a disproportionate amount of tax on their earnings.”
She added: “Surveys also show that more childcare is not what many parents want and not what children need. Sadly the Government isn’t listening.”