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Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Saturday, 10 April 2010 09:21 UK

Tory tax breaks 'progressive and realistic'

Shadow skills minister David Willetts has defended Conservative proposals to give a tax break to up to four million married couples.

Interviewed by Today presenter James Naughtie, Mr Willetts explained that the pledge would particularly help people with low incomes.

Rejecting criticism that the move was divisive, he said "this is not an intrusive attempt to make moral judgements. This is simply taking a public commitment that people make when they enter into a marriage and use it as a basis of a tax relief. And that is what most other advanced western countries do."

The Conservatives have pledged to give an annual £150 tax break to married couples and civil partners. This would apply to basic rate taxpayers earning under £44,000 where one partner does not use their full personal allowance.

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