The Price Of Being Single


Figures compiled In today’s Irish Times by EY DKM Economic Advisory


If you want to pay less tax on your income every month, get married or have a child. Don’t give up your job and live with someone without getting married.

While society has moved forward in so many ways over recent decades, our tax system still exerts a “fiscal preference” for families – particularly those where the parents are married.


Single, married or cohabiting: Who pays the least tax? (Fiona Reddan, The Irish Times)

42 thoughts on “The Price Of Being Single

  1. Tom

    Is this a joke? Try running a family on a single income then. Tax individualistion did massive damage to Irish society. Kids being woken up at 6am to spend 12 hours in a dodgy creche.

    1. DeSelby

      It also contributed to the notion that to own a house required two incomes, and allowed house prices to boom.

      I feel very sorry for single people, divorcees, or single parents at the mercy of the rental market, either sharing with strangers or barely afloat. I was there myself not so long ago.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I was thinking along the same lines having a stand-up fight with my young wan in Dundrum yesterday: one of us wanted to spend hours looking at Christmas decos, the other didn’t. I’ll leave it to you to decide who was who. She’s three. She can SHOVE IT.

      1. millie st murderlark

        I had a full on roaring match with mini in the Pavilions last year over the Christmas shopping.

        Did I care? Did I what.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        What? Don’t recall commenting at all about kids yesterday. You clearly have me confused with another. My comment above relates to singledom not parenthood.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            not quite that

            i upset Yep in, I think, 1987… we’re just about cool now, though, happily

  2. Starina

    What I don’t get is that cohabitating parents where only one works are taxed harsher than a single parent. They have to provide for more people?!

  3. Junkface

    I think that its unfair on single people. Difficult as it is to find a partner for life, dealing with all of that, but then on top of it being punished financiallly by heavier taxes. Sure, tax the wealthy singles more, but not the working class/former middle class.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    This is stupid.

    The point of the tax relief is to incentivise families, not promote singledom or single parenting.

    You’re looking at it from a selfish point of view. Kids raised in families do better. (Anecdotes don’t win the argument or beat the even any averages)

    1. Clampers Outside!

      And I’d add having one parent at home, father or mother, is better for the child than a crèche.

      1. jonsmoke

        there is also the thing that if we stop having kids then there are tax payers in the future and therefore no state services for anyone and we are all fecked, childless or not.
        That a good reason for the tax differences.

      2. Fact Checker

        I’m always a bit sceptical about claims that the only social glue holding marriage together is the limited ability to share tax credits.

    2. DaithiG

      Totally agreed with this. Being part of a family unit and having children is something society needs. We should understand that this is not always possible for individuals because of some medical issues, but there can be exceptions put into the tax code for that.
      If society doesn’t promote families having children, and people don’t have children, then it’ll be the Matlock channel all day every day in a few decades.

      1. Scundered

        Except that does nothing for the human population explosion which really needs to be addressed fast and applies to everyone on the planet. We see the warning signs every day yet nobody thinks it applies to them.

  5. stephen c

    Sure its the same with all the motives to close the ‘wage gap’ , all of those are jsut saying having a child shouldnt hurt your career earnings, a slap in the face to childless women who dedicated themselves to their careers.

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