Shelagh Fogarty blasts proposal to tax the childless - 'A tax on your womb!'

4 July 2022, 16:53

By James Bickerton

Shelagh Fogarty has hit out at a proposal to introduce a new tax on the childless, in a bid to tackle Britain's plummeting birthrate.

In 2020 the fertility rate for England and Wales fell to 1.58, the lowest rate since 1938.

This means each UK born women will on average have 1.58 children during their lifetime, well below the 'replacement rate' of 2.1 needed to sustain a population.

Writing in The Times Paul Morland, an Oxford University demographer, suggested a new tax could be imposed on the childless in a bid to boost the birthrate.

However, Shelagh hit out at the plan on her LBC show.

She said: "People who are childless already are taxed differently aren't we, because we don't have access to certain things that people with children do but I'm perfectly comfortable with that.

"What I wouldn't be comfortable with is the idea HMRC is punitive towards you simply because you haven't had children, because that feels like a tax on your womb in some way.

"There can be all kinds of reasons why people don't have children.

"It can be illness, it can be the death of a child."

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Defending his proposal Mr Morland argued the whole country benefits from women having children.

He wrote: "This may seem unfair on those who can’t or won’t have children, but it recognises that we all rely on there being a next generation and that everyone should contribute to the cost of creating that generation."

Richard, one of Shelagh's callers who has been unable to have children, added his objection to the plan.

Speaking on LBC he said: "I've tried every way possible to have kids and failed at every hurdle and it hurts, really hurts.

"There's an indirect discrimination against it as well with disabilities, sexism, homophobia, transphobia.

"Communities that are less likely to have children or communities that are more likely to look for things like adoption."

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