I note that Dr Owen Gallagher takes the highly accurate figure of “many millions of pounds” in his letter (March 17) as a reason for Government to think carefully before introducing equal marriage.
However, all new legislation will incur a cost. That is why statisticians work out the impact that legislation will have.
I can only assume that Dr Gallagher is drawing his figure from the Government’s own Impact Assessment of the legislation from August last year which does indeed give a figure of between three and four million pounds as the cost.
However, this report also lists the economic benefit as well, which is put at between four to five times as much as the cost over the first ten years.
While the cost will be up front the benefits will continue beyond that 10-year period.
I would hazard a guess that by merely quoting the costs and not the benefits that Dr Gallagher’s doctorate is not in economics.
However, the costs of the introduction of this legislation are not great in the grand scheme of things.
To try and use this figure, which comes to about five pence a person, as a means to scare people is a cynical misinterpretation of the facts.