A tax break for married couples could be introduced by 2015, David Cameron hinted yesterday.

An annual £150 tax break for basic-rate taxpayers was pledged in the Conservative manifesto earlier this year but the prime minister has suggested that it may be extended to high earners as well, which could compensate for the loss of their child benefit payments scheduled for 2013.

Four million married people would have been affected by the earlier plans to provide a tax break for taxpayers who did not use their full personal tax-free income allowance. Under the proposals, couples would also have been allowed to transfer £750 of their tax free personal allowance to their working partner.

Mr Cameron said: “I have always supported the idea of supporting marriage through the tax system, specifically supporting the idea of a transferable tax allowance. The idea of a transferable tax allowance is in the coalition agreement”.

He continued: “It’s something we would like to do this parliament but I hope you will bear with me as I try to announce one policy at a time”.

Concerning the recent cuts to child benefit, Mr Cameron said: “The truth of the matter is, this deficit is so bad we can’t deal with it just by going after the super rich, or by dealing with welfare dependency – we do have to ask relatively better off families to make a contribution. It’s hard but I think it’s right”.

Currently all families receive child benefit regardless of their income level. Under the Tory changes, earners making more than £44,000 a year will no longer receive the benefit.