Number of marriages increases in 2010

The number of weddings in England and Wales increased by almost four per cent in 2010, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that there were 241,100 marriages in 2010, a rise of over 8,500 from the previous year.

Analysts say the recession has caused a desire for the stability marriage offers and people valuing their family more than material possessions.

Stability

The ONS said that, “during tough economic times, people seek stability and family may be valued more highly than material goods”.

Research shows that marriage is the most stable form of relationship for bringing up children.

According to the Centre for Social Justice, children who are not brought up in two-parent households are 75 per cent more likely to fail at school, 70 per cent more likely to be a drug addict and 50 per cent more likely to have an alcohol problem.

Problematic

Amber Hunter, from the Wedding Planner School near Bristol, said: “I think when people are feeling financially unstable they look for stability in their lives in other ways and marriage provides that.”

In December Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said marriage was outmoded and that “we need to get away from the idea that there is something on a piece of paper that says if you are married, that’s good, if you’re not married, that’s not”.

Treasury sources have said married couples will not be receiving any tax breaks in the budget on 21 March, and that the plans will not be reconsidered until at least next year.

Petition

The news comes as the Westminster Government is expected to launch a public consultation on redefining marriage later this month. Its aim is to allow a change in the law to be made before the end of the current Parliament in May 2015.

A new grassroots campaign group seeking to protect the traditional definition of marriage was set up last month.

Since its launch on 20 February, the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) has gathered more than 65,000 signatures on its online petition. Sign it here: www.c4m.org.uk

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