Government has been ‘neglecting marriage’

Married couples have been left out in the cold because of political correctness in the Government’s family policies, a new report suggests.

The amount of money invested specifically in support for married couples has fallen significantly in recent years, says a new report from the Christian charity Care.

In one year the report found that more money was spent on support for same-sex couples than married ones.

Meanwhile, specific references to marriage have been phased out in favour of general terms covering ‘relationships’ with varying degrees of commitment.

Yet research shows that married couples are more likely to stay together and to bring up happy, healthy children, than any other kind of arrangement.

Cohabiting relationships are far more likely to break down than marriages, with disastrous consequences for any children involved. Yet worryingly, 44 per cent of babies are now born to unmarried parents.

The new report points out that while marriage – with its proven success rate – has been abandoned, the disintegration of stable family life is costing the Government billions each year.

The Labour Party’s 1997 election manifesto stated: “We will uphold family life as the most secure means of bringing up our children.”

But according to think-tank Civitas, deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman believes that “marriage has little relevance in public policy” and said that there is “no ‘ideal’ parenting scenario”.

The report’s author, Dr Dan Boucher, urges the Government to increase specific funding for marriage support.

He said: ‘We are struggling with increasing anti-social behaviour in the context of family breakdown.

“The cost associated with weak marriage via family breakdown – which is of course picked up by the taxpayer – is estimated to be well over £20billion per annum, a huge drain on our economy.”