Brits concerned about marriage breakdown

Most Brits feel that marriage's fall from grace has not been good for society, a new survey has found.

In a poll of over 1,700 adults by the Centre for Social Justice, 60% agreed that marriage has become less important and that this is a "bad thing" for Britain.

Over half (55%) said there was at least one area close to where they lived that was affected by serious social problems like broken families, poor schools and crime.

Most of those surveyed (85%) felt that family and parenting were key to mending broken society.

When asked what they felt was the most important for children to have when growing up, 46% said a safe community and environment, followed by having two parents at home (31%).

Those surveyed also expressed a preference for work over welfare, with 86% agreeing that people who can work should not be able to choose a life on welfare.

The findings were released as the CSJ prepares to launch Breakthrough Britain II, a major study into the causes of poverty and social breakdown that will run until 2014.

It follows the original Breakthrough Britain report published by the CSJ in 2007, in which it presented over 190 policy proposals aimed at ending the growing social divide in Britain, among them recognition of marriage in the tax system.

Christian Guy, Managing Director of the CSJ said: "As we have discovered to our cost as a nation, simply throwing more money at social problems is not enough and can even be counter-productive.

"We have to give people every chance to change their lives and acquire the tools that will enable them to support themselves, their families and the wider community.

"As before, we have brought together a genuine team of experts with frontline poverty-fighting experience to help us draw up a new social policy blueprint to tackle the challenges of the 21st century."