Parties called on to champion marriage

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The parties competing for votes in the upcoming General Election are being called upon to support marriage. 

Harry Benson, research director of the Marriage Foundation, said that the next government must work to "turn back the tide" on family breakdown which has led to a "chaotic" society in which nearly half of UK teenagers are not living with both natural parents. 

He wants to see support for marriage promoted in party manifestos and public policies to "make it attractive for couples to marry". 

"It's now a decade since any cabinet minister made a speech that included the importance of marriage," said Benson.

"This public silence is at odds with their private behaviour. Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer are both married, as are most of their respective cabinets. What do they know that we shouldn't know?"

He is calling for change to the current "costly but ineffective" policy which means that couples on low incomes stand to lose part or all of their benefits if they marry.

The Marriage Foundation is instead calling for the introduction of a taxable child benefit at the value of £3,000 a year for married mothers with a first child under three. 

He said that family breakdown in the UK was "likely to get worse" without more state support for marriage.

"We spend as much on supporting lone parents (quite rightly) as we do on defence," he continued.

"So come on political parties. Champion marriage, make it attractive for couples to marry, and turn back the tide of family breakdown. State your support in your manifestos. You embrace marriage in your personal lives. So why not promote it in your public policies."