Tories aim to put marriage back in fashion

UK Telegraph 11 July 2007
Official forms in future should require people to declare whether they are married, a Tory policy review recommended yesterday. David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith talk to teenagers at the Kids Company drop-in centre in south London after the report’s launch. Restoring the term “marital status’ and terms such as husband, wife and spouse, would send a “clear and unambiguous signal’ of the importance a Conservative government would attach to marriage, it said. David Cameron welcomed the report and made clear that support for marriage would be a key dividing line between the Tories and Labour at the next election.He stopped short of immediate tax commitments, saying he would have to work out what he could “sensibly and prudently” put in a manifesto. But he reiterated his promise to remove the “anti-marriage bias” from the tax and benefit system. Mr Cameron said the high rate of family breakdown was linked to the systems.”Britain is almost the only country in Europe that doesn’t recognise marriage in the tax system and the benefits system actively discourages parents from living together. “We have the highest rate of family breakdown in Europe and we have the worst social problems in Europe,” he said. Labour said the proposals would discriminate against lone and unmarried parents but the Conservative leader accused Gordon Brown of playing “political games”. “If he wants to defend the anti-marriage bias in our tax and benefits system, good luck to him. He’s on the side of the past, and on the side of social failure,’ Mr Cameron said.

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