Marriage is 'a wonderful institution', and the government must act to keep families together
to stop children ending up in poverty, the Prime Minister David Cameron says in a speech today.
Speaking to the marriage guidance group Relate, David Cameron renews his pledge to bring in tax breaks for marriage, and warns that good parenting is vital for the welfare of Britain's children.
'When parents have bad relationships, their child is more likely to live in poverty, fail at school, end up in prison, be unemployed later in life,' he will say.
He blames many social problems on 'bad' personal relationships. As part of his aim to make Britain 'the most family-friendly country in Europe' he will insist it is right to target relations between parents.
David Cameron will announce that he is increasing the amount of public money handed to groups who support families by 50 per cent.
In future Relate and other organisations will now receive £7.5million direct from the taxpayer each year, up from £5million at present.
'For years, government hasn't talked about families, hasn't understood the importance of support at the vital times, hasn't valued commitment. '
'It's not just that family is so important to our personal life, which most of us feel in our gut, it's that they are so important to our national life too.
'Family is where people learn to be good citizens, to take responsibility, to live in harmony with others. Families are the building blocks of a strong, cohesive society.'
A senior Downing Street source said: 'On marriage, the Prime Minister will be absolutely clear that he stands by the pledge in the coalition agreement to recognise marriage in the tax system.
'There will be no watering down of that pledge.'
He will say: 'All the evidence also shows that the strength and stability of adult relationships are vital to the well-being of children.
'If the relationship is strong, then the adults are more likely to support each other through whatever challenges they face, including approaching parenting with confidence.
'And if they are confident parents, then their children are more likely to succeed. If the relationship is weak, then sadly, the opposite is true.'
He will add: 'I loathe nanny-statism. But I wouldn't be in this job if I didn't believe government – and what it does – can make a positive difference to people's lives.
'It would be wrong for public policy to ignore all this.'