Clause 11 — Tax relief for married couples and civil partners

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:30 pm on 9th April 2014.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Conservative, Peterborough 1:30 pm, 9th April 2014

Not at the moment. I know the hon. Lady is very keen, and I am sure she will try to get in later.

Given the scale of the public benefits associated with marriage, it is not at all surprising that most people in the developed world live in countries that recognise marriage, as I said earlier in an intervention. There are numerous examples of this benefit that I could highlight, but given the constraints on time I will mention just a few. Regardless of socio-economic status and education, cohabiting couples are between two and two and a half times more likely to break up than equivalent married couples. Women and children are significantly more vulnerable to violence and neglect in cohabiting, rather than married, families. Three quarters of family breakdown in families with children under five comes from the separation of non-married parents. Children are 60% more likely to have contact with separated fathers if the parents were married. Separated fathers are more likely to contribute to their child’s maintenance if the parents were married. Growing up with married parents is associated with better physical health in adulthood and increased longevity. Children from broken homes are nine times more likely to become young offenders, accounting for 70% of all young offenders.