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Government at last beginning to understand why marriage matters

Press release from the Marriage Foundation, 28th September 2013 Today’s announcement of £200 tax relief for married couples is the first clear policy in support of marriage in a generation. Politicians are finally catching up with what the research has been confirming for years and human nature has been saying for millennia. Marriage matters. Making a promise to stay together for life – even if no guarantee – removes any lingering ambiguity and sets out a clear pl

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Sunday Times article: ‘240,000 couples claim to be apart to grab lone-parent benefit’

Almost a quarter of a million couples with children are pretending to live apart to claim lone parent benefits worth up to £7,100 a year, according to a report by The Marriage Foundation.

The organisation found a discrepancy of 240,000 between the Office for National Statistics' figure on the number of lone-parent households in England and Wales, and the number of people in receipt of one-parent benefits.

The foundat

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The Times article: “It’s only fair to get rid of the marriage penalty”

Do you realise you'd be £6,000 per year better off if you divorced me, I asked my wife last week.

Fortunately, her brief and dismissive response suggested that I'm worth rather more to her than that. For a younger couple, however, starting out in life with their first baby, this sort of money presents a real temptation to avoid formalising their relationship.

The money comes from tax credits. Because tax credits are

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End the couple penalty which encourages couples to ‘pretend to live apart’

Quarter of a million couples pretend to live apart

  • Over 240,000 couples with children are pretending to live apart to claim lone parent benefits
  • Couples with children are up to £7,100 better off if they are not married and pretend to live apart
  • The Marriage Foundation calls for the introduction of an additional child benefit for married couples with a child under three to counteract the existing ‘couple penalty
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Quarter of a million couples pretend to live apart

Around a quarter of a million of couples are claiming lone parent benefits, while continuing to reap the benefits of a two-parent household.

  • Over 240,000 couples with children are pretending to live apart to claim lone parent benefits
  • Couples with children are up to £7,100 better off if they are not married and pretend to live apart
  • The Marriage Foundation calls for the introduction of an additional child benefit for married couples with a child under three

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Regaining confidence in marriage

Today’s issue of the British Social Attitudes Survey highlights how attitudes to marriage, sex and parenthood have changed over thirty years. The big picture suggests that we have lost confidence in marriage. Attitudes have become more liberal. We have become more relaxed about whether those who have children should get married. And we are most relaxed of all about sex before marriage. Yet we have not abandoned marriage altogether. Nearly half still think couples should marry if they have ch

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