- The proportion of men and women getting married is below any level found since figures were first kept nearly 150 years ago.
- One in four single women under retirement age is thought to be living unmarried with a partner.
- In 2006, fewer than ten in every 1,000 single adults in England and Wales were married.
- The number of weddings held in 2006 was the smallest since 1895 - the year Oscar Wilde was sent to Reading jail and when the population was little more than half (30 million) its present level (54 million).
- One reason for the plunge in marriage numbers appears to be the crackdown on sham ceremonies undertaken by immigration authorities in 2005.
- But the tax and benefit system also came under most fervent attack. Advantages for married couples have gradually been withdrawn, joint taxation-ended in the 1980s and Gordon Brown withdrew the last tax break for couples, the Married Couples Allowance, shortly after Labour came to power in 1997. Benefits such as tax credits now favour individuals living with children rather than couples and the bias against couples is thought to have contributed to the growing numbers "living apart together".
- Labour family policy has for a decade maintained that all kinds of families are equally valuable and ministers have campaigned for all references to marriage to be removed from state documents.
- Government had "fuelled family breakdown" and researcher Patricia Morgan, who coined the phrase "marriage lite" to describe cohabitation, said Labour had succeeded in "eradicating" marriage. But it is a disaster for children, families and society.""Stable families are the best formula for bringing up children and preventing delinquency, anti-social behaviour and crime. So a failed family policy is itself a major cause of crime.
- "Labour family policy has for a decade maintained that all kinds of families are equally valuable and ministers have campaigned for all references to marriage to be removed from state documents.
- The Tories promised they would provide incentives for couples to get and stay together.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Some statistics to warm your soul.