MP calls on Government to back marriage

Nov 30, 2022

Conservative MP Miriam Cates has said the Government must do more to recognise the importance of marriage to society.

Speaking in the House of Commons on International Men’s Day, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said that “the most stable form of family – and the one with the best outcomes for children – is where the parents are married”.

This is not just a “value judgement” she said, but it is “clear from the evidence”.

She highlighted that by the age of five, children with unmarried cohabiting parents are more than three times as likely to experience their parents’ separation compared to married parents – 53% versus 15%. Mrs Cates also drew attention to the ‘marriage gap’ between rich and poor, which leaves less well-off children falling even further behind as they miss out on the benefits of marriage. Marriage has “almost become a middle-class secret”, she says.

“Of the highest earning 20% of white couples, about 85% are married,” she said. “In the lowest income group – the bottom 20% of white people – only 19% are married, and the divorce rates are much higher. A poor white child is very unlikely to have a father; a rich white child is very likely to have a father. That is how stark the difference is.”

She called on the Government to reform the taxation system to be “much more pro-family and to make it easier for couples to stay together”.

At C4M we deplore the way successive governments have failed to properly support marriage and have allowed it to slip away from the heart of family and social policy. We’re very glad that there are MPs like Miriam to remind our lawmakers why it’s so crucial that they back marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman for life is what makes the difference. The sooner our MPs remember that, the better for everyone.