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13 DEC 2010

Government pledges £7.5 million a year for relationship support

Couple splitDavid Cameron has announced that £30 million of Department for Education's budget will be ring fenced for relationship support from 2011-2015.

In a speech to relationship counselling service Relate on Friday, the prime minister confirmed that £7.5 million a year will be provided to organisations such as Relate which are supporting relationships and announced that space in government buildings will be made available after hours to cut counselling waiting lists.

The new figure of £7.5 million per annum represents an increase of approximately £2.2 million on the government's current yearly spend on relationship support.

Mr Cameron said: "This is not about creating a perfect world. It is not about government interfering in people's lives. It is not about thinking government can fix everything. It is not even about thinking that we should try to fix everything. It is just a realistic, reasonable and sensible approach to supporting what I believe is one of the most important things in our national life: families."

In response to the prime minster's speech, Claire Tyler, Chief Executive of Relate, said: "We know that families across England are finding it tough right now. Whenever we ask our counsellors what the biggest issues that relationships are facing, money worries and lack of time together are always at the top of the list. But, we hope that with the confirmed support of the government, Relate can continue to reach families and relationships that are struggling and help achieve more health and happy relationships.

"The ring fencing of funds for relationship support is fantastic news for families across the country and will be welcomed by the sector. We will wait to see in due course what this means for Relate."

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