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24 MAY 2011

David Cameron reaffirms his support for the institution of marriage

Downing StreetIn a speech in on his 'Big Society' policies yesterday, David Cameron reaffirmed his views on the importance of marriage.

The Prime Minister pledged to make Britain the "most family-friendly" country in Europe and insisted that strong families were the foundation of a stronger society.

"I am pro-commitment, I back marriage and I think it's a wonderfully precious institution. Strong families are where children learn to become responsible people," the Prime Minister said.

He added: "When you grow up in a strong family, you learn how to behave, you learn about give and take. You learn about responsibility and how to live in harmony with others. Strong families are the foundation of a bigger, stronger society."

The Prime Minister announced that in future civil servants will have to assess the impact of legislation on families as well as on the economy. Backbench Conservative MPs have long campaigned for marriage to be recognised in the tax system.

However, the speech will be controversial with the Liberal Democrats coalition partners who are against favouring marriage in the tax system.

Before the last General Election, the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said on BBC One's Andrew Marr show: "David Cameron is plain wrong, totally wrong, to say that we, the country, should spend billions of pounds providing a tax bribe for people simply to hold up a marriage certificate.

"It is immensely unfair. What does it mean for the poor woman who has been left by some philandering husband who goes on to another marriage and gets the tax break and she doesn't?"

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