Marriage and families key to UK social ills, claims think tank

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FAMILY breakdown and a decline in the prominence of marriage are seen by the public as key causes of Britain’s social problems, according to a new survey.

The YouGov poll commissioned by the Centre For Social Justice (CSJ) found that 60 per cent believe that marriage has become less important to society in recent decades and that has damaged the UK.

The think-tank also revealed that 55 per cent believe at least one of their local communities is plagued by broken families, crime and poor schools, and almost nine in ten believed better parenting and stronger families were key.

The CSJ, which advocates recognising marriage in the tax system, is preparing to launch a new examination of the social fabric of Britain.

Its first report, commissioned by David Cameron, was published in July 2007 and had a strong impact on the Conservative manifesto for the 2010 election and influenced subsequent coalition policy on welfare reform.

But Clare Simpson, project manager of the Parenting Across Scotland organisation, said happy and stable families could come in a variety of forms.