Today in the House of Commons Fiona highlighted recent research from the Centre for Social Justice which shows the disparity in marriage between the richest and poorest in our communities is very stark.
Speaking in the House of Commons Fiona said,
"We recently celebrated UK National Marriage Week. As we come out of lockdown and welcome back larger weddings, may we have a debate about marriage, recognising that we do not want to price people out of marriage? That is not least because this week the Centre for Social Justice pointed out that those born into well-off families have a 96% chance of having two parents but, in our poorest communities, the figure is 28% and falling.
While we all agree that single parents deserve all the help they can get and that so many do a great job, does the Leader of the House agree that if we as politicians are serious about levelling up, we should not hold back from also supporting marriage and the stability that it provides to give children a positive start in life?"
Responding to Fiona's question the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP said,
"I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her question and for the excellent work of the Centre for Social Justice, founded, of course, by our right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Sir Iain Duncan Smith). Its findings are important and clear. My hon. Friend is right to be supportive of marriage, and it may not surprise her to hear that I am very supportive of marriage. It is a foundation stone of our society and has been for millenniums. It is fundamental.
I think the issue here is tonal as much as anything. The Government and politicians should support, encourage and foster marriage, but they must not be harsh on those who are not married. My hon. Friend is absolutely right in her tone to say, “Yes, we need to support people who are single parents but recognise the great benefits to children of being within a couple and a family.”
Further information about National Marriage Week can be found here.