David Cameron must do more to encourage marriage, warns Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks


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The Independent Online

Britain’s Chief Rabbi has intervened in the controversy surrounding the Government’s treatment of mothers who give up work to bring up young children.

Jonathan Sacks, who is due to step down next month after 22 years in post, accused ministers of failing to provide adequate support for marriage.

“I don’t think the Government has done enough at all. The state has an interest in marriage because the cost of family breakdown and non-marriage, the last time I looked at it, was estimated at £9 billion a year,” he told the Tory peer Daniel Finkelstein, in an interview for The Times.

Lord Sacks added: “It should certainly recognise marriage in the tax system, it should certainly give more support to mothers who stay at home, or for childcare provision. I don’t believe in getting involved in the details, but the principle is pretty clear.”

The Chancellor George Osborne recently announced that childcare vouchers worth up to £1,200 a year will be available to households where both parents work and have a combined income of up to £300,000. Tory MPs have protested because the scheme excludes families in which a parent stays at home.