Women find home less satisfying

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FAR FROM being the hopeless romantics of fiction, women are a cynical lot who believe that tax breaks are a good reason for getting married.

In a report published yesterday, seven in ten said that home life was less satisfying than ever before, blaming lack of time and the cost of childcare. Forty-one per cent said they did not have enough time to fulfil their domestic and professional tasks satisfactorily, while 31 per cent said the Government should help by providing state-sponsored nurseries for working mothers. Some 80 per cent said tax relief was the best motive for marrying, and staying married.

The survey, conducted by the monthly women's magazine Prima, examined women's attitudes on a wide range of family issues. They were asked about the competing demands of children and work, single motherhood and the importance of marriage. There was strong support for marriage with 78 per cent describing it as vital for stable family life and 54 per cent saying divorce should be made more difficult.

Launching the survey, Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, said families were under more pressure than ever before. "Cherie and I have always tried to make sure we have time for each other and the kids," he said. "We do live in a goldfish bowl, so it's all the more important to keep your feet on the ground and try to make life as normal as possible for ourselves and the children."

Tessa Jowell, the Public Health minister said: "The survey has captured a very clear snapshot of attitudes to family life in Britain today - a strong vote of confidence goes to family life and the importance of marriage."

The report, based on 1,000 replies, was part of a campaign by Prima that is istended to investigate all aspects of family life in Britain.

The magazine said the survey had posed "fundamental questions which offered the women of Britain the opportunity to help the Government develop strategies that will shape family life in the future".