Monday, January 27, 2014's not to fuel their love that today's couples don't live under the same roof. It's in order to work. Long hours in the office make some commuters think about renting accommodation close to HQ rather than stay with their spouse. The effect this must have on marriage, not to mention children, is huge – and negative. Marriage works – and every piece of research confirms that it does – because it is an emotional and physical bond between two people, tested and strengthened on a daily basis. It's not a serial dating relationship, where man and woman have a bit of fun and then retreat into their autonomous zones.

Incredibly, until very recently, as Iain Duncan Smith reminded us in the interview he has given me, the government promoted precisely this mad model of marriage. The welfare system was set up to give more money to single parents (or those living on their own) than to couples. Spouses would either pretend to, or genuinely, split up in order to claim more in benefits. The model, called "Living Apart Together", was based on the Government's fear that giving less to lone parents would amount to "persecuting" them. It wouldn't look good – even if it did harm.

Thankfully, the Coalition has decided to come out in favour of old-fashioned marriage, and will give a tax break to married couples.

Read it all.

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