A Family Tree Involves Other Forest Too, For United Are We In The Creation Of God Almighty.Tories Propose Tax Break For Married Couples

Story by Peter Griffiths
Edited by GEKA  from  G.D.M.

LONDON (Reuters) - Married couples would get a tax break worth 80 pounds a month under Conservative proposals that seek to challenge Prime Minister Gordon Brown on family values, a enior Tory said on Tuesday.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said that rewarding married couples through the tax system was at the heart of the party's campaign to "fix Britain's broken society".

"What we are saying is that the system at the moment is jigged against married couples and we want to set that right," he told GMTV.

Duncan Smith, chairman of a Tory group probing social problems, will publish a report on Tuesday that will identify five "paths to poverty" -- family breakdown, personal debt, addiction, failed education and unemployment.

His group's final report, Breakthrough Britain, will recommend nearly 200 ways to tackle social problems.

Speaking ahead of the report's release, Conservative leader David Cameron said there needed to be a "big cultural change" in favour of marriage.

"I think it is absolutely the big question, the big argument of our times," he said. "Kids do best if mum and dad are there to look after them."

After 10 years out of power, the Tories have tried to draw electoral battle lines with Labour over social issues such as crime, drugs and debt.

Labour has repeatedly rejected Conservative claims that society is "broken", pointing to record economic growth, falling crime rates and improving school results.

Labour's Cabinet Office minister Ed Miliband said it would be wrong to help only married couples rather than all parents.

"The right thing to do is to support children and not discriminate against some children," he told BBC radio.

In a speech on Monday, Brown said the government should support "all parents with children and not just some".

The Liberal Democrats said the proposals offered "19th century solutions to 21st century problems".

"This is yet another example of the Tory policy vacuum," said David Laws, spokesman on children, schools and families.

"The emphasis on passing all the problems back to the charitable and voluntary sector, and bringing back marriage tax breaks, sounds like a great leap backwards, rather than a serious strategy for the future."