Written evidence from Mr Hill [HAB0026]

I am oppo ed to the House of Commons Women & Equalities Committee’s proposal to give cohabiting couples the same financial rights, etc., as those who are married.

For many reasons, some of which I submit below, politicians should promote marriage and certainly not find ways to bypass it.

Marriage, whether in a registry office or a church, is not necessarily expensive. Whatever expense, which is incurred by marrying, is far out-weighed by the legal and social benefits which such marriages bring, for it encourages the couple to take into consideration not only the advantages to themselves, but also to any children that may result from their relationship. For those who disagree with the concept of marriage, the alternative of a civil partnership is now available.  Both marriage or civil partnership, but especially the former, would encourage the couple to consider the life-long responsibilities which they have for each other, and especially for any children they may have.

It is a fact that co-habiting relationships are much more unstable than the relationships of those who married. By the time the children of cohabitees are aged 5, more than 50% of those children’s their parents have separated, causing at least some trauma, though often great trauma.

While, over more recent years, more married couples are separating and/or divorcing, only 15% of children, by the age of 5, of married couples, have experienced the separation of their parents. Older children, whose parents separate, may also be traumatised, but may be by then of such an age that the trauma is far less than those suffered by children under the age of five.

The break down of the relationships of cohabiting or married couples is already costing the public purse, and, therefore, the tax-payer, £50 billion. Responsible politicians should be rejecting any proposals, which will only increase and not decrease that burden and the social consequences.

 

July 2021