The traditionally right-of-centre newspapers give a warm welcome this morning to yesterday’s policy recommendations from Iain Duncan Smith. Although there is some discussion of the breadth of the report, the main focus is on the promises to help families.
Daily Mail (not online): "For ten years, Gordon Brown has presided over a tax and benefits system that not only destroys incentives to work, but positively encourages parents to live apart, while penalising those who stay together. Mr Cameron’s determination to redress that balance not only makes good sense for Britain; it makes good politics for the Tories too. If he has the sense to match properly costed policies to his brave words, he’ll find he’s on to a vote-winner."
Daily Telegraph: "The outcomes for children raised by two parents living together are far better than for those raised by single parents, and couples are far more likely to remain together if they are married rather than cohabiting… This is clearly a sphere in which Mr Cameron feels comfortable and to which he can bring sincere personal conviction. It may well be his key to a successful opposition strategy."
The Sun (not online): "For the first-time, the Tories have carved out vote-winning territory beyond the reach of New Labour. They promise to use the tax and welfare system to reward marriage… A stable and happy marriage offers the best family environment for children… Now – instead of suggesting we pay more for our booze, museums and cheap flights – the Tories are backing marriage. And that has to be a good thing."
Daily Express (not online): "David Cameron is right to set a political course that encompasses tax breaks for married parents. Marriage should be encouraged because children thrive when they grow up in stable, two-parent families. Labour’s welfare state tinkering has led to parents lower down the income scale being much better off if they split up. That cannot be right."
Leaders in The Guardian and Independent are critical of the marriage recommendations although The Independent is impressed with much of the report: "This voluminous report is for the most part admirably free of preconceptions, and contains ideas that would deserve consideration by a government of any complexion."
David Cameron writes for the Mail about his commitment to marriage.