By Ian Dunt Follow @IanDunt
Iain Duncan Smith has demanded David Cameron implement tax breaks for married couples before the end of the parliament.
The welfare secretary wants to pile the pressure on the prime minister to counter concerns that the Liberal Democrats are preventing any movement on the issue.
“I intend for our welfare reforms to make an impact on the couple penalty where it matters most – amongst families on the lowest incomes," Mr Duncan Smith said.
“The prime minister has made it clear that in this parliament the government will recognise marriage in the tax system.”
While Mr Cameron promised before the election to implement the tax break, the issue was been kicked into the long grass during coalition negotiations because it is considered paternalistic and hectoring by Liberal Democrats.
“This isn’t about government interfering in family life; it’s about government recognising that stable two parent families are vital for the creation of a strong society. It’s about parents taking responsibility for their children," Mr Duncan Smith said.
“It is about government realising that we have to create a level playing field for the decisions people make about family. This means reversing the biases against stability we’ve seen in recent years, including the damaging financial discouragement to couple formation, despite the evidence of its stable outcomes for children.”
The former Tory leader, who found a new lease of political life through right-wing prescriptions for social problems, tried to seize on the recent rioting as further proof that government policy should privilege stable families.
“The riots provided a moment of clarity for us all, a reminder that a strong economy requires a strong social settlement, with stable families ready to play a productive role in their communities,” he added.