Shorter David Willetts.
"As only 270,000 people married last year, it's clear that marriage is in danger of becoming the preserve of the middle classes. This obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with the ever increasing cost of getting married, but instead to do with the fact that there is no recognition of marriage in the tax system. By recognising the institution in the tax system (and putting the state to work to help couples stay together, but we'll make sure that we keep this relatively under our hats) we will at a shot vastly increase the number of couples who will tie the knot and live happily ever after. That this will also be a massive tax break for the already married, overwhelmingly middle and upper class that traditionally vote for us is neither here nor there. Nor is it an example of Conservative class war. Only the despicable Labour party does that."
(P.S. My eldest brother was due to get married this year to his long-term fiancée. They called it off, not because they would be penalised for getting married by the tax system, but because they could no longer justify the cost of the ceremony and reception etc, something which Willetts completely dismisses as an issue.)