By politics.co.uk staff
Iain Duncan Smith has claimed the previous government's failure to combat family breakdown has led to huge costs from resulting social problems.
The work and pensions secretary used a speech to the charity Relate to emphasise his "unapologetic" support for traditional family life and marriage.
He added: "It's right that this government is committed to strong stable families.we can't ignore the wealth of evidence that shows the importance of this."
The former Conservative leader claimed family breakdown could be linked to £24 billion of costs in dealing with social problems such as anti-social behaviour.
Mr Duncan Smith's speech also resurrected the Conservative's pledge to recognise marriage in the tax system - a controversial issue which has not attracted much attention since the election campaign.
Now the former Conservative leader is now turning his attention to what he claims are the root causes of joblessness: the lack of support for "strong families".
"This is not some abstract debate. Family life affects all of us - what happens on our streets; in our communities; and in our economy," he concluded.
"What you learn from a very early age has a great deal to say about the person you will eventually become and the life you lead."