Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scratches head? What about family policy?

Well, there is some discussion at least over the family and marriage, inspired by Ian Duncan Smiths report on "Breakthrough Britain".

It highlights the reasons for the breakdown of British society and indeed some suggestions for solutions.

I will have to read quite a bit more (and already have a long reading list) before I comment in detail. It is interesting to see how Ed Balls feels fully able to comment without having read it though.

Here are some links:

We have to report here, Nick Robinson on the politics here and this in the Independent urging David Cameron to stick to the path without using the dreaded "M" word, marriage.

What is irritating though is that the news is just quoting sound bites where there are none.

Conservative home has this
, which seems to have more lefty posts than usual.

3 comments:

Marquis de Straf-Guernica said...

Benedict,

It is Wednesday and I have only 14 votes from 49.

If you're thinking of waiting until the last minute, may I beg you to reconsider. Though we gave a date of Friday evening, the longer our members refrain from voting, the longer we are preserving the agony.

May I humbly and respectfully ask that you don't let it go that long but get your vote in soon so we know what is happening?

Yours, James

Timothy said...

Yes, it must be disappointing to see discussion of a vast piece of work spiral down to faux-debate on the narrow question of changes to the tax system.

As a single parent however... I dislike being instructed that I "should" be in a supportive relationship. I bleeding well know that thanks! I have to struggle with the consequences of being on my own every sodding day! If only life were that simple, eh?

Life is a lot harder for lone parents and I think it is right that they are given more support by the rest of society - one way of which is through the tax credits (fiasco) system.

The Tory change does strike me as being intended more to benefit their own "constituency" of the well-off middle class in stable marriages who don't *need* any help from the government.

Having said that... there are changes that should be made to the benefit system to stop people being penalised for being together. Case study. When my former partner was pregnant with our child she received maternity allowance. I was on jobseekers allowance for a few weeks - but I had it reduced to a pittance when her MA started, because we were a "couple" and so only "needed" £x a week to survive. I always thought that was out of order.

It seems to me as though the Tories don't care about that so much (disincentive to work!) as they care about bunging money to the well-off.

But. There hasn't been an honest attempt at a proper discussion in the media. It's been so shallow.

How am I supposed to find out any different from my prejudices (don't have time to read the report in full - haven't had dinner yet!)

Benedict White said...

Timothy it is as you say sad to see a massive piece of work reduced to a couple of soundbites.

On your personal issues, we do not intend on giving you ahrd time for being single but looking at some of the financial barriers to "re-partnering".

Also the things we are talking about won't make a great deal of difference to the well off, but will make quite a bit of difference to everyone else.