FAMILY BREAKDOWN IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
January 27, 2010
On the eve of the publication of a government green paper on the family, Iain Duncan Smith, Chairman of the Center for Social Justice and former Conservative Leader, issued a dossier exposing the Labor party's record of family failure.
"Thirteen years of Labor misrule have inflicted grave damage on the family. All the evidence shows that children brought up in two-parent families do far better in life. Yet under Labor, rates of family breakdown have soared," says Smith.
- In the United Kingdom, over 40 percent of children are now born outside marriage, intentional harm has risen 34 percent in the last four years, and the country has the fourth highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world.
- Alcohol consumption by U.K. children has doubled in the last 15 years; 1 in 4 children now take drugs, compared to 1 in 20 twenty years ago.
- Children living in single parent or broken families are far more likely to experience serious abuse than those living in two-parent families;
- Labor has scrapped all recognition of marriage in the tax system and in most official forms; it has also distorted the benefits system to make it more profitable for couples with children to live apart.
- Britain is the only country in the advanced world, bar Mexico and Turkey, not to recognize marriage in the tax system.
"Most shocking of all, the government now admits that 200,000 children live in homes where there is a known high risk case of domestic abuse and violence. The figures also show that a child living with a non-biological father is eight times more likely to be on the 'at risk" register and 50 times more likely to die from injuries inflicted by an adult living in the home," says Smith.
"We also need to recognize the cost of family breakdown, which has been estimated at £24 billion (about U.S. $39 billion) a year. At present, we spend a miserly 0.02 percent of that sum on preventing family breakdown. We need to invest in measures that will support families," says Smith.
The time has come to recognize that stable families are the key to happy and healthy children. The time has also come to recognize that marriage is the cement that holds families together and is the essential foundation of a successful society," says Smith.
Source: Press release, "Iain Duncan Smith exposes and condemns Labor's record on the family," Center for Social Justice, January 2010; and "Green Paper on the Family," Center for Social Justice, January 2010.
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