Monday, 1 February 2010

Children's Society Research and Tory Marriage Policy

The difference between a young person's family getting along - and not - explained 20% of the variation in overall happiness with life, whereas differences in family structure only explained 2%
There have been a number of comments about the proposed Conservative tax breaks for married couples, and I had held back from commenting as I thought that others had done a better job than me at demolishing them:
I find it staggering that David Cameron thinks that he can keep couples together by a tax break and that this is a universally good thing, what about toxic and violent relationships?  Lesley's Blog
The standard argument for a marriage tax break goes like this. Children of married parents have better and more stable lives, therefore marriage is good, therefore the tax system should support marriage. While the correlation is true, there is no evidence that proves the causality runs in this direction. Only the most bone-headed reject the possibility that stable, well-meaning couples are likely both to marry and to raise children well.  Chris Giles, FT
However, I recently discovered this report from the Children's Society, which proves what most sensible people (no prejudice there then!) think - that what children need is good parenting, which can come from married or unmarried couples.
Taken with the comments on the requirements for teachers (which I blogged/ranted earlier) I have to question what planet Cameron is on - I can only assume that these issues play well with focus groups, because there is no logic involved in them.

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