By Harry Benson, Conservative Home
The great majority of children want to grow up with both their parents. But today 300,000 fifteen year olds (45% of them) in England and Wales are no longer living with both natural parents. That’s just this year’s fifteen year olds. Next year, there’ll be another 300,000. And then another. And so on.
Few parents want to bring up children on their own. But today two million lone parents are looking after three million children.
Beyond the individual stories of pain, loss and disappointment, families and society pay a price. Family breakdown influences almost every key social indicator: well-being, health, truancy, crime, future relationships. The direct cost to the taxpayer of picking up the pieces is estimated at £44 billion per year, most of which on benefits and tax credits to support so many lone parents.
Despite this vast bill that exceeds the defence budget, there are no ministers, no departments, and no policies to address the problem of family breakdown.
[...] Amidst the gloom, there is hope. At a conference held by the charity Marriage Foundation last Friday, academics and legal experts sought to shed light on some of the myths and realities.
Some of the key quotes from the day might surprise you.
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