Monday, 18 December 2006

Marriage better than co-habitation

Iain Duncan-Smith’s report that family breakdown is a cofactor of bad outcomes for kids is of course no surprise. And he acknowledges that co-habiting couples are much more likely to split up than married couples. But he and the Tories risk falling into a an error similar to Labour’s over University education, and suppose that incentivising marriage is the solution.

The problem is deeper than that: there are common underlying reasons for couples choosing not to marry and being unable to sustain relationships. Getting those couples simply to go through the formality of marriage is unlikely to be the solution.

We have created a vicious cycle of poor parenting leading to selfish, irresponsible and emotionally immature adults, who then pass this on (magnified) to their kids...

It would take a brave government to confront these issues properly, and I see no candidates for that at present in any political party.

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