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July 3, 2008 / C H Thompson

What future for family policy?

Politicians of all parties are recognising that family diversity is here to stay. The traditional nuclear family might be seen by many politicians as ideal, nevertheless it’s difficult to go backwards, especially as a new generation of children have been brought up living in these diverse family forms.

However the Conservative leader David Cameron recently argued the following:

  1. Children need a stable family background
  2. The evidence shows that a married family is less likely to break up than a cohabiting one
  3. All social problems can be traced back to the family
  4. Therefore it is sensible that governments support the married family through social policies such as income tax breaks as well as additional benefit
  • What is David Cameron saying about families in the above policies?

We can see the Conservative social policies are built around the married family. In contrast the previous evidence shows that Labour policies focus on children within families.

  • Why might Labour social policies focus on children?

This is so Labour don’t penalise different diverse family forms. Any discrimination of lone parents or cohabiting couples would go against their previous policies discussed above.

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