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Government to blame for decline in family values, says CSJ

Families headed by married couples will be in a minority by 2050, says a report from the Centre for Social Justice, in which it criticises the government for not doing more to prevent family breakdown.

9 October 2012

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“This government’s lack of a clear and coherent strategy to strengthen UK families not only contrasts starkly with their early and sustained action to reform welfare and education, but also threatens to undermine gains in these other vital policy areas,” said the report, which was published yesterday (8 October 2012).

The think tank calls for stronger leadership to reverse the trend. “The social justice strategy is a welcome sign of progress in its recognition of family breakdown as a key driver of poverty, but strong leadership is required to tackle this issue at a high level in government.

“A Department for Families, led by someone who has the vision and ambition to address family breakdown, would greatly bolster current efforts to strengthen families, especially in our poorest communities, which is so essential for the social recovery that must accompany economic growth.”

Family breakdown costs society £44bn a year, according to the CSJ.

The report also finds that marriage is increasingly the preserve of the middle and upper classes.

Among new parents on low income, only about 50 per cent are married. This rises to nearly 80 per cent for couples on £21,000 to £31,000 a year and to nearly 90 per cent for those earning over £50,000 a year, says the report.

For the CSJ’s full report, see

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