The Family Breakdown: are tax breaks for married couples really the answer?


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The Independent Online

Where are all the men?

As the Centre for Social Justice releases a report this week claiming that in some areas, particularly Liverpool, 75 per cent of children are growing up in one-parent families (almost always the mother) and one in four primary schools has no male teachers, a solution in the form of tax breaks to married couples has been put forward.

The Leading Article from The Times suggests that:

"The enormous role that strong families play in preparing the young for a life of work is often overlooked by government.. Public policy should not just focus on tackling father absence it should worry about the absence of grandparents, aunts and uncles too."

Dr Samantha Callan, Associate Director for Families and Mental Health at the Centre for Social Justice, writes in ConservativeHome that:

"It’s simply not true that family breakdown is inevitable – more local government accountability for stabilising relationships as part of tackling poverty would help."

Whereas The Independent's Tom Peck says:

"for the millions of people who might be single, unmarried, or divorced, the message is just a highly unhelpful and profoundly insulting one"

Which do you agree with? Would tax breaks for married couples help the situation or further stigmatise single parents?