Saturday, October 13, 2007

Andy Burnham and family values

I notice a report on the BBC news page that quotes Andy Burnham,the chief secretary to the treasury, calling on the tax system to favour married couples:

The tax system should reward married couples, a cabinet minister has said.
Andy Burnham made the comments to the Daily Telegraph, reigniting the debate about whether taxes should be used to encourage marriage.

The chief secretary to the treasury told the newspaper: "It's not wrong that the tax system should recognise commitment and marriage."


Mr Burnham did not advocate specific changes to the tax system, but he did say he believed there was a "moral case" for using tax to promote the traditional family unit.

He said: "I don't seek to preach to anybody. But in an abstract way I think it's better when children are in a home where their parents are married and I think children do notice if their parents are married or not."

He added: "I don't think the Tories should have a monopoly on this kind of thinking. This is totally where Gordon is coming from, your roots and your family are everything."

I won't say to much here as I have expressed my views already on this here.

But what exactly does 'in an abstract way' mean ??Do children focus on marriage ?
I think children notice if they are in a stable loving home environment and that is certainly not the monopoly of marriage. Many are brought up in unhappy homes where therir parents are married, where there is violence or abuse , where the parents are unhappy together and that permeates the atmosphere. From my own personal experience my memories of childhood are not based on my parents being married but arguments and drama and instability . I would probably be less fucked up if they had separated.

Its not the certificate that creates a good loving home . The government should look at supporting all children and family types and not return to a society where divorce or a child out wedlock conferred a stigma on the parents and the child.

Hopefully this won't be another policy New labour swipes from the Tories .

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